Commissioner-designate Nicolas Schmit joins progressive EPSCO Ministers to discuss plans for new mandate

24/10/2019 - Statement on Workers’ rights in the digital economy adopted by meeting

Magdalena Valerio, Nicolas Schmit and Timo Harakk at the PES EPSCO ministerial network

Spanish Minister of Labour, Migrations and Social Security Magdalena Valerio, European Commissioner-designate for Jobs Nicolas Schmit and Finnish Minister of Employment Timo Harakka at the PES EPSCO ministerial network

More social Europe, more equality and more fairness, this was the emphasis at today’s meeting of the PES EPSCO ministerial network in Luxembourg.

Ministers and Secretaries of State from the PES welcomed Nicolas Schmit - Commissioner-designate for Jobs, and a former Chair of the PES EPSCO ministerial network - to the meeting to discuss how the progressive family, working in concert in the Council, Parliament and Commission, can achieve progressive change as the new legislative period begins.

Nicolas Schmit presented the agenda of the new European Commission in the social field, which include the major priorities of the PES family, such as a fair minimum wage for every European worker, protection for platform workers, a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme, stronger social dialogue, the Youth Guarantee and the Child Guarantee.

Meeting chair, Timo Harakka said:

“With a PES Commissioner-designate for Jobs, a strong PES presence in the EPSCO Council, and a committed group of S&D MEPs, we are in a good position to work together in all three institutions for a more social Europe, for more equality and fairness. Today we start work on a stronger, more progressive, future for work and social protection in Europe.”

The network approved a joint statement - Workers’ rights in the digital economy – on the need to make the well-being of workers a core criterion for the success of a more digital Europe. Although the nature of work is changing with digitisation and new technology, the rights and protections which socialists and social democrats have fought to achieve for workers must not be watered down or ignored.

The PES EPSCO ministerial network was exceptionally chaired by the Finnish Minister, Timo Harakka, after retiring chair, José Vieira Da Silva, left government following the Portuguese general election.

Timo Harakka said:

“I would like to thank our retiring chair, José Vieira Da Silva from the Portuguese government, for his dedication and service to this network. Under his stewardship, we have made much progress on workers’ protections, employment and a raft of other issues. He is a valued colleague and his contribution to this network will be missed. I wish him every success in his new responsibilities.”

Timo Harakka, as Finnish Minister for Employment, also provided the meeting with an update on his government’s work during the Council presidency, particularly in the area of the European economy, competitiveness and social inclusivity.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Timo Harakka, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner-designate for Jobs, European Commission
  • Peter Hummelgaard, Minister of Employment, Denmark
  • Astrid Krag, Minister of Social Affairs and the Interior, Denmark
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Francesca Puglisi, State Secretary of Labour, Italy
  • Dan Kersch, Minister of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Romain Schneider, Minister of Social Security, Luxembourg
  • Edward Zammit Lewis, Minister of European Affairs and Equality, Malta
  • Adrian Marius Rindunica, State Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Social Justice, Romania
  • Magdalena Valerio, Minister of Labour, Migrations and Social Security, Spain
  • Yolanda Valdeolivas, State Secretary of Employment, Spain
  • Eva Nordmark, Minister of Employment, Sweden
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation