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Press Release
7th European Regional Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO)

Date of release : 16-02-2005

Policy area : Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

The 7th European Regional Conference of the International Labour Organization (ILO) opened on 14 February 2005 with a joint reception of the Luxembourg and Hungarian Prime Ministers in the National Parliament in Budapest. Jean-Claude Juncker and his Hungarian counterpart, Ferenc Gyurcsány, welcomed the delegates who represent governments, employers and employees.

On 15 February 2005, Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker held talks with the Director- General of the International Labour Office (ILO), Juan Somavia. The Prime Minister expressed his great satisfaction with the normative role that the ILO continues to play. The talks also revolved around the tripartite and social dialogue within the Europe of 25. Jean-Claude Juncker and Juan Somavia were confident that the European social model would be upheld.

At the official opening session of the conference, the Luxembourg Prime minister, discussing the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy in his speech, stated that he was particularly pleased that the conference had brought together delegations from over 50 European and Central Asian countries "having the same dignity and sharing the same ambition". Jean-Claude Juncker also focused on the tripartite composition of the International Labour Organization, characterised by "the importance it attaches to social dialogue, and its constant concern to organise the intersection between governments, the world of labour and that of employers".

In addition, the Luxembourg Prime Minister examined European competitiveness against the background of the growth of the European Union, outlining that "competitiveness is not a value in itself. The main purpose of competitiveness and growth is to spread social cohesion within Europe." Jean-Claude Juncker concluded his speech by reaffirming that "competitiveness, growth, employment and social cohesion" are the four main aspects to be considered in the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy within the European Union.

Before leaving Budapest, the Prime Minister took part in a round table discussion entitled "Will social dialogue survive globalisation?" The Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Danial Akhmetov, the Prime Minister of Malta, Lawrence Gonzi, and the Prime Minister of Hungary, Ferenc Gyurcsány, also took part in the discussion. François Périgot, President of the International Organisation of Employers, and John Monks, Secretary General of the European Trade Union Confederation, also contributed to the discussion chaired by Juan Somavia.

The Luxembourg Minister for Labour and Employment, François Biltgen, will attend the plenary sessions of the conference on 15 and 16 February 2005, during which the report of the Director-General of the International Labour Office, Juan Somavia, will be examined.

This page was last modified on : 21-02-2005

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