Key trade union messages on Social Protection Floors

Social Protection Floors approach is a powerful tool for poverty reduction and ensuring basic human rights. ITUC and ETUC formulated Key messages on Social Protection Floors to encourage the European Commission to support this instrument in their development cooperation policy and practice.

Social Protection Floor (SPF) approach promotes a nationally-defined minimum level of income security (in form of various social transfers: pensions, unemployment benefits etc.) as well as a universal, affordable access to essential social services (including healthcare, education, housing etc.) The approach emphasizes the need for cohesive social protection and employment policies with a particular attention to vulnerable groups.

The document published recently by ITUC and ETUC not only explains the origins and context of the Social Protection Floor approach, but also identifies principles that need to be followed while implementing the approach. They include the rights-based approach to development, ownership and inclusiveness through social dialogue, policy coherence and domestic resource mobilisation. In the recommendations part, ITUC and ETUC call on the EU to integrate the SPF approach into social protection support in developing countries (and in the upcoming Communication on this topic) and secure adequate funding for the support of SPF implementation. Trade unions suggest also creating an interagency mechanism to support the implementation of SPFs at global, regional and national levels as well as promoting the SPF approach in the strategies of the World Bank, OECD and G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. .

The document has been submitted to the European Commission in December 2011, as a contribution to the upcoming Communication of the Commission on Social Protection in EU Development Cooperation. Following the last TUDCN EU Policy and Instruments Working Group (January 2012), a more detailed trade union opinion (ITUC-ETUC) on the issue will be also elaborated in the context of the current EC consultation.

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Key TU messages on Social Protection Floors