Monday, 13 March 2023 EPP Employment and Social Affairs Ministers gathered this morning in Brussels ahead of the EPSCO Council, in a meeting chaired by Karien van GENNIP, Minister of Social Affairs and Employment of the Netherlands. European Commission Vice-President Dubravka ŠUICA was also attending. Ministers discussed the employment and social situation in the EU a year into the Russian aggression against Ukraine, and the situation of Ukrainian children who are refugees in their respective countries. In particular, support is needed for monitoring. An exchange followed concerning the 2024 European elections. Specifically, Ministers shared the priorities that they believed should be promoted by the EPP and form an input for the next European Commission’s mandate. Among these priorities, Ministers firmly agreed that attention should be paid to demographics, through a stronger vision and concrete mechanisms. They affirmed that the EPP should own this as a priority issue, and should acknowledge demographics as a challenge that needs to be better understood by all and better addressed at EU level. Ministers referred to various demographic challenges requiring more action: Birth rates, with policies that should enhance work-life balance and address large families’ particular vulnerability to poverty; avoidable deaths, with policies tackling safety at work, burnouts, suicides, and addictions; migration, with policies investing in quality jobs and talent attractiveness; crucially, aging European societies, with policies on retirement age and long-term care. Another key issue raised as a policy priority for the next mandate was social cohesion – with relevant topics such as poverty, inequalities, exclusion, the urban/periphery divide, and the depopulation of rural areas’ youth. These have a critical impact on services and infrastructure, from public transport to schools and businesses.

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For more information contact:

Maïa de la Baume

Spokesperson and Press Director  

Alexandra Henman

Deputy Spokesperson