When the Commission revisits the Charter of Social Rights
(BRUSSELS2) A singular intervention today at the midday briefing, the usual meeting place for the press and the service of the Commission spokesman, Simon O'connor, the spokesperson for Olli Rehn, in charge of Economic Affairs and financial institutions, made a remarkable statement on compliance by the Community institutions with the provisions of the 1989 Charter of Social Rights.
For him, " The Social Charter is not part of the acquis communautaire but (must be seen) as an inspiration ". Before detailing that the program developed by the Commission on Greece: “ aims to improve the dynamism of this labor market, to create the conditions for a sustainable increase in employment, to create a labor market that is more inclusive”.
In doing so, it does not answer the question clearly posed by a French colleague (Lci / Tf1): what about the application of the decision of the social rights committee which provides for a minimum level for pensions and a minimum period on notice . His colleague Olivier Bailly will therefore take over to clarify three points quite clearly:
- « Since the Treaty of Lisbon (there are) very strong bridges between Community law and Council of Europe law ". But this does not mean conformity from one to the other. When the Treaty of Lisbon mentions that the EU " is inspired of the charter of social rights, the word inspires is not chosen at random. (That) does not mean copying or integrating the social order. (*)
- "TheEU action we are taking in Greece is in line with EU law.
- It is up to the Council of Europe to conduct its procedure according to its own rules, he then confirms. " We will not make this recommendation to the Commission because we do not have the legal authority and we are in the process of negotiating. » (…) « We act to boost employment in Greece, in accordance with Community law. »
To listen to this exchange, it's here. (It may be noted that at no time was Commissioner Andor's spokesman, in charge of Employment and Social Affairs, called "to the bar"... )
On the European Social Charter and the decision made public on 19 October, it is leaves
(*) We can have another reading of the hierarchy of the two European legal orders (EU and Council of Europe). Because on the one hand the Court of Justice of the EU has recognized much more than a “inspiration” to the 1961 Charter of Social Rights of the Council of Europe. Then the EU itself has devoted all this place in the Charter of Fundamental Rights which specifies that “This Charter reaffirms, with due respect for the competences and tasks of the Union, as well as the principle of subsidiarity, the rights which result in particular (…) from the Social Charters adopted by the Union and by the Council of Europe”. A text which, at the time, caused a lot of ink to flow and triggered the opt-out of the British and Czechs who did not want to see these social texts given legal force before their courts.