Finland chairs the meetings of the Council of the EU - MSAH's main themes and events 2019
Finland held the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 July to 31 December 2019.
During the Presidency, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health (MSAH) was responsible for the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) and its preparatory working groups, together with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
Finland’s Presidency had two main themes as regards social and health policy: the economy of wellbeing and gender equality. In addition, conclusions on occupational safety and health were prepared.
This was the third time Finland holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The main responsibility for the Presidency rest with the Prime Minister’s Office.
Economy of wellbeing
In the economy of wellbeing, public funds are invested in improving people’s wellbeing. Wellbeing means that people are healthier, more innovative and productive, they work and they pay taxes.
Finland’s aim for the Precidency was that the Council of the EU adopt conclusions on the economy of wellbeing in October. The Council adopted conclusions on the economy of wellbeing on 24th of October inviting the member states and the Commission to include an economy of wellbeing perspective horizontally in national and Union policies and to put people and their wellbeing at the centre of policy design.
Finland organised a high-level conference on the economy of wellbeing on 18–19 September 2019 in Helsinki.
Economic gender equality
During the Presidency, Finland wanted to work towards stronger connections between gender and economic policy. Promoting equality between women and men, reducing social inequalities and improving employment opportunities for women are all key objectives in terms of sustainable economic growth.
Finland has signed the Joint Trio Declaration on Gender Equality together with the other Precidency Trio countries, Romania and Croatia.
The Council of the EU adopted conclusions on gender equality on 10th December 2019.
- Conclusions on gender-equal economies in the EU (European Council)
Finland organised a high-level conference on gender equality. The conference, Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action, was held in Helsinki on 30 September–1 October 2019.
EU strategy work on occupational safety and health continues
During Finland's EU Presidency, conclusions on occupational safety and health were prepared. Their main objective is to build on the EU's strategy framework for occupational safety and health 2014-2020 and to propose priorities for the new strategy, which would include occupational safety and health challenges and measures that member states consider important.
The conclusions emphasise the positive impact of occupational health and safety issues on employment, sustainable growth and competitiveness and are therefore in line with the conclusions on the welfare economy.
The Council of the EU adopted conclusions on occupational safety and health on EPSCO Meeting on 10th December.
- The Council conclusions inviting the Commission to present a new EU strategic framework on occupational safety and health (Press Release, Council of the EU)
9–10 July 2019
High-level Forum on the Silver Economy
30–31 July 2019
Working Party on Public Health
2–3 September 2019
High-Level Group on Gender Mainstreaming
18–19 September 2019
High-Level Conference on the Economy of Wellbeing
19–20 September 2019
Informal Meeting of the Social Protection Committee (SPC)
25–26 September 2019
EU National Drug Coordinators Meeting
26–27 September 2019
Joint Meeting of Health and Pharmaceutical Sector Chief Officers (CMO, CDO, CNO and Directors of Pharmaceutical Policy)
30 September–1 October 2019
High-Level Conference “Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action”
14–15 November 2019
MISSOC (Mutual Information System on Social Protection) Network Meeting
27-28 November 2019
Conference “Working Together to Eliminate Occupational Cancer
The National Institute for Health and Welfare, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health and Fimea host several side events:
- THL's EU 2019 side events (thl.fi)
- Vision Zero Summit - Rethinking Vision Zero (ttl.fi)
- Fimea's EU Precidency 2019 side events (fimea.fi)
In addition, there will be several meetings of working groups and experts in Helsinki that will explore important themes of social and health policy.