Ján Richter, Slovak Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Family and President in office of the Council, Marianne Thyssen, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Euro and Social Dialogue, held a joint press conference following the meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council on 8 December 2016 in Brussels.
During the Employment and Social Policy session, the Council reached a general approach on three new regulations governing the European foundation for the improvement of living and working conditions (Eurofound), the European agency for safety and health at work (EU-OSHA) and the European centre for the development of vocational training (Cedefop). Ministers exchanged views on the European Semester 2017, following the economic package presented by the Commission in November. The Council approved the employment and social aspects of the euro area draft recommendation. The Council held a policy debate on the European pillar of social rights. The Council took stock of progress on the posting of workers directive, as well as on accessibility and equal treatment directives. The Council adopted conclusions on "The implementation of the Youth guarantee and the Youth employment initiative", "Accelerating the process of Roma integration", and "Women and poverty". Finally, without discussion, the Council adopted a new directive to reduce air pollution, and rules to facilitate the development of institutions for occupational retirement provision (IORPs), aimed at better protecting pension scheme members.