The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council met on 3rd March 2017 in Brussels. Damian Hinds MP, Minister of State for Employment at the Department for Work and Pensions, represented the UK.
The Council held an orientation debate on the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, amending Regulation 883 on the coordination of social security systems, and Regulation 987 laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation 883. The Council also held a policy debate on the European Semester, including on the implementation of country-specific recommendations.
The Council adopted Council Conclusions on the 2017 Annual Growth Survey and Joint Employment report, and adopted the Joint Employment reports. As part of this, the Commission presented the 2017 Country Reports, which had been published on 22 February 2017. The Council adopted Council Conclusions on enhancing the skills of women and men in the EU Labour Market. The Commission and the Presidency gave a joint presentation on the Tripartite Social Summit.
Under any other business, the Commission presented a communication on modernisation of the EU Occupational Safety and Health legislation and policy, and information in follow-up to their recent communication on Investing in Europe's Youth. The Presidency presented the state of play of the legislative proposal on Posting of Workers and a number of member states intervened to set out their views on the proposal.
The Chairs of the Employment Committee (EMCO) and the Social Protection Committee (SPC) detailed their respective work programmes for 2017. The European Institute for Gender Equality set out the key findings of their study titled “Economic benefits of gender equality in the EU”. Finally, the Portuguese delegation gave information on the upcoming UNECE International Conference "A sustainable society for all ages: Realising the potential of living longer", which will take place in Lisbon on 21-22 September 2017.