Roma children attending an educational programme - Photo: Caritas Romania
Tue, 04/07/2017 - 15:09

The Council of Europe’s Conference of International NGOs has called on the European Union to recognise the European Social Charter as the Social Constitution of Europe in a recent communiqué.

Peter Verhaeghe, policy and advocacy officer for social policies at Caritas Europa and chair of the Coordinating Committee for the Turin Process, led this proposition. “The EU is in great need of coming closer to its citizens, and for this it needs to ensure that social rights are at the core of the European construction. The European Social Charter of the Council of Europe is one key element to achieve this,” he said.

The address to the EU Institutions includes a recommendation to fully include all the 20 principles of the Social Charter into the European Pillar of Social Rights. “Basically, we are asking the European Union to be even bolder in their approach to social policies and align their Pillar of Social Rights to the much more progressive Social Charter,” said Peter Verhaeghe.

The Conference of International NGOs of the Council of Europe also asks the EU to acknowledge the collective complaints procedure before the European Committee of Social Rights as an official mechanism to protect social rights in Europe.

The Turin Process

Caritas Europa is leading the Coordinating Committee for the Turin Process. This process aims at reinforcing the role of the Social Charter as the key tool to improve social and economic rights in Europe. In this end, the Turin Process also has for objective to merge the Social Charter in EU legislation.
Read more about this process on