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EU employment and social affairs ministers to discuss the importance of flexible working methods, upskilling and reskilling, and gender equality in the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 9.6.2020 15.46 | Published in English on 9.6.2020 at 16.06
Press release
Image: EU

Ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will meet in an informal meeting on 9 June via video conference. The meeting will be focused on the EU recovery plan after the coronavirus crisis. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, will represent Finland at the meeting.

Ministers will discuss possibilities of extending the use of digital and ecological working methods beyond the coronavirus crisis, upskilling and reskilling, and ways of promoting gender equality.

Ministers will also discuss employment and social policy measures to be taken at the national and EU level to recover from the coronavirus epidemic. Finland underlines the importance of a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable reconstruction in the spirit of the economy of wellbeing. Measures must focus on the use of green and digital technologies, supporting employment, and developing digital competence. At the same time, we must combat marginalisation and ensure that young people have access to the labour market.

The impact of the coronavirus crisis has been most severe on those in the most vulnerable position in the labour market. In Finland, youth unemployment has more than doubled from last year, and the number of young unemployed women has increased even more.

Promoting gender equality is important during and after the crisis

Ministers will discuss ways in which Member States can maintain and promote gender equality in the coronavirus crisis while paying special attention to those in the most vulnerable position. Finland considers it important that steps are taken to promote gender equality both during the crisis and during recovery. Finland wants to emphasise the need for a strong EU gender equality strategy and its effective implementation.

“The effects of the coronavirus pandemic and the measures taken have a different impact on different groups and genders. Promoting gender equality is important during the crisis and during post-crisis management, in Finland and in the EU alike. The gender perspective must be included in the recovery measures as an integral part. Here, the EU’s gender equality strategy plays a key role,” says Minister Blomqvist.


Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 064 131
Veli-Mikko Niemi, Director-General, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 425
Noora Saarinen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 039

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