EU ministers to discuss the situation of Ukrainian refugees and the European Semester
At their meeting on 13 March, the EU social affairs and employment ministers will discuss the labour market situation of temporarily displaced Ukrainians and the situation of children. The ministers will also exchange views on the European Semester for economic policy coordination and the related sustainable growth survey and joint employment report.
Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen will represent Finland at the meeting.
“People in Finland are eager to help Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s war of aggression. Children’s access to education, well-functioning services and support from organisations and volunteers are important for the Ukrainians staying in Finland. We aim to ensure that Ukrainians also have access to psychosocial support,” says Minister Sarkkinen.
Nearly 90 per cent of the Ukrainian children aged 7 to 15 staying in Finland go to school. Decisions concerning children always take into account the best interests of the child in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Ukrainians seeking employment have access to employment services, language training and other support.
The ministers will exchange views on the impact of Russia’s invasion on the employment and social situation one year into Russian aggression against Ukraine. The ministers will have a debate on protecting children in the most vulnerable situations in times of crises and conflicts, in particular during the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
Finland strongly condemns Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and unequivocally supports Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty, autonomy and territorial integrity.
Discussion on the green and digital transition
The ministers will discuss the European Semester 2023, placing particular emphasis on the challenges posed by the green and digital transition and on ways to ensure sufficient availability of skilled labour in the green economy.
The meeting aims to adopt a Joint Employment Report identifying the effects of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine on the labour market situation. The ministers are also expected to adopt the Council's conclusions on the 2023 Annual Sustainable Growth Survey and Joint Employment Report.
The European Semester is an instrument of economic, fiscal, labour and social policy coordination at both EU and member state level. Finland actively seeks to influence the development of the European Semester so that it would largely focus on coordinating economic policy, while taking better account of the interaction between economic, social, employment and environmental measures and policies and promoting ecological reconstruction.
Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to Minister of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 40 450 9077
Satu Leino, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Liisa Heinonen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Employment and the Economy
Email addresses are in the format [email protected]