EU ministers to discuss free movement of persons with disabilities
The EU employment and social affairs ministers will meet in Brussels on 27–28 November to discuss, among other things, the European disability card. Other topics on the agenda include green collective bargaining, the EU action plan against racism, and social investment. Minister of Social Affairs and Health Kaisa Juuso will represent Finland at the meeting.
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will meet in its employment and social policy configuration in Brussels on 27–28 November 2023.
Proposal on introducing European disability card moves forward
The Council will discuss the proposal for a directive that the European Commission presented in September. According to the proposal, all Member States would introduce a European disability card and a European parking card for persons with disabilities. The Council is expected to adopt a general approach on the proposed directive.
Finland considers that this initiative is important and that it will promote the free movement of persons with disabilities. The initiative will also promote the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Finland has been one of the pilot countries in introducing the European disability card, and Finland’s experiences of introducing the card are positive. Finland has also taken an active role in influencing the content of the initiative. The objectives put forward by Finland were very well taken into account in the proposal.
Policy debate on the fight against racism
At the meeting, the ministers will hold a policy debate on the EU action plan against racism for 2020-2025. The Commission has worked hard to implement the action plan at the EU level and supported the Member States in preparing national action plans against racism.
The EU action plan against racism is in line with the policy pursued by Finland. In its communication, the Government has committed to promoting equality and non-discrimination in order to reduce racism. Finland also considers it important to combat racism and discrimination in all sectors and at all levels.
The ministers will also hold another policy debate on Monday 27 November. This debate will focus on green collective bargaining, i.e. on how environmental impacts and climate change could be taken into account in the collective bargaining. The ministers will discuss what measures the EU, Member States and social partners could take to promote green collective bargaining. The ministers are also expected to adopt the guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States for 2023.
On Tuesday 28 November, the ministers will hold a policy debate on social investment.
Several conclusions on the agenda
The ministers are expected to approve several conclusions. These include the conclusions on the transition of care systems throughout life towards holistic, person-centred and community-based support models with a gender perspective. The conclusions deal with both early childhood education and care (ECEC) and long-term care. The ministers will also seek to approve conclusions on digitalisation in social security coordination. The third set of conclusions builds on the Special Report of the European Court of Auditors on supporting people with disabilities. In addition, the ministers will aim to approve the Presidency’s conclusions on democracy at work. Finland is prepared to accept all these conclusions.
During their informal lunch, the ministers will discuss the effects of the green and digital transitions on protection against dismissal.
Nuutti Hyttinen, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 073
Pasi Korhonen, Director of International Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 175
Satu Leino, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 498
Mia Luhtasaari, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Justice, tel. +358 295 150 130
Jenni Heikka, Chief Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 163
Email addresses are in the format [email protected].