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EU Ministers for Employment, Social Affairs and Equality to discuss priorities for social dimension and the EU COVID-19 recovery

Ministry of Economic Affairs and EmploymentMinistry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 22.2.2021 10.01
News item

On 22 February, the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU will hold an informal videoconference of EU Ministers for Employment, Social Affairs and Equality. Minister of Social Affairs and Health Aino-Kaisa Pekonen, Minister of Employment Tuula Haatainen and Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist will represent Finland at the meeting.

The meeting will explore themes to be addressed in the upcoming Action Plan for the European Pillar of Social Rights, which the European Commission will publish at the beginning of March. The EU Prime Ministers will adopt the Action Plan at the Portuguese Social Summit in Porto on 7–8 May 2021. 

At the meeting, the Ministers of Employment and Social Affairs will hold discussions in several working groups. Minister of Employment Haatainen will participate in the discussion on post-pandemic jobs and employment. Minister Pekonen’s group will discuss measures to prevent and reduce poverty and social exclusion. Minister Blomqvist, for his part, will participate in the discussion of Ministers of Equality on the role of gender equality in advancing COVID-19 recovery. 

Action Plan for European Pillar of Social Rights aims to strengthen citizens’ wellbeing 

The EU Prime Ministers adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights at the Social Summit in Gothenburg in November 2017. The Pillar of Social Rights contains 20 basic principles for education, gender equality, employment and the social sector. The principles are divided into three chapters: equal opportunities and access to the labour market, fair working conditions, and social protection and inclusion.

Finland’s newly released Government report on EU policy considers the social dimension a top EU priority, and Finland places great importance on its development. The goal is to improve wellbeing in the Union in general and to narrow the gap in living standards by reducing poverty and inequality.

Implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights in full is essential in order to strengthen the social dimension, promote fair and inclusive working life and ensure a well-functioning single market. With this in mind, we need a clear and concrete action plan that defines what measures are needed to implement the pillar, from whom and within what timeframe.


Elisa Palminen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 2951 63465, [email protected]
Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 2950 64131, [email protected]
Jenni Karjalainen, Special Adviser to Minister Haatainen,  [email protected]
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to Minister Pekonen, [email protected]
Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser to Minister Blomqvist, [email protected]

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