Employment, Social and Finance Ministers of the Party of European Socialists held a joint meeting today in Brussels to exchange views on the social dimension in the European Semester and the Economic and Monetary Union. The Ministers reaffirmed that social and economic policies need to be better coordinated if the European Union is to achieve sustainable and jobs-rich growth that would increase the living standards of European citizens.
Nicolas Schmit, co-chair of the meeting and Labour, Employment and Immigration Minister of Luxembourg stated: "Our political family has always supported a better incorporation of social and employment issues to the fiscal and economic policy at the EU level. Today, we have made another step forward in building a wide coalition for progressive reforms to the Economic and Monetary Union and for a more social European Semester. Our joint objective is to support social convergence between Member States and to prevent a competition to the lowest standards."
Lithuanian Finance Minister and co-chair of the meeting, Rimantas Šadžius, added: "This meeting has been a great opportunity to share ideas and coordinate positions between progressive employment and finance ministers. I am very satisfied with its outcomes – there is a clear agreement on the key issue which is our support for a Europe of sustainable welfare. Economic recovery and social progress are two sides of the same coin."
The meeting was also attended by the following:
Michel Sapin - Finance Minister, France
Pier Carlo Padoan - Finance Minister, Italy
Edward Scicluna - Finance Minister, Malta
Jeroen Dijsselbloem - Finance Minister, the Netherlands
Mario Centeno - Finance Minister, Portugal
José António Vieira da Silva - Minister of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal
Ivan Lesay - Deputy Finance Minister, Slovakia
Branislav Ondrus - State Secretary Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family of the Slovak Republic
Magdalena Andersson - Finance Minister, Sweden
Karolina Ekholm - State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Sweden
Charlotte Svensson - State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Sweden
Maria João Rodrigues - Vice President of the S&D Group in the EP
Marcel Mersch - Head of Unit Economic and Social Model Policy, S&D Group in the EP
Irina De Sancho Alonso - Political Adviser, S&D Group in the EP
Yonnec Polet - Deputy Secretary General, PES
Constantin Kourkoulas - Head of EU Policy Unit, PES
Antoine Mertzeisen - Adviser Social and Employment Policy, PES
Elli Chrysanthakopoulou - Adviser Economic and Financial Policy, PES