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Finland chairs the meetings of the Council of the EU - MSAH's main themes and events

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 (MSAH) 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.

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

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.

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 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 has signed the Joint Trio Declaration on Gender Equality together with the other Precidency Trio countries, Romania and Croatia.

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.

Presidency events organised by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health

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

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

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