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Bilateral and multilateral relations

February 27, 2013

The objective of bilateral and multilateral relations is to shape the social dimension in the international context, in particular anywhere employment and social policy issues are discussed and options for political action are developed and put into practice.

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The objective of bilateral and multilateral relations is to shape the social dimension in the international context, in particular anywhere employment and social policy issues are discussed and options for political action are developed and put into practice.

The objective of bilateral and multilateral relations is to shape the social dimension in the international context, in particular anywhere employment and social policy issues are discussed and options for political action are developed and put into practice. This task applies to all levels and bodies and to international organisations as well as selected bilateral relationships.

The focus of these activities is on shaping the social dimension of globalisation. This particularly includes:

  • Generating and safeguarding jobs,
  • Strengthening social protection, expanding social security for all,
  • Promoting social dialogue,
  • Implementing the standards laid down by the International Labour Organization, in particular the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (ILO core labour standards) which are both an objective and an instrument for achieving this objective,
  • Promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) and
  • Sustainably anchoring the above social and employment policy objectives in the global financial and economic policy context (including the G8, G20 and the High Level ASEM- CSR Conference plus the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund).

The call for greater policy coherence associated with these objectives has become more and more important on the international stage, particularly in the wake of the global financial crisis. The need to take social and employment issues into account at international level is even clearer in light of the economic and financial crisis.

Consequently, social and employment policy issues must be moved to front and centre on the international stage - not only in bilateral but also in multilateral activities - to an even greater degree than in the past. In addition to concrete bilateral projects such as the Twinning Programme this will particularly require a stronger international presence and active participation in and support for discussion and coordination processes that are already under way.