The EU's Council of Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Ministers will meet on 9 and 10 December in Brussels.
Employment and social policy related files will be discussed on 9 December.
The European Commission will be represented by Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, László Andor, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Neven Mimica, European Commissioner for Consumer Policy.
The Council will seek to reach a so called 'general approach' on the Commission's March 2012 proposal for a Directive to facilitate and improve enforcement of the rules laid down in the 1996 posted workers Directive.
Commissioner László Andor will urge the Council to agree on such a 'general approach', which would constitute a basis for negotiations with the European Parliament with a view to adopting the Directive in the Spring of 2014.
The Council is due to adopt a 'general approach' on the proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on enhanced co-operation between Public Employment Services. This proposal aims to reinforce and modernise the European network of Public Employment Services, which have a key role to play in active employment measures to tackle unemployment, and in particular in the implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
Commissioner Andor will stress that better cooperation can only be achieved when all Member States participate in the network, and will ask their commitment to ensure this. He will urge the Council to reach an agreement before the European Parliament elections, so that the decision can enter into force as soon as possible.
Following a presentation by Commissioner Andor, the Council is due to hold an exchange of views on the Annual Growth Survey 2014, the draft Joint Employment Report and the Alert Mechanism Report.
The Council is also due to approve the scoreboard of employment and social indicators which was included in the Joint Employment Report for the first time this year.
The Council will hold an exchange of views on youth employment, notably on the Commission's proposal for a Council Recommendation on a Quality framework for traineeships and on implementation of the Youth Guarantee.
Commissioner Andor will present the Quality Framework for Traineeships, an initiative that will enable trainees to acquire high-quality work experience under safe and fair conditions, and to increase their chances of finding a good quality job. He will encourage the Council to agree on this Recommendation during the first half of 2014 as a crucial step to facilitate school to work transitions and to make the Youth Guarantee a reality.
Regarding the Youth Guarantee, Andor will thank those Member States that have already submitted their implementation plans and will urge Member States to take full advantage of the €6 billion Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), by programming activities from 1st January 2014. Member States will be able to complement YEI investments by substantial additional contributions from the European Social Fund (worth at least 10 billion per year in 2014-20) and from national budgets.
Commissioner Andor will present the recent Communication on Free Movement of Citizens. He will underline that the Communication finds that:
Ministers will also discuss the following topics: