Informal EPSCO Council

 European Union (EU) Ministers for Labour and Social Affairs met in Luxembourg on 16 July 2015 for an informal meeting on issues relating to Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities. After focusing, in the first instance, on the social dimension of EU governance, the Ministers discussed the issue of youth employment over a working lunch with social partners and then during a session with their counterparts from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Also the Equality between women and men was discussed.

 The first session was about " Social affairs within the governance framework of the European Union". Strengthening social affairs is a key element of the integration process and a fundamental pillar of democratic consensus, including the European 2020 strategy context of the European Union in terms of employment and the fight against poverty and social exclusion.

 The second topic was about " Youth Employment and Job Creation: Beyond Youth Guarantee". They discussed how to strengthen the Youth Guarantee and improve the employment prospects of young people. Still on youth unemployment the Minister Nicolas Schmit presented a draft initiative of the Luxembourg Presidency for youth employment by vocational training in the Maghreb countries to his European counterparts and Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco.

 During the  last session, the ministers of Gender Equality and Employment exchanged views in regards to strategies on the pathways to better meet the needs of men and women for a better balance between family life and a professional working environment that is constantly evolving.