Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, 3053th meeting: arrivals (Employment and Social Affairs)
End production: 06/12/2010 First transmission: 06/12/2010
The 3053rd meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council was held on 6 and 7 December 2010 in Brussels. The meetings were chaired by Joëlle Milquet, acting Belgian Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities, Laurette Onkelinx, acting Belgian Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, and Michel Daerden, acting Belgian Minister for Pensions and Big Cities.
On 6 December, the Ministers discussed employment and social affairs issues.
The Council discussed the draft directive on maternity leave for the first time since the European
Parliament adopted its first-reading position and took note of a presidency progress report on the directive on equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Ministers adopted two sets of conclusions concerning gender, one on the implementation of the strategy on equality between women and men, and one on the fight against the gender pay gap. Ministers exchanged views on employment policies in the Europe 2020 strategy and the European Semester, and adopted two opinions paving the way for the new governance structure under the European Semester.
During lunch, ministers discussed the social dimension in the national reform programmes in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy.
Furthermore, the Council adopted a general approach on a draft decision declaring 2012 as the year of active ageing. Ministers adopted conclusions on the social dimension in the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy. They held a policy debate on the future of pensions systems and adopted conclusions on adequate and sustainable pensions. Ministers adopted a declaration on the fight against poverty and social exclusion to mark the closing of the 2010 European Year against poverty and social exclusion. Finally, the Council adopted conclusions on social services of general interest.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Arrival of László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
||SOUNDBITE by Joëlle Milquet, acting Belgian Minister for Employment and Equal Opportunities and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) on maternity leave: saying that there is a proposal of the Commission that has been amended to the upside by the European Parliament from 18 to 20 weeks; there is a good number of objections from several Member States concerned about the cost of this kind of measures; the objective is legitimate, but given the crisis and the budgetary constraints, they are likely to find some reluctance.
||SOUNDBITE by Laurette Onkelinx, acting Belgian Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health and President in office of the Council, (in FRENCH) on the Council agenda: saying that there is going to be a discussion on the maternity leave, but they are also going to discuss services of general interest, pensions and the European Year for combating poverty and social exclusion 2010; so it is going to be a Council devoted to social issues.
||Arrival of Jaromír Drábek, Czech Minister for Labour and Social Affairs
||SOUNDBITE by Henk Kamp, Dutch Minister for Social Affairs and Employment, (in ENGLISH) on the maternity leave: 20 weeks it too much for us; we have in Netherlands 16 weeks and we are very satisfied about that and we want to keep it like that; because 16 weeks is enough for the health of the mother; in the Netherlands we know that it's enough for the mother, so we keep it like that; 18 weeks or 20 weeks it's not necessary for us.
||Arrival of Sotiroula Charalambous, Cypriot Minister for Labour and Social Insurance
||Arrival of Valeriano Gómez Sánchez, Spanish Minister for Work and Immigration
||Arrival of Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin, French Minister for Solidarity and Social Cohesion
||Arrival of Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship