EU Ministers of Employment and Social policy will discuss how to boost employment, integrate social and economic policies

14 October 2013, Last updated at, 10:49 EEST
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On 15 October EU Ministers responsible for Social policy and Employment will take part in the meeting of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) in Luxembourg. The Council, chaired by Algimanta Pabedinskienė, Lithuanian Minister of Social Security and Labour, will focus on posting of workers, youth employment, EU semester and social and economic policy coordination.

Key issue on the agenda of this EPSCO Council - Ministerial debate with a view to reaching a general approach on the Posting of workers directive, which seeks to facilitate freedom to provide services and contribute to fair competition between service providers, and to establish better standards for Member States aiming to improve the protection of posted workers.

"This is a moment of truth and last possibility to agree on the Posting of workers directive during the term of the Lithuanian Presidency, if we want to fulfill our objectives and start negotiations with the European Parliament. Therefore, I hope that in this meeting the Member States will finally be able to find agreement on this very important and complex legislative file, especially with regard to administrative requirements and national control measures," says A. Pabedinskienė, Minister of Social Security and Labour of Lithuania.

According to the Minister, this directive would guarantee improved access to and more ambitious standards for information between the Member States, as well as determine clearer rules on cross-border cooperation of the competent national authorities. The directive would also introduce a system of mutual assistance and recognition for cross-border enforcement of administrative financial penalties or fines.

In the Council EU Ministers are planning to adopt a declaration on the European alliance for apprenticeship. The alliance seeks to ensure that young people in Member States could acquire high-quality apprenticeships and working habits in an effective manner.

Speaking about youth unemployment, which in the EU is twice as high as adult unemployment, the Chair of the Council noted that young people face demographic threats, cannot find work and sustain themselves, and so, cannot contribute to the welfare of society, which causes great anxiety.  Consequently, this poses a serious threat to the European economy and competitiveness, as the EU market annually loses billions of euros.

According to the Minister, the experience shows that youth unemployment is much lower where the effective operation of the apprenticeship scheme is in action, when young people from the first year of their study have conditions to work and study, and in this way acquire practical professional skills.

Ministers of employment and social security will also hold an exchange of views on the evaluation of the 2013 European Semester and discuss the social dimension of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

The main objective of the social dimension of the EMU is to ensure a balance between economic and social means for the reason economic growth and social cohesion are mutually reinforcing and strengthening processes.

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