ESC/ILO instruments to develop labour relations in Russia and countries of Eastern Partnership

On 18-19th of May ITUC-PERC and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung in Belarus held the conference “ESC/ILO instruments to develop labour relations in Russia and countries of Eastern Partnership”.

The participants, most of them coming from a legal background and experienced in human rights protection and collective bargaining, enjoyed the opportunity to learn more about European best practices in social dialogue and ESC mechanisms and their application in EU. Experts from European Institutions, Jean Claude Le Douaron from ETUI, Brussels and Stellan Garde, a legal adviser involved in elaboration of Labour Legislation Development Programme of Swedish LO/TCO trade union centres attended the conference. It is noteworthy that experience of this programme obtained while it ran in Baltics and Central America states may be applied in NIS countries.

While working in groups the participants discussed the possibilities to enforce the application of ESC instruments and mechanisms in their countries.

Another large section of the conference was dedicated to ILO. Elena Gerasimova, Director of the centre for social and labour rights (Russia), explained the meaning and application of ILO conventions, declarations and recommendations. Some of the countries has already dealt with ILO procedures (Belarus, Ukraine, Russia). They shared experience and impressions and also some peculiarities of collaboration with employers and government within this process.

At the panel discussion, trade union legal community agreed at the need to cooperate for ESC/ILO instruments and HTUR issues. Network has been acknowledged as a form of cooperation suitable for this aim, since it allows smooth unhindered contacts between legal experts of ITUC-PERC affiliates. The time was too short to elaborate concrete action plan, but participants perceived this conference as a first step in setting up this network and thought of HTUR meeting for NIS countries (to take place 8-9 July in Chisinau) as a potential platform for detailed planning of the network activity.

Workplace representation
Social Dialogue in EU