In this essay, the text of the preambles to the international instruments forming part of the conventional system of the European Social Charter is first analysed in the light of the preparatory works available. The activity of the body that monitors the compliance and enforcement with these instruments by the States Parties, the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR), is then examined. It perceived the preambles not as merely exhortative parts of their respective Treaties, which have only a moral and political effect, but as useful texts both to clarify the meaning and scope of the rights enshrined in their dispositive parts and to achieve the ambitious objectives that come out of their comprehensive protection system. In conclusion, the European Social Charter, also thanks to the legal effectiveness accorded by the ECSR to those parts of the preambles highlighted here, can rightly be referred to as the European legal instrument most capable of protecting the social rights of citizens of the States that have ratified and actually implemented it.
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