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The seminar held on 16 March 2012 in Brussels was part of the cooperation in the field of labour market and social policies under the multi-lateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership (thematic Platform 2 on Economic Integration and Convergence with EU policies).
Following on the Commission’s commitments to enhance employment and social policy dialogue with ENP Partner countries, this was the first event fully organised by the Directorate General of Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, within the Eastern Partnership (complementing an ongoing cooperation with Southern Neighbours).
The event achieved a substantial exchange of views and experience between the EU (Member States) and its Eastern partner countries on the reforms and modernisation of social protection. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine were represented by senior officials from relevant Ministries as well as by social partners.
After an overview of the EU objectives and policies regarding social protection and pensions, in relation to the Europe 2020 Strategy (presented by the Directorate), the debate focused on reforms in the partner countries, and in particular the role of social protection for activation and transitions on the labour market on the reforms of pension systems. Several examples of EU Member States' policies were presented (Austria, Slovenia and France on labour market transitions and active inclusion; Poland, and The Netherlands regarding pension reforms).