Matters concerning working life are discussed at the meetings of the EPSCO Council, which brings together ministers responsible for employment, social affairs, health and consumer policy from all EU Member States.
Officials of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment take part in the meetings of the EU Employment Committee, which monitors developments in employment and employment policy in the EU and its Member States and contributes to the development of the European employment strategy.
Preparation of matters concerning labour legislation and mobility of workforce in the EU for consideration by the ministers is the responsibility of the Working Party on Social Questions. Work is also carried out in committees, working groups, expert and other groups and networks.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is a member of the European network of Public Employment Services (PES), the aim of which is to achieve the employment objectives set out in the Europe 2020 strategy, especially by reforming services and by making cooperation more effective.
The ministry is a participant in EURES, the European job network promoting mobility of the workforce. The networks are an example of activities that are funded through the extensive EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI). The ministry’s officials also take part in the meetings of EU’s directors-general responsible for employment relationship matters. One of the expert groups is GECES, which supports the European Commission in its work to promote social entrepreneurship.
Extensive cooperation in immigration matters and in the ILO
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment is responsible for cooperation in integration matters at EU level. The ministry functions as the national contact point in the Network of National Contact Points on Integration (NCPI), which meets on a regular basis. One of the network's tasks is to ensure that national and EU-level activities support each other.
The network also helps to support the dissemination of best practices and sharing of information between the Member States. The ministry also takes part in the work of IGC (Intergovernmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees) and the integration working groups of UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency).
The Ministry of Employment and the Economy has responsibility in Finland for national coordination of matters relating to the International Labour Organization (ILO). ILO is a UN special agency developing international labour standards and promoting social justice.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment cooperates with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and takes part in the work aimed at ensuring observance of the updated European Social Charter of the Council of Europe.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment also takes part in Nordic cooperation concerning labour market, labour law and working environment policy issues in the Nordic Council of Ministers for Labour (MR-A) and the Nordic Committee of Senior Officials for Labour (ÄK-A) and its divisions. The ministry’s officials also take part in the work of the Nordic working group of senior officials discussing integration matters.
Lippe Koivuneva, lippe.koivune(at)tem.fi