The Communication, 'The social dimension of globalisation - the EU's policy contribution on extending the benefits to all' calls for a move from debate to action. It notes the efforts that the EU has made both at home and abroad, to ensure that economic and social progress go hand in hand. As the WCSDG noted, the EU's own social model is itself a unique framework, in particular its strong emphasis on solid institutional structures to manage change. Nevertheless, internally more can still be done to ensure an equitable spread of globalisation's gains in the EU.
The EU's Commissioner for Employment and Social affairs Stavros Dimas said "Decent work for all is a key objective of the European Union's economic and social model, and should be a global objective as well. We have worked, at European level to link social and economic policies, through the Lisbon strategy. Our experience could provide inspiration for countries elsewhere which are tackling the challenges of globalisation, in particular the challenge of finding an equitable distribution of its benefits".
Beyond managing the impacts of globalisation at home, the EU also has a key role at the international level in securing equitable globalisation. In its external relations, the EU must ensure that its policies contribute to this goal. They have always had an important social dimension, for example in supporting universal access to basic social services in the developing world and in promoting effective global governance, but more can be done.
EU Trade Commissioner Pascal Lamy said: "The EU is convinced of the need for action to ensure socially sustainable globalisation. Although efforts to move this issue to the multilateral level through WTO have stalled for the moment, we see strong potential to further this objective through our bilateral and unilateral policies".
Enhancing dialogue with our bilateral partners on sustainable development policy, including its social dimension, is one means to ensure progress. Another is to secure a development friendly outcome to the current Doha Development Agenda and ensure support to our developing country partners in anticipating and planning for the effects of policy change. Finally, the EU will also seek to promote social development through its unilateral preferential market access schemes, where the forthcoming revision will seek to ensure a continued commitment to fostering uptake of core labour standards.
However, managing globalisation is not just about action by developed countries. As the WCSDG noted, much of the responsibility for social development rests with the developing countries themselves. Although the EU can provide political and financial support, it is they who must ensure that their domestic policies respect the rule of law and human rights and ensure transparent and accountable governance. That trade is integrated into national development strategies and that a better distribution of the benefits of integration with the global economy is assured.
The private sector also has a role to play. The Commission considers that further efforts are required to encourage greater corporate social responsibility (CSR), for example through promoting wider uptake of the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises (MNEs) and through ensuring that CSR initiatives respond transparently to the concerns of consumers and social partners.
Finally, the contribution of international institutions to socially sustainable globalisation is a prerequisite for progress. The Commission proposes a number of actions to ensure that the multilateral system becomes more effective in coping with existing and emerging challenges to global governance and the rule of law. For example coherence should be increased between the different systems of governance, including in relation to the EU's representation; developing countries should participate more effectively in key rule-making bodies like WTO and the structures of global governance must become more open and transparent.