Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, 3053rd meeting: extracts bfrom the common press conference by Joëlle Milquet and László Andor
Type: Summary of press conference
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. On 6 December, the meeting was chaired by Joëlle Milquet, acting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Employment and Gender Equality, in the presence of László Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. They gave a common press conference after the meeting. 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.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference room (2 shots)
||SOUNDBITE (in FRENCH) by Joëlle Milquet, acting Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Employment and Gender Equality, on the maternity leave, saying that the main conclusion are: she doesn't think she is giving us any scoop on saying that a very large majority of Member States feel that with the extension on the maternity leave to 20 weeks with 100% paid, the Parliament has gone a little bit too far.
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Lászó Andor, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, on the ageda for new skills and jobs: we had a substantial discussion about this. We maintain and I think it was welcomed that the concept of the flexicurity should remain in the focus, but we need to provide both flexibility and security, if we want to improve performance but at the same time maintain the European social model as well.
||Cutaway of the press room
||SOUNDBITE (in ENGLISH) by Lászó Andor, on employment target: this is the time when the Member States are bringing forward the respective target to get to the European level target eventually. And we are getting close, we are nearly there. For some Member States, there is still a need to be more ambitious on what concerns the expressed targets. And I very concretely invited two Member States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, to set their employment targets as soon as possible, because they are lagging behind others in this area.
||SOUNDBITE (in FRENCH) by Joëlle Milquet, on the maternity leave, saying that under the Czech Presidency, they already saw that a majority of Member States could sign up to the proposals of the European Commission, and that was confirmed today. That is an important step because 18 weeks is not actually the European average on maternity leave.
||Cutaways of the audience (5 shots)