By Linda Bordoni
Described as a reflection paper, “Shaping the future of work” was presented on Tuesday by the COMECE Social Affairs Commission at a conference entitled “Shaping the future of work – a faith-based contribution to the ILO centenary initiative.”
COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, monitors the political process of the European Union in all areas of interest to the Church.
Process of consultation and dialogue
The document, that is the result of a year-long process of consultation and dialogue between the bishops, EU representatives and faith-based organizations, highlights the role of work as an integral part of human identity and an instrument to care for Creation.
While it identifies the challenges in the current shift, it invites the EU and its Member States to take the ecological and digital transition as an opportunity and to shape both trends towards a common European vision of a decent, sustainable and participative world of work for all.
Towards this aim, the document suggests 17 policy recommendations that range from the promotion of international labour standards and the social economy to special provisions on tax justice and workers in transition.
Amongst the Catholic-inspired organizations who participated in drawing up the document are the European Christian Workers’ Movement, the International Christian Union of Business Executives and representatives of Christian workers movements in the EU.
Participating in the event, at the headquarters of the European Economic Social Committee in Brussels, together with EU and ILO officials are some 150 representatives of the Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths.
A conference programme reveals that participants will exchange views on the "transformative changes" the world of work is facing: "processes and innovations, such as digitalisation, globalisation, artificial intelligence, but also the need for an ecological transition:" all factors that "alter the conditions as well as our understanding of work and employment."
The President of COMECE, Archbishop Jean-Claude Holleriche, is one of the speakers at the conference.