My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions (James Plaskitt) has made the following Statement.
The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council will be held on 1 December in Brussels. My honourable friend, Minister for Employment Relations and Minister for London (Jim Fitzpatrick), will be representing the UK. Health and consumer affairs issues are being taken on 30 November.
The first item is the communication from the Commission: Green Paper on adapting labour law to ensure flexibility and security for all. This will be a presentation from the Commission and exchange of views. The document was published on 22 November. The council hopes to adopt the council conclusions on decent work which essentially promote the International Labour Organisation response to the global jobs crisis.
The council will look at two aspects of responding to the challenges of globalisation and demographic change:
Enhancing higher productivity and more and better jobs including for people at the margins of the labour market. This will be an endorsement of Employment Committee opinion.
Commission communication: The Demographic Future of Europe—From Challenge to Opportunity. This will be a presentation by the Commission and then the endorsement of the Social Protection Committee opinion.
There will be council conclusions on the review of the implementation by the member states and the EU institutions of the Beijing platform for action and men and gender equality. Following the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, the council asked member states to undertake an annual review of the implementation of the resulting platform for action.
Council hopes to reach political agreement on the amended proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the council establishing for the period 2007-13 the specific programme “Fight against violence (Daphne)” as part of the general programme “Fundamental Rights and Justice”.
There will be a progress report from the presidency on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the council on improving the portability of supplementary pension rights. This is intended to make it easier for workers with occupational pensions to move around the EU. Member states will be invited to take part in the policy debate to make their positions clear.
The council will aim to reach agreement on a partial general approach on both the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the council implementing Regulation (EC) No. 883/04 on the co-ordination of social security schemes and the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the council amending Regulation (EC) No. 883/2004 on the co-ordination of social security systems, and determining the content of Annexe XI.
Under “any other business” the chair of the Employment Committee will give a report on the examination of national reform programme. The chair of the Social Protection Committee will give a progress report on work on social services of general interest.