Magdalena Valerio, Minister of Labor, Migration and Social Security, spoke today at the European Council for Employment, Social Policy and Consumers (EPSSCO), which has been held in Luxembourg.
During his speech, he stressed that Spain has demonstrated, in this last year, that it is possible to adopt measures to improve the lives of the most vulnerable people and, at the same time, respect the rigor and fiscal discipline, which has allowed Spain exit the excessive deficit procedure after ten years.
Valerio has defended the usefulness of the European Semester for social convergence upwards in the EU and stressed that Spain is an example that it is possible to "combine rigor in complying with the recommendations of the Semester with national objectives", which in the case Spanish has been the "reinforcement of social protection in all its dimensions".
The minister said that the Spanish government is committed to the objectives of budgetary stability and argued that fiscal discipline is not incompatible with promoting "in a determined manner" better social protection. Proof of this is that Spain has reinforced social policies while leaving the excessive deficit procedure after 10 years, as highlighted during its intervention in the European Semester by the Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner of the Euro and the European Union. Social Dialogue, Valdis Dombrovskis, who congratulated Spain for its commitment to fiscal discipline.
Among the measures implemented in Spain in the last year to strengthen social protection, the minister highlighted the improvement of unemployment protection for older workers, the Long Term Unemployment Plan and the revaluation of pensions, which has allowed the gain of purchasing power of the same, even higher in the case of minimum pensions, which have risen by 3%. Other measures adopted include the improvement of the social protection of non-professional caregivers of dependent persons, the increase of the Minimum Interprofessional Salary as well as the improvement of the benefits of families with children.
"It is part of our goal that the growth we are experiencing today is inclusive, reduce inequality and allow us to leave no one behind," Minister Valerio remarked.
On the future Strategy after 2020, the minister said that Spain expects that it will have the European Pillar of Social Rights as a reference and that its objectives are in line with the sustainable development goals set by the United Nations, as well as taking into account Decent Work, defined by the International Labor Organization (ILO) as an international strategic objective to contribute to the improvement of poverty and promote a fair globalization.
Legislative package in social matters
Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social SecurityThe EPSSCO Council held today in Luxembourg has 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.
The Employment Conditions Directive promotes adequate and adequate protection of the working conditions of all working people at European level. The Work-Life Balance Directive advances the balance of the use of family permits to contribute to a greater equality between men and women in the labor market. Finally, the creation of the European Labor Authority, whose headquarters will be in Slovakia following the agreement reached by the European Union, a European cooperation agency that will assist countries in matters of cross-border labor mobility and coordination of Social Security systems
These initiatives represent the most important legislative package in terms of social policy approved in Europe since the beginning of the financial crisis and represent another step in the realization of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which was approved in Gothenburg in 2017.
Gender perspective in budgetary policy
In her speech on "Gender Budgeting", the head of Labor, Migration and Social Security advocated to integrate "effectively" the gender perspective in all areas of political action, including budget, applying budgeting techniques with a gender perspective. In this regard, Valerio said that Spain is "well positioned" and "strongly committed" to the promotion of the principle of equality between men and women in all budgetary policies.
Women on the Boards of Directors
Ministry of Labor, Migration and Social SecurityIn the framework of the EPSCO Council, Magdalena Valerio also took part in the panel on "Women in the Boards of Directors", where she raised the need for a European Directive that jointly promotes actions in favor of "a more balanced participation of women in the decision-making positions of companies, starting with listed companies ".
The minister highlighted the progress of Spain in the public sphere, both in the Government, which for the first time is composed of more women than men with a female participation of 61%, and in Parliament, where, after the general elections of last 28 April, women have gone on to occupy 47% of seats, "the most egalitarian composition in our history and the most egalitarian in the European Union."
In the private sphere, however, the involvement of women, although it has increased, has only reached 23.2% in 2018, a representation "too low" that requires, according to Valerio, the need to take, at a European level, measures that "promote the participation of women in the business world".
For Valerio "there will be no equality for women in the EU until we advance in each and every one of the member states." For this reason, he expressed confidence that "shortly" the current "blockade" situation can be overcome and solutions advanced.