The Additional protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints aims at improving the effective enforcement of the social rights guaranteed by the Charter. It entitles NGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe to lodge collective complaints against a State, which has ratified it, for non-compliance with the Charter.
After assessing whether a complaint meets the formal requirements, the European Committee of Social Rights declares it admissible.
Once the complaint has been declared admissible, a written procedure is set in motion, consisting of an exchange of memorials between the parties. The Committee may decide to hold a public hearing.
The Committee then takes a decision on the merits of the complaint, which it forwards to the parties concerned and the Committee of Ministers in a report, which is made public within four months.
Finally, the Committee of Ministers adopts a resolution. If appropriate, it may recommend that the State concerned take specific measures to bring the situation into line with the Charter.
FEANTSA have lodged three Collective Complaints over the past few years: