Employment and social ministers call for strong Social Fund

17/04/2018

EPSCO April 2018

Socialist ministers are firmly committed to fighting for a strong European Social Fund which will help to end poverty and social exclusion, as well as promoting employment and skills development, and successfully integrating refugees throughout Europe.

PES ministers for employment, social policy, health and consumer affairs from around Europe met in Sofia last week, ahead of the informal Council of Ministers of the EU28, to discuss the future of the European Social Fund and progress towards implementation of a PES social action plan.

On this occasion ministers adopted a declaration calling for An ambitious ESF towards a strong social union.

Chairing the EPSCO network, Nicolas Schmit said:

"Our push for a more social Europe is slowly gaining ground. This provides several important opportunities to put into practice the social action plan we drafted in response to last year’s proclamation of the European pillar of social rights.

"However, it is also clear that for actions to follow words they have to be put on sustainable financial footing.

"We want a Europe that fulfils its promise of equality, fairness and well-being for all its citizens -- a Europe where poverty, social exclusion and unemployment are history. This is why we are fighting for a strong European Social Fund to remain a major cornerstone of the EU budget -- for a Europe that puts people first."

In attendance were:

  • Nicolas Schmit (chair), Minister for Labour, Employment, Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Clifton Grima, Parliamentary Secretary for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, Malta
  • José António Vieira da Silva, Minister of Labour, Solidarity, and Social Security, Portugal
  • Branislav Ondrus, State Secretary for Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Slovakia
  • Peter Pogačar, State Secretary for Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, Slovenia
  • Ylva Johansson, Minister for Employment, Sweden
  • Luca Visentini, ETUC Secretary General
  • Weber Thiébaut, ETUC Confederal Secretary