European Social Cohesion Platform Newsletter | November 2017
European Social Cohesion Platform - Terms of reference renewed
At their 1300th meeting, the Ministers' Deputies adopted the Organisation’s Programme and Budget for 2018-2019, which is organised around the three pillars of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The Terms of Reference of the European Social Cohesion Platform for the next two years are included.
Seminar “The European Social Charter – fundamental pillar of regional social policies in Europe
The Faculty of Law of the University of Valencia, Spain, organised a seminar on the European Social Charter as a fundamental pillar of regional social policies in Europe (Valencia, 16 November 2017). The seminar was opened by Elena Olmos Ortega, Dean of the Faculty of Law of the University of Valence and by Carmen Salcedo Beltran, Labour Law and Social Security Department of the Faculty of Law and coordinator of the seminar. The participants examined the efficiency of the European Social Charter at national level, the role of the Turin Process as a tool for strengthening social rights in Europe and reinforcing synergies between the European Union law and the European Social Charter. Luis Jimena Quesada, former President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Giovanni Guiglia, Coordinator of the Academic network on the European Social Charter and social rights Academic network on the European Social Charter and social rights (A.N.E.S.C.) and Régis Brillat, Head of the Department of the European Social Charter, Council of Europe, also took part in the debate.
Recent Developments in the Court's Case-law (31 October - 5 December 2017)
Social cohesion / social rights - RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE COURT’S CASE-LAW (31 October – 5 December 2017) :
M.F. v. Hungary, Judgment of 31.10.2017 - the applicant is of Roma origin is allegating police brutality. Violation of Article 3 (ill-treatment), violation of Article 3 (effective investigation), no violation of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 3 – in respect of the allegation that the treatment inflicted on Mr M.F. by the police was racially motivated, violation of Article 14 read in conjunction with Article 3 – on account of the authorities’ failure to investigate possible racist motives behind the incident. Isikirik v. Turkey, Judgment of 14.11.2017 - conviction of membership in an illegal organisation after having participated in a funeral of four members of the PKK (Kurdish Workers' Party, an illegal organisation) and in a demonstration. The Court found in particular that the relevant provision of the Turkish Criminal Code, as it had been applied in the applicant’s case, had not been foreseeable since it had not provided him with legal protection against arbitrary interference with his right to freedom of assembly. Violation of Article 11 (rights to freedom of expression and assembly). Garib v. the Netherlands, Judgment of 6.11.2017 - The case concerned the complaint by a woman living on social welfare about residential restrictions in Tarwewijk, a district of Rotterdam with high unemployment, as a result of which she was unable to freely choose her place of residence. The Court concluded that the refusal of a housing permit that would have allowed her to move to the dwelling of her choice in Tarwewijk did not have any consequences amounting to disproportionate hardship. No violation of Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 (freedom of movement / freedom to choose one’s residence). Ceesay v. Austria, Judgment of 16.11.2017 - The case concerned the death of the applicant’s brother, a Gambian national having applied for asylum in Austria, while in detention pending his expulsion from Austria. No violation of Article 2, no violation of Article 3. Boukrourou and Others v. France - Death of an individual suffering from psychiatric disorders who was the victim of ill-treatment during a police operation. No violation of Article 2 (right to life), violation of Article 3 (prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment) insofar as the treatment inflicted on M.B – repeated and inefficacious violent acts against a vulnerable person – amounted to an infringement of human dignity and attained a severity threshold which rendered them incompatible with Article 3 of the Convention.
The city of Barcelona hosted the 3rd Summit of mayors for the “Alliance of European cities against violent extremism” on 15 November 2017. This event was co-organised by the Congress of
Local and Regional Authorities, the European Forum for Urban Security (EFUS) and the Municipality of Barcelona. 55 participants including 32 mayors and vice-mayors from 18 countries insisted on the importance of prevention as local authorities’ responsibility and of developing North-South co-operation. The Congress prepared a toolkit for organising intercultural and interreligious activities, which is available in 36 languages.
The recent launch of the Council of Europe toolkit for language support for adult refugees (available online in 7 languages) attracted over 100 participants from 23 countries – NGOs, associations, networks but also national bodies. It
generated widespread support, including from four major international organisations, for its uniqueness in terms of content and usability. Beyond education this toolkit also contributes to social cohesion and human rights.
Representation of the Platform to the 3rd meeting of the ad-hoc Committee for the Rights of the Child (CAHENF)
Ms Petia Moeva, member of the European Social Cohesion Platform (PECS)
represented the Platform to the 3rd meeting of the ad hoc Committee on the Rights of the Child (CAHENF), on 22 - 24 November 2017. During the Committee examined and approved a draft Recommendation on Guidelines for member states to respect, protect and fulfil children’s rights in the digital environment. The CAHENF also approved its work plan and priorities for the period 2018-2019.
Seminar – The right to a decent life in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights and other International Standards
On 24th November 2017, in Warsaw, took place a seminar on the right to a decent life in the light of the European Convention on Human Rights and other International Standards. Mr Marcin Wujczyk, Professor at Jagellonne University of Cracow, and member of the European Committee of Social Rights of the Council of Europe and Mr Régis Brillat, Executive Secretary of the European Social Charter participated in this seminar.
Organised by the Intercultural Cities, in cooperation with the city of Lisbon and Portuguese authorities, the ICC milestone event brought together all member cities
from five continents, on 28 - 29 November 2017, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Intercultural Cities programme, but also to take stock of achievements and develop new perspectives, approaches and partnerships in order to expand the intercultural integration policy model and better address the challenges and the needs of authorities and citizens. 270 people (121 men/149 women) of 31 nationalities, including Mayors, Deputy Mayors, State authorities, academics, intercultural experts and NGOs participated in the event. Among the main challenges addressed, a major one is the need for national and local authorities to cooperate and co-act in the field of diversity management and migrant inclusion policies. In a specific session convened under the form of a Policy Lab for inclusive integration, Mayors and national authorities committed to work systematically under a co-operation framework to improve the design and implementation of coherent inclusive integration policies, with the Council of Europe acting as a honest broker and facilitator of the process. Moreover, participants discussed and agreed on an expanded ICC narrative and policy model for the decade ahead, and committed to strengthen work for policy innovation, in particular in the fields of participatory democracy, active urban citizenship, human rights and non-discrimination, LGBTi rights, anti-rumours, and inclusive integration. These issues were all recognised as useful mechanisms to counter inflammatory rhetoric and populism while promoting cohesion trust in public institutions, welfare and wellbeing. Finally, participants will make a bold statement in favour of diversity and inclusive integration, and endorsed the “Lisbon Declaration” to spell out their renewed commitment.