The Acting Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security, Magdalena Valerio, has spoken at the Extraordinary European Council on Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumers (EPSSCO), which was held in Brussels.

The meeting focused on the Social Welfare Economy and the employment dimension of the transition to a sustainable economic model with the environment, issues that will be deepened in the Finnish Presidency of the European Union in the second semester of 2019.

"End inequality must be a political priority" that should lead the European Union, Valerio has assured in his speech. To make the Welfare Economy a reality, -recognized in the Goal 8 of Sustainable Development of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and in the recently adopted Declaration of the Centenary of the ILO for the Future of Labor-, "the Government of Spain believes that the European Union must resolutely promote the application of the European Pillar of Social Rights" with the adoption of a series of measures.

Among them, he highlighted the implementation of an ambitious gender equality strategy for the coming years, a European unemployment insurance, a renewed Youth Guarantee that improves employment opportunities for young people and a child guarantee that ensures the basis for equality of opportunities.

Minister Magdalena Valerio stressed in her speech that "there will only be sustainable growth if it is based on decent work". "Spain has shown that it is possible to adopt measures to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people and, at the same time, respect fiscal discipline." It is time to leave behind the austerity policies and make it clear that our priority is to people".

A clean planet for all

Regarding the consequences for employment of environmental challenges, Magdalena Valerio has ensured that "the transition towards a climate-neutral economy must be managed in a fair and supportive manner, combining energy and climate policies with growth and employment policies "

In this regard, "the Government has sent the European Commission a draft of the National Integrated Energy and Climate Plan 2021-2030 which lays the foundations for the modernization of the Spanish economy, the leadership position of Spain in renewable energy, the development of the rural environment and the improvement of the health of people and the environment. A Plan that also has as transversal objectives social justice and the creation of stable and quality employment ", explained the acting minister.

For the minister, the transition to this new model that respects the environment requires "defining bold policies to generate many more jobs than those that can be destroyed". To achieve this, Valerio is committed to "training throughout working life", which allows workers to adapt to new opportunities in the labor market. To help these people, "public policies of all kinds are basic, and particularly social policies." This is the objective of the Just Transition Strategy approved by the Government, which aims to develop integral projects that favor medium and long-term employment growth in those territories that may be affected by the energy and ecological transition.

Recommendations to Spain

At the meeting, which happens to the EPSSCO Council on June 13, the country-specific recommendations that were debated at that time have been approved and guidelines for the employment policies of the member states have been designed.

The specific recommendations proposed for Spain, in line with the Executive's priorities, are aimed at continuing to preserve the sustainability of the pension system, guarantee the capacity of public employment services and favor transitions to permanent contracts.

These recommendations have a continuity with respect to those of 2018 and they recognize the progress made in the last year, especially in relation to strengthening support for young people and the long-term unemployed, the fight against the abuse of contracts and the strengthening of social dialogue.

The EPSSCO Council held on June 13 in Luxembourg definitively approved three important legislative initiatives, which have had the support and favorable vote of Spain: the Directive on transparent and foreseeable working conditions, the Directive on conciliation of family and work life and the Regulation establishing a European Labor Authority.

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