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Finland chairs the meetings of the Council of the EU

Finland holds 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 will be 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.

In addition, there will be several meetings of working groups and experts in Helsinki that will explore important themes of social and health policy.

This is the third time Finland holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU. The main responsibility for the Presidency rests with the Prime Minister’s Office.

Gender equality and the economy of wellbeing key themes for Finland’s Presidency

Finland’s Presidency has two main themes as regards social and health policy: the economy of wellbeing and gender equality.

Economy of wellbeing

Finland wants EU decision-makers to recognise that wellbeing increases economic growth and social and economic stability and that economic growth helps improve 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 is that the Council of the EU adopt conclusions on the economy of wellbeing in October. The conclusions include recommendations for measures to be taken by EU member states and the EU Commission.

During the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Finland will organise a high-level conference on the economy of wellbeing on 18–19 September 2019 in Helsinki.

Economic gender equality

During the Presidency, Finland wants 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’s aim is that the Council of the EU adopt conclusions on gender equality in December.

During the Presidency, Finland will organise a high-level conference on gender equality. The conference, Europe for Gender Equality? Taking Stock – Taking Action, will be held in Helsinki on 30 September–1 October 2019.

Further information

Noora Saarinen, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Kansainvälisten asioiden yksikkö / KVR 0295163039  


Veli-Mikko Niemi, Director General 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Kansainvälisten asioiden yksikkö / KVR 0295163425