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October 5, 2022

Informal meeting of the European Union’s Social Protection Committee. LabMin Budai: Romanian Presidency of EU Council prioritising developing EU social dimension

One of the main priorities of the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union is the development of the social dimension of the EU through the implementation of the European social rights pillar, Romania’s Labour and Social Justice Minister Marius Budai said on Monday in opening remarks to an informal meeting of the European Union’s Social Protection Committee (SPC) in Bucharest, March 4-5.

The Labour Ministry says in a press statement that attending the meeting at Parliament Palace were Rait Kuuse, SPC chairman; senior official with the Romanian Labour Ministry Elena Solomonesc, as well as EU experts.

“The Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union, under the motto ‘Cohesion, a Common European Value,’ aims to make a contribution to ensuring convergence and cohesion in Europe in order to achieve sustainable and equal development opportunities for all citizens and the member states by increasing competitiveness and bridging development gaps, by digitisation, boosting entrepreneurship and strengthening the European industrial policy,” said Budai.

He added that one of the main priorities of the Romanian Presidency is the development of the EU social dimension through the implementation of the European social rights pillar.

On the first day of the informal meeting, European officials discussed the provision of adequate assistance to the most vulnerable, a minimum income to ensure a decent life allowing access to social services and integration with the labour market, while combating inequalities and promoting active inclusion.

On March 5, on the second day of the meeting, the results of the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on Financial Incentives and Retirement Savings Plans will be discussed among other things.

The Social Protection Committee (SPC) is a consultative body designed to promote social protection co-operation between the EU member states and the European Commission.

Its mission is to monitor social conditions in the EU and the development of social protection policies in member countries. It reports on social inclusion, health care, long-term care and pensions under the social open method of coordination; promotes discussion and coordination of policy approaches among national governments and the European Commission. It prepares Council discussions on social protection and on the country-specific recommendations in the context of the European semester. It also produces reports and opinions on its own initiative or at the request of the Council or the Commission.

In fulfilling its mandate, the committee co-operates with the social partners. Each member state and the Commission appoint two members of the committee.

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