EPSCO Council to seek agreement of posting of workers, to address new public health challenges

06 December 2013, Last updated at, 16:42 EET
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author: The Council of the European Union

In the EU Employment, Social policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council to take place on 9-10 December in Brussels, EU Ministers will focus on finding agreement on the Posting of Workers Directive, will discuss 2014 European Semester, antidiscrimination and gender equality issues. They will seek to adopt Conclusions on Reflection Process on Modern, Responsive and Sustainable Health Systems and will review the achievements in legislative work by the Lithuanian Presidency during its term in office.

"We pursue to find agreement among the Member States on the extremely important issue – implementation of Posting of Workers Directive. This Directive would contribute greatly to facilitation of cross-border provision of services, fair competition and at the same time it would improve the protection of the posted workers, prevent from rights’ violation", - says Algimanta Pabedinskienė, Minister of Social Security and Labour, who will chair the Council on 9 December.

"For the first time the employment and social indices scoreboard for the new 2014 European Semester Management Cycle will be presented to the Council. This will contribute to the strengthening of the Union’s social dimension and help to better observe social and labour market situation, first of all in the countries participating in the European economic and Monetary Union". – says the Minister.

Minister A.Pabedinskienė expects that the Council approves this scoreboard of indices for 2014, so that the December European Council can endorse the decision. The strengthening of the European economic and Monetary Union social dimension is one of the priorities for the Lithuanian Presidency.

The Council plans to adopt a Recommendation on effective Roma integration measures and Council conclusions on the effectiveness of institutional mechanisms for the advancement of women and gender equality. A comparative study of the institutional mechanisms and their effectiveness by European Institute for Gender Equality, based in Vilnius, was taken as a basis for the Conclusions.

The Lithuanian Presidency will report on progress achieved on Improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and on Implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

The second day of the Council, 10 December, will be devoted to health matters and will start by adoption by the EU Health Ministers of the Council Conclusions on the Reflection Process on Modern, Responsive and Sustainable Health Systems.

“This document will serve as guidelines for European countries in finding formulas how to make national health systems resilient to demographic shifts and financial hardships, as well as new public health challenges,- says Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, the Minister of Health of Lithuania, who will chair the Council on 10 December.

The Lithuanian Presidency will provide the Council with information on the state of play of negotiations with the European Parliament on the Tobacco Products Directive, a document defining Europe's resolve to tackle one of the most hazardous markets, killing more than 700.000 EU citizens and costing over 25,3 bln. Euros per year to heal smoking related diseases.

Lithuanian Presidency will also present the progress achieved on the Proposal on Medical Devices Regulations and initiates an exchange of views of the Council to provide guidance for future work by the upcoming Presidencies. The existing regulatory framework on Medical Devices has demonstrated its merits but has also come under harsh criticism, in particular after the recent scandals related to the unsafe medical devices which caused harm to thousands of patients around the world.

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