Employment creation is 'key focus' during Irish EU Presidency

The Irish government’s presidential priorities for the EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (ESPHAC) Council have been set out in a paper issued by government.

The paper was released just ahead of a recent informal meeting of the full ESPHAC Council in Galway Friday January 16, attended by Ministers from the 25 member states of the soon to be enlarged Union.

The discussion centred on a document prepared by the Irish Presidency entitled ‘Making Work Pay: Exploring the Interaction between Social Protection and Work’.

The early focus of the Council's work will be on preparing its contribution to the Spring Summit, which will be devoted to economic reform and the 10-year strategy to make Europe the most competitive economy in the world.

Employment creation, together with the provision of modern, efficient public services and a coordinated framework of social security, are all key elements of the strategy and will be central to the work of the Irish Presidency.

The focus will be on the recent report by the taskforce chaired by the former Dutch Prime Minister Mr Wim Kok and the review of the Organisation of Working Time Directive.

Ireland will also seek to advance the ‘Making Work Pay' concept, which relates to the balance between taxation and social welfare benefits, and will prioritise completion of the regulations on the social security entitlements of citizens moving between Member States.


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