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At the 8th ILO Regional Meeting Ministers discussed decent work and economic crisis

The Minister of Labour, Family and Social Affairs, Dr Ivan Svetlik, attended the 8th Regional Meeting of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and an informal meeting of ministers for labour, convened in Lisbon between 9 and 13 February 2009.


The participants of the Meeting discussed on two reports of the ILO Director-General Juan Somavia about delivering decent work in Europe and Central Asia and about ILO activities on this subject between 2005–2008.


In his address about the reports Dr. Ivan Svetlik linked the discussion about  decent work with the current economic situation and emphasized that only solutions that lead to increased investment in employees, their development and development of their skills will enable us to be prepared for new challenges once the economic situation is stable.


In addition to the aforementioned professional discussions, a high-level panel discussion was organised, chaired by Director-General Somavia and attended by the prime ministers of Portugal, the Czech Republic (as the Member State presiding over the EU Council), Luxembourg (as chairman of the euro area group) and Moldavia (as a representative of Eastern Europe).


On the margins of the 8th ILO Regional Meeting, an informal ministerial meeting was convened with the aim to exchange experience and ideas on methods of responding to the effects of the crisis in the area of labour and social affairs, and to discuss challenges to decent work generated by the crisis. This meeting was attended also by Dr Svetlik who focused in his address on the labour and social impact of the current crisis in European Union, with emphasis on Slovenia. He stressed that Slovenia is aware, that an integral approach is required also at national levels, that is whay Slovenia already adopted Act on Partial Subsidising of Full-Time Jobs, with the aim to ease the effects of the financial crisis by providing assistance to employers should they decide to shorten working time.


The International Labour Organisation organised the Meeting between 9 to 13 February in cooperation with the Portuguese government and invited ministers and their deputies, and representatives of employers’ and employees’ organisations from Europe and Central Asia. The meeting was opened by Portuguese Prime Minister José Sócrates and ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, addressed the meeting as a special guest.


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