On July 12 and 13, Employment and Social Affairs Ministers came together in Nicosia for the first informal meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) under the Cyprus Presidency.
Debates focused on job creation and the fight against poverty and exclusion, as well as on the need to strengthen participation of social partners, non-governmental organizations and local authorities in the pursuit of Europe 2020 Strategy goals.
Ministers, the social platform and social partners arrived at a consensus concerning the role they must play in the development of the European employment policy and necessary reforms. To this end, three workshops were organized by Cyprus, Poland and Denmark to examine the role of these actors in “boosting Europe’s employment, fighting poverty and social exclusion and strengthening their involvement throughout the European Semester.”
The last day of the Council meeting was devoted to the Employment Package. Priority was given to development and job creation within the limits of accessible public finances. Ministers reiterated the need to take advantage of the prospects offered by the green economy, healthcare and information technologies. They stressed high-quality job creation, structural reform of labor markets and investments in human capital.
The issue of inadequate coordination between the EPSCO Council and the ECOFIN Council was raised as well.
The Cyprus Presidency will bear in mind the considerations of the informal EPSCO Council meeting to formulate its conclusions regarding youth employment.