Already seventy years ago the first international social security standards were developed by the International Labour Organisation. After World War Two, the Council of Europe developed such standards as well. On the one hand, these standards serve as objectives to be reached by developing countries. On the other hand, being part of an international treaty, they are also binding for Member States which ratified the treaty concerned. It is the latter dimension of the convention this book is concerned with. Social security is a special area, in which international standards are not so easily accepted. On the contrary, within the European Union social security basically belongs to the national domain. However, exactly the existence of international standards which have been accepted by Member States of the said international organisations makes a study of their legal impact important.
The book opens with an introduction to the conventions and then presents contributions of experts working for various organisations which are of extreme importance for the implementation and understanding of standards: the Committee of Experts of the ILO, the Council of Europe, a national government, university professors, a judge, a government advisor from an East European country, and a trade union. The book concludes with a chapter in which the contributions are put into perspective. As a result, the legal meaning and interpretation of the standards is approached from various angles in a unique way.
Important materials are included in an Annex. These include (translated) national court decisions in which conventions were given direct effect or in which direct effect was denied. The translation makes these materials for the first time available for an international audience.
The result is a book which contains an up-to-date and in-depth overview of the impact of the conventions from an uncommon angle, which is of utmost interest for lawyers who actually work with the standards.
CHAPTER 1. AN OVERVIEW OF INTERPRETATION ISSUES OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY STANDARDS (p. 1)
CHAPTER 2. INTERPRETATION OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY STANDARDS – PROBLEMS AND PROSPECTS (p. 33)
CHAPTER 3. OBJECTIVES AND INTERPRETATION METHODS OF THE CONVENTIONS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE (p. 51)
CHAPTER 4. INSTRUMENTS OF THE COUNCIL OF EUROPE AND INTERPRETATION PROBLEMS (p. 71)
CHAPTER 5. DIFFICULTIES OF THE INTERPRETATION OF CONVENTIONS: A JUDGE’S POINT OF VIEW (p. 91)
CHAPTER 6. THE ROLE OF ILO CONVENTIONS AND INTERPRETATION PROBLEMS: EXPERIENCES FROM THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT (p. 101)
CHAPTER 7. THE ROLE OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY STANDARDS FROM A GOVERNMENT’S POINT OF VIEW (p. 117)
CHAPTER 8. EXPERIENCES WITH INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY CONVENTIONS: A POINT OF VIEW FROM CENTRAL AND EASTERN EUROPEAN STATES (p. 125)
CHAPTER 9. SUMMARY OF THE DISCUSSION SESSIONS (p. 139)
CHAPTER 10. THE INTERPRETATION OF INTERNATIONAL SOCIAL SECURITY STANDARDS (p. 149)
ANNEXES (p. 179)
The Social Europe Series gives the reader more than an introduction to the social systems of the member states of the European Union. It offers the social security expert with comparative experience the opportunity to place his or her knowledge of (aspects of) foreign social security systems in a broader national context. The series facilitates the broad comparison of the national systems, by describing them according to a uniform structure.
Editorial board: Michael Adler (University of Edinburgh), Anne Davies (University of Oxford), Guus Heerma van Voss (University of Leiden), Frank Hendrickx (University of Leuven & Tilburg University), Frans Pennings (Utrecht University), Sophie Robin-Olivier (University of Paris X Nanterre), Achim Seifert (University of Luxembourg ), Sara Stendahl (Göteborg University) and Bernd Waas (Johann Wolfgang Goethe-University Frankfurt).
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