EU PFD 2023: Trade unions emphasise the need for decent jobs, social protection, minimum living wages and just transition in the fight against inequalities

A delegation of trade unionists from Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia-Pacific participated in the Global meeting of the European Union Policy Forum on Development (EU PFD) that took place in Brussels between the 27th and the 29th of September.

The meeting titled: Multistakeholder partnerships for building a better future: The quest for equality and opening up civic space in the context of Global Gateway, brought together high level officials from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for International Partnerships and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs) and local authorities.

During the meeting trade unionists intervened as panellists in different sessions and highlighted the economic inequalities that workers around the world are suffering due to the current power structures. They emphasised the need to create decent work and the role that social protection and minimum living wages play in the fight against poverty and inequalities, as well as the importance of promoting inclusion through social dialogue.

The delegation also underlined the need for a just transition negotiated with the social partners to promote decent climate-friendly jobs accompanied by upskilling and reskilling and supported through social protection. They emphasised that there is an urgent need to democratise the climate change language and ensure social ownership through participation of workers’ representatives; and stressed the role of decent work creation in tackling the challenges of migration, as well as the need to ensure labour rights in the digital transition.

In the discussions on the EU’s Global Gateway, trade unions emphasised the need for a meaningful inclusion of CSOs and local authorities in the initiative to ensure a rights-based approach in its implementation and the importance of developing impact indicators on labour rights and decent work creation.

As projects within the Global Gateway will be implemented in the different regions of the world, the ITUC, through its regional organisations and national affiliates, will monitor closely these processes and is hopeful to start engaging in a meaningful way with the EU delegations in the implementation countries.