EUROMIL Lodges A Complaint Against Portugal
On 11 May 2021, EUROMIL, in support of its Portuguese member associations, namely the “National Sergeants Associations” (ANS), the “Association of the Officers of the Armed Forces” (AOFA) and the “Association of Enlisted” (AP), launched a complaint against Portugal at the European Committee of Social Rights for violating Articles 5 and 6 of the European Social Charter.
The complaint deals with the fact that Portuguese professional military associations do not have trade union rights and are therefore banned from collectively representing their members and making binding agreements. It takes place in the framework of the collective complaint procedure adopted in the Additional Protocol to the European Social Charter providing for a system of collective complaints.
At a press conference on the same day, the President of EUROMIL, Emmanuel Jacob, explained that while the right to freedom of association was granted to military personnel in 2001, military associations remain nowadays empty boxes. After twenty years, military personnel are still banned from representing their members for the protection of their economic and social interests and negotiating collective agreements with the employer. Moreover, leaders at the EU social summit in Porto, in the beginning of May 2021, insisted that the participation of trade unions is the cornerstone of a Social Europe. However, military personnel are not recognized trade union rights in Portugal. It is thus time to act.
The complaint thus aims at acquiring trade union status for professional military associations in Portugal. “Trade union right is about finding common agreements in the benefit of military personnel, their families, and the armed forces as such” highlighted President Jacob.