Bulgarian Presidency acts to move forward the social dimension of the EU


Photo: European Union

Under the leadership of the Bulgarian Presidency, EU social affairs ministers today took a series of key decisions meant to move forward the achievement of the goals set by the European Council in the social area and to implement the European Pillar of the Social Rights.

The Member States agreed Council's negotiating positions (general approach) on the rules on the social security co-ordination in the EU, on the proposed new rules for work-life balance for parents and carers and on the fairer working conditions. On the basis of those mandates, the next Austrian Presidency can start negotiations with the European Parliament with the aim of a final adoption of the legislative acts.

Commenting on the success, Biser Petkov, Bulgaria’s Minister for Labour and Social Policies who chaired the Council meeting said:

"I am delighted that we have all been able to make significant steps forward towards ensuring fair and equal treatment for all categories of European citizens, legal certainty and opportunities to unleash the full potential of the Single Market."

Also today, the Bulgarian Presidency ensured the adoption of three sets of Council conclusions - on the future of work, on integrated early childhood development policies and on the free movement of workers.

In the course of the European Semester debate, Ministers adopted a Council Decision on Guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States. They also endorsed the 2018 Pension Adequacy Report.

The Bulgarian Presidency also chaired a first discussion of the Commission proposals of the next Multiannual Financial Framework in the employment and social fields: the European Social Fund (ESF+) and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).

Minister Petkov gave a readout of the discussions at a press conference at the end of the meeting, in which Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and Vera Jourova, Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality also took part. 

The EPSCO Coucnil continues tomorrow with discussions in the area of health. 

More details about the outcome of the discussions are available here.

Pictures and videos can be found here.

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