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New round of CEPA Indonesia negotiations but labour concerns remain!

Joint statement of European and Indonesian trade unions

In December a new round of trade negotiations is taking place between the European Commission and the Indonesian government on concluding a trade deal. Negotiations have been going on since 2016, coming week the 16th round is taking place in Brussels. While both parties are eager to conclude the negotiations as both Indonesia as well as the EU are having elections in 2024, there are still many sensitive topics to discuss.

Controversial Omnibus Law

One of these topics concern the Omnibus law, particularly the Job Creation Law, which was adopted by the Indonesian parliament this spring. The new law has been controversial from its first introduction in 2020. It diminishes the role of trade unions in for instance minimum wage setting and due to the increased market flexibility, workers are less likely to be granted a permanent contract and thus to also be able to join a union. 

ILO review

Whether the Omnibus law is actually in line with ILO conventions on Freedom of Association, is questionable. Therefore, Indonesia is currently under review by the Committee on the Application of Standards of the ILO, the tripartate UN International Labour Organisation (ILO CAS Committee). 


CNV Internationaal has been supporting its  Indonesian trade union partner organisations in addressing their concerns about the law. Today the European Trade Union Confederation is releasing this joined statement with Indonesian unions, to remind the European Commission of these concerns, and urging them to put these on the table during the negotiations.

Read the CEPA ETUC statement here>>

About CEPA

CEPA is the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). The CEPA negotiations were launched in 2016, with the objective of achieving an ambitious and comprehensive agreement, leading to increased trade and investment flows between the EU and Indonesia and contributing to sustainable development.

Publication date 06 12 2023