Social models compared: EU and ILO launch a “Summer school” for Ministers of Labour in Turin

Today sees the start of a high-level conference on the “European Social Model” at the Turin Centre of the International Labour Organization (ILO) involving labour policy experts, governments, social partners and international organizations.

On Thursday 3 July, to cap three days of debate, the Ministers of Labour of Brazil, Denmark, France, India, Italy, Poland and Tanzania will meet in Turin, together with the Director-General of the ILO, Juan Somavia, and the European Commissioner Vladimír Špidla, to discuss models of social regulation, workers’ rights, wage policy, social dialogue and decent work.

The social impact of globalization will come under discussion, given that economic internationalization has repercussions on an ever-vaster number of countries. Figures that will be analysed, and offer food for thought, include: more than half the world’s population has no access to insurance cover of any kind; only 20 per cent of it is covered by an almost adequate system; in the least developed countries, less than 10 per cent of workers are guaranteed social protection; in transition economies, coverage runs from 20 to 60 per cent; in most industrialized countries, in contrast, it is nearly 100 per cent.

An unusual, less institutional context like the ILO training campus should be an ideal venue for stimulating a meeting that is not only high-level but also open and pragmatic. It is an opportunity for an exchange among equals in which ministers will compare two different situations: on the one hand, that of countries whose economic growth is slowing but which nevertheless guarantee social protection and the respecting of labour rights; on the other, that of countries whose economic growth is currently exponential but which have yet to find adequate counter-measures in terms of social policy.

The full programme is posted on the following site: www.itcilo.org/hld2008/press

International Training Centre of the ILO

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10127 Turin - Italy

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