Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimír Špidla met with ministerial counterparts from the eight largest economies in the world and the main emerging economies to discuss the social dimension of the economic crisis.
The 2009 Social summit brings together employment and social affairs ministers from the G8 (USA, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Russia), the G5 (India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico) and Egypt. The European Commission participates on behalf of the European Union. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are also invited.
The focus of this year's meeting is the human dimension of the economic crisis and its conclusions will feed into the discussions at the G20 London summit on improving global governance as well as at the G8 summit at La Maddalena, Italy in July. Ministers will discuss and examine measures for coping with unemployment, in particular how to support household income, and finding new jobs for workers who have lost theirs. Proceedings begin with a meeting with international social partners' organisations.
The G8 employment and social affairs ministers have met annually since 1994 to discuss common labour problems and to contribute to the main G8 leaders' summit.