EU ministers discussed pharmaceutical policy, health and safety at work, gender equality and future of labour law
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) met for the last time during Finland’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union in Brussels on 9–10 December. The Council discussed health issues on 9 December and employment and social policy on 10 December.
The meeting was chaired by Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru and Minister of Employment Timo Harakka, according to their respective responsibilities.
Ministers adopted Council conclusions on gender equality
The ministers held a debate on investing in health as a key component of the Economy of Wellbeing. The debate was a follow up on the exchange of views in October when the Council also adopted conclusions on the Economy of Wellbeing, as proposed by Finland’s Presidency. The ministers also discussed access to medicines.
Gender equality is among the top priorities of the Finnish Presidency. The ministers adopted conclusions on gender equal economies in the EU. Moreover, the ministers held a debate on the future of gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the EU.
The Council also adopted conclusions on health and safety at work. Considering the growing pace of change in ways of working, the Council conclusions aim to support the new Commission in its work to promote health and safety at work.
Inclusive labour markets and future of labour law on the agenda
During its Presidency, Finland held the debate on inclusive labour markets. The Council adopted conclusions aiming to find ways to facilitate employment of people who have impaired capacity to work or are otherwise in a vulnerable position.
Finally, the ministers will hold a debate on the future of EU labour law. The aim of the discussion was to give member states the opportunity to explore possible avenues for filling the remaining legislative gaps and for updating existing laws.