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17 July 2019
Economic and financial affairs Employment and social policy News

The European Semester and the Equal Treatment Directive, the main issues discussed at the EPSCO meeting in Luxembourg

The Minister of Labour and Social Justice, Marius Budăi, chaired the debates of the formal meeting of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council – the formal section on employment and social affairs (EPSCO), which took place in Luxembourg, on the 13th of June.

The agenda of the meeting attended by relevant ministers and officials, focused on the well-functioning of the labour market, by ensuring fair working conditions and access for all workers and the European Semester for issues related to employment and social policy, which was the main point of the debate.

The Council took note of the progress made in negotiating the text of the Proposal for a Council Directive on implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

Ministers also adopted three sets of conclusions drafted by the Romanian Presidency on the pay gap between women and men, on the implications of new forms of work and technological developments on workers’ health and safety, and on the European Court of Auditors’ Special Report on the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived.

Conclusions on reducing gender pay gaps and on the implications of new forms of work on occupational safety and health were the sectoral priorities of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

“By promoting a set of Council Conclusions on ensuring occupational safety and health in the context of new forms of work, we aim to take a step forward in this area, in the direction of promoting concrete EU measures and a common approach at the level of the member states”, stated the Minister Marius Budăi.

In order to ensure fair mobility of workers, member states established the seat of the future European Labor Authority in Slovakia, in Bratislava.

Also on the 13th of June, a ministerial working lunch on labour mobility took place, attended by the Minister of Public Finance, Eugen Teodorovici, where the participants discussed about the factors which could facilitate efficient labour mobility in the EU single market and which could promote the return of mobile workers to their home country.

At the end of the meeting, the Minister of Labour and Social Justice Marius Budai handed over, symbolically, to Finland, the country that will succeed Romania at the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the mandate he held in the area of employment, social policy, health and Consumers – Employment and Social Affairs Section (EPSCO).

Additional information

During the period of Romania’s holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Ministry of Labour and Social Justice managed to get a partial general approach on the proposal for a Regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and to close a series of files in its field of competence:

– the Directive on work-life balance for parents and carers;

– Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work – Group III;

– Directive on the transparency and predictability of working conditions in the EU;

– Regulation on the establishment of the European Labour Authority.

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