Minister for Jobs Richard Bruton to co-chair the final EU Employment and Social Policy Council of Irish Presidency
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, will tomorrow (Thursday) co-chair a meeting of the EU's Employment and Social Policy Council in Luxembourg with Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton TD. This is the final EPSCO Council of the Irish Presidency of the Council of the EU. The EU Commission will be represented by Commissioner Laszlo Andor and Commission Vice-President, Ms Viviane Reding.
The European Semester – the annual cycle of economic policy co-ordination designed to assist Member States meet targets set out in the EU’s growth strategy, Europe 2020 – will be a priority item for debate.
Ministers will discuss draft Council recommendations on the National Reform Programmes for 2013 which concern employment and social policy issues in each Member State to ensure the endorsement of an integrated package of reforms by the European Council on 27-28 June. These recommendations are based on detailed analyses of each country's situation and provide guidance to governments on how to boost their growth potential, increase competitiveness and create jobs in 2013-2014. Taken together, they represent an ambitious set of reforms for the EU economy.
The recommendations cover a wide range of issues, including structural reforms in areas of employment and social policy, such as wage setting mechanisms, pensions, social protection systems, employment protection legislation, labour market activation, and especially youth employment.
The Council will also be asked to agree a proposed general approach on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). Ministers will review outstanding issues relating to the scope, eligibility and the co-financing rate which have presented obstacles so far to agreement on this important legislative measure.
Minister Bruton commented: “Member States are pushing forward with difficult and painful reforms in order to create growth and jobs, move out of the crisis and to tackle existing structural difficulties that have been exacerbated by the crisis. However, structural reforms and adjustments take time and it is clear that they need to be implemented with great care in order not to damage other goals and to maintain social acceptability."
"I look forward to our discussion on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The Irish Presidency has sought to ensure that the Fund would be continued under the next Multi-annual Financial Framework in order to complement Member States' efforts to help get affected workers back on their feet again."
Following the agreement reached with the European Parliament by the Irish Presidency on behalf of the Council, Ministers will consider the health and safety Directive concerning the exposure to workers to electromagnetic fields
Ministers will discuss a number of other important issues including the social dimension of EMU, the Posting of Workers Directive, the EU’s Global Adjustment Fund and preparations for the G20 Labour and Employment Ministers meeting in July 2013. They will also be invited to adopt Council Conclusions on the Commission’s Social Investment Package and on Women and the Media - advancing their roles as decision-makers.