On 15th March in Brussels, the EPSCO Council (the meeting of EU28 ministers responsible for social and employment affairs) convened to discuss numerous topics on the EU social and employment agenda. They also held a debate on the future of Social Europe post-2020. During this debate, Ministers had the opportunity to give political orientations regarding the future design and objectives of the EU post-2020 employment and social programmes before the Commission presents the next Multi-annual Financial Framework in May 2018.
In particular, they pointed out that in a social Europe citizens should have opportunities for social development and economic growth, where employment and social convergence is renewed. They also believe the implementation of the European Pillar of social rights will contribute to the important process of social convergence across the European Union, together with job creation which remains a first priority.
Investing in people, young and older, was considered essential to eradicate inequalities. People should be given the means to adapt to new challenges and needs of the labour market especially to digitalisation. They should be offered training opportunities to acquire new skills in order to respond to new working realities.
The Ministers identified the following areas as policy priorities: preparing the workforce to the changes induced by the digital transformation and the future of work; promoting employment, especially for young people and for women; supporting the integration of migrants and refugees; inclusion of the most vulnerable people and combating poverty; addressing demographic challenges.
More information here about the outcomes of the EPSCO Council.