Beatriz Artolazabal at the videoconference of European Employment and Social Policy Ministers
- Within the scope of the biannual representation of the Autonomous Communities at the European Employment and Social Policy Council (EPSCO)
- Strengthening social and employment initiatives and improving the resilience of labour markets
- They analysed the situation created by Covid
Brussels/Zagreb/Vitoria-Gasteiz, 2020 06 09
Beatriz Artolazabal, the Basque Government Minister of Employment and Social Policy took part in the “informal” video conference of the EU Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs this afternoon, representing the Autonomous Communities, held to replace the original Employment and Social Policies-EPSCO Council of Ministers, scheduled to take place on 11 June in Luxembourg, which cannot take place due to the travel restrictions imposed by all EU countries. The second vice-president Pablo Iglesias and the Minister of Employment Yolanda Díez spoke on behalf of the central government.
The Basque Country has promoted and coordinated the drafting of common positions referred to “A fair transition”, “Demographic challenges” and “Long-term care and conciliation” agreed by the regional representations during its six-monthly representation of the Autonomous Communities before the Employment and Social Policies-EPSCO Council of European Ministers. “All of them have been taken into account by the State Representation (REPER) that has sent them to the EPSCO Council for inclusion in its deliberations and conclusions,” said Marcos Muro, Deputy Minister of Employment and Social Policies of the Basque Government.
The Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs held their third video conference since the outbreak of COVID-19. This afternoon's meeting focused on the recovery of the EU. Following the exchange of views on the emergency economic measures applied and demographic challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic held on 5 May 2020, the ministers outlined possible ways to strengthen state initiatives on social and employment issues and to improve the resilience of the labour markets.
Flexible working formulas
Ministers exchanged ideas on the use of flexible working formulas tested during the COVID-19 crisis, such as remote working, flexible working hours and innovative IT and communication technology. They also mentioned how these formulas would benefit the economy and society.
The ministers exchanged information on their plans for professional upgrading or recycling within a changing work context following COVID-19 and in the light of the ongoing digital and ecological transitions. The ministers presented their experiences on the protection and promotion of gender equality, particularly in relation to vulnerable groups affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Croatian Presidency notified the ministers about the current European Semester process and the revised timetable for the 2020 country-specific recommendations within the context of COVID-19. Finally, the incoming German Presidency presented its priorities and work programme for the next six months in terms of employment and social affairs.