Germany ratifies Revised European Social Charter

Rolf Mafael, Permanent Representation of Germany to the Council of Europe and Marija Pejčinović Burić, Secretary General of the Council of Europe

Ratification instrument officially deposited with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg

In the context of its current Presidency of the Council of Europe, Germany officially deposited the instrument of ratification of the Revised European Social Charter (RESC) with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg today. By ratifying the RESC, Germany is sending a strong message on the implementation of European labour and social standards and bolstering workers' rights in the group of countries of the Council of Europe.

The revised version of the European Social Charter complements the social rights so far provided by the Council of Europe by adding, among others, the right to unemployment benefits, protection against sexual harassment in the workplace and other forms of harassment, equal opportunities and equal treatment. It also includes a comprehensive prohibition against discrimination.


The European Social Charter of 1961 supplements the European Convention on Human Rights in the field of basic social rights. The Revised European Social Charter protects other essential basic social and economic rights. There is an overarching, comprehensive prohibition against discrimination, which covers all social rights set out there. Through the Council of Europe's cooperation with the European Union the RESC also promotes the development of a uniform European social policy beyond the twenty-seven member states of the European Union.

The Revised European Social Charter was adopted by the Council of Europe in 1996. Germany became a signatory in 2007. The bill to ratify the Revised European Social Charter went through an extensive confirmation process lasting several years. So far, 35 out of 47 member states of the Council of Europe have transposed the Revised Social Charter into national law.

The ratified Charter will enter into force on 1 May 2021, one month after the instrument of ratification was deposited.

Council of Europe

The Council of Europe contributes to securing human rights. The European Social Charter guarantees social rights, such as the right to work and fair working conditions.