Trade Union position on the revision of the European Consensus on Development

The EU is in the process of revising the European Consensus on Development, which was agreed in 2005, in order to adapt to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Trade Unions stress the value of decent work and social dialogue as means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as outlined in a position paper by the TUDCN.


The EU launched an open consultation on the revision of the EU Consensus on Development. The Trade Union Development Cooperation Network (TUDCN) submitted a contribution.

Based on the consultation input, Trade Unions have put together a position paper highlighting the labour movement priorities for the revision of the European Consensus on Development entitled Decent work and social dialogue to leave no one behind

High inequality leads to low inter-generational mobility. The capture of the policy agenda by top income earners through their excessive domination of political funding in some countries is leading to a serious distortion of public policy and builds inequity into economic growth models. The need to challenge rising income inequality and its many negative impacts is highlighted. For workers and the union movement "leaving no one behind" means recognising and taking action on the ever increasing inequalities people face, within and between countries.

Trade unions would like to see is an increased accountability of the private sector as actors in development and development cooperation. While trade unions understand the contribution the private sector can make in job creation and economic growth, this should not prevent greater responsibility and duty from the private sector and multinational enterprises, to ensure their involvement in developing countries truly benefits the societies in which they operate.

Social Dialogue and collective bargaining play crucial roles in ensuring fair wage distribution, while also tackling informality. Addressing the issue of a minimum living wage for the “working poor”, constitutes one of the most important priorities to fight inequalities. As an instrument of social and economic governance for development, social dialogue can contribute effectively to the development effectiveness agenda. It provides more ownership to people, in particular workers, helps to increase accountability and strengthen domestic policies, and contributes to the design and implementation of better redistribution policies. Social dialogue also facilitates social peace and is a forceful instrument for reconciliation and reconstruction.


The Trade Union response was coordinated by Joan Lanfranco, Advocacy Officer at the Trade Union Development Cooperation Network. For inquiries: [email protected], +32 2 224 03 05.