The Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Nicolas Schmit, the Minister for Social Security, Romain Schneider, the Minister for Equal Opportunities and Health, Lydia Mutsch, and the Minister for Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region, Corinne Cahen, in turn will chair the 'Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs' (EPSCO) Council to be held in Brussels on 7 December 2015
Equality between men and women
The Minister for Equal Opportunities, Lydia Mutsch, will chair the session on equality between men and women. For the first item on the agenda, Member States will be invited to vote on the compromise text drafted by the Presidency in the dossier on the Proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on stock exchanges and related measures.
Next on the agenda is the adoption of Conclusions on equality between men and women in the making of political, economic and social decisions. The European ministers for equal opportunities will close their arguments with an exchange of views on the follow-up that the Commission intends to give the Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015, which will come to an end this year.
The meeting of the Council will be preceded by a working breakfast on the theme of a better balance between work and personal life for those with children or dependants. This discussion will be chaired by Ms Corinne Cahen, the Minister for Family Affairs and Integration.
The European semester and social governance
During the Council, ministers Romain Schneider and Nicolas Schmit will discuss the European semester 2016. Over lunch, the ministers will address the issue of improving performance in the social domain and in employment, within the existing framework of governance.
The ministers are invited to adopt conclusions on the promotion of the social economy as a key driver of economic and social development in Europe as well as conclusions on social governance for an inclusive Europe. The ministers are expected to reach a political agreement on the recommendation for the integration of the long-term unemployed into the labour market.
The day before the Council, Nicolas Schmit, in his capacity as chairman of the group of social and social-democratic ministers of the EPSCO Council, will chair a meeting of socialist and social-democratic ministers for Labour and Employment, devoted to the issues on the Council's agenda.
The health issues of the EPSCO-Council
Health Minister Lydia Mutsch will chair the health component of the EPSCO Council, and will propose to her conterparts to adopt conclusions on the following topics:
EU strategy on the reduction of alcohol-related harm
The Council invites the Commission to adopt, by the end of 2016, a comprehensive EU strategy dedicated to the reduction of alcohol-related harm building on existing work at EU and international level. This strategy should tackle health, social and economic consequences of the harmful use of alcohol and focus on initiatives with a cross-border dimension.
Personalised medicine for patients
The Council invites the Member States to support access to clinically effective and financially sustainable personalised medicine by developing patient-centred policies. Member States and the Commission are invited to take action at different levels in order to facilitate the uptake of personalised medicine into clinical practice
The draft conclusions build on the results of a high-level conference on "Making Access to Personalised Medicine a Reality for Patients", organised by the Luxembourg Presidency on 8 July 2015.
Living with dementia: improving care policies and practices
The Council will adopt conclusions on "Supporting people living with dementia: improving care policies and practices". In the draft conclusions, the Council invites the Member States to address dementia as a priority and provide appropriate treatment and assistance to people living with dementia, as well as their families and caregivers.
The conclusions highlight the role of prevention, early diagnosis and post-diagnostic support in contributing to the reduction of the burden of dementia in an ageing society.
The draft conclusions build on the results of the discussions during the informal meeting of health ministers in Luxembourg on 24-25 September 2015.
Lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa – Health security in the European Union
The draft conclusions focus on the preparedness and response planning by EU Member States for serious cross-border health threats and their cooperation in order to strengthen health security in the European Union in case of possible future outbreaks.
The Member States and the Commission are invited to take forward discussions on several issues, notably within the Health Security Committee.
The draft conclusions build on the outcome of the conference "Lessons learned for Public Health from the Ebola outbreak in West Africa" which was co-organised by the Commission and the Luxembourg Presidency on 12 - 14 October 2015 in Luxembourg.