European Globalisation Adjustment Fund and future of the social dimension in EPSCO on 15 March
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) will discuss the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, the social dimension of Europe post-2020 and the European Semester 2019 in Brussels on 15 March. Minister of Employment Jari Lindström will represent Finland at the meeting.
The ministers will discuss the Commission’s proposal for a regulation on the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) with the aim of reaching a partial general approach. The EGF provides support to people losing their jobs as a result of major structural changes in world trade patterns due to globalisation.
The proposal would extend the scope of the EGF from 2021 onwards. Romania, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, has supplemented it by proposing that the definitions for small labour markets and exceptional circumstances, among others, be further clarified. A large majority in the Council supports Romania’s proposal.
Finland highlights wellbeing, employment and work ability promotion as post-2020 goals
The ministers will hold a policy debate on the social dimension of Europe post-2020. Finland will highlight the importance of inclusion, sustainable growth and a fair Single Market. The social dimension of Europe post-2020 should be based on the promotion of wellbeing, employment, wellbeing at work and work ability.
“Transformation of work is a much debated topic in Finland and elsewhere in Europe, and it will be discussed even during Finland’s forthcoming Presidency of the Council of the EU. We need to invest in people’s skills and inclusion to ensure swift responses to rapidly changing skills requirements. In Finland, we are already experiencing economic growth bottlenecks due to skills shortages, and the EU too must take up measures to respond to the challenge,” says Minister Lindström.
The ministers will also have a policy debate on the European Semester 2019. They will discuss the annual growth survey and the joint employment report that give political guidance in the areas of employment and social policies. They will also receive an overview of the 2019 country reports from the Commission.
Finland will highlight the close links between employment and social protection, which are relevant for the promotion of the employment of persons with partial work capacity, among other policies. Low-threshold services are necessary for helping groups with poor employment prospects.
“There are good, concrete examples of this in Finland. One of them is that the political parties are committed to promoting the employment of persons with partial work capacity on a long-term basis beyond government terms,” says Minister Lindström.
The ministers will discuss upskilling pathways for adults during lunch. Minister of Employment Jari Lindström will also have bilateral discussions with his German, French, Dutch and Croatian minister colleagues.
Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 396 0605
Jami Arvola, Special Adviser to the Minister of Employment, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 50 447 1255
Tiina-Kaisa Haanpää, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 46 923 1801
Ville Korhonen, Senior Specialist for EU Affairs, Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 50 336 8017