Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO)

The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) usually meets four times a year and brings together ministers responsible for employment, social affairs, health and consumer policy from all EU member states. Its objective is to increase employment levels and improve living and working conditions in the EU.

Since employment and social protection polices remain the responsibility of the Member States, the contribution of the EPSCO Council is confined to setting common objectives for all the Member States, analysing measures taken at a national level and adopting recommendations to the Member States, as for example the creation of a Youth Guarantee that aims to offer all young people under 25 a job, apprenticeship, traineeship, or continued education within 4 months after they have left formal education or become unemployed.

While the member states have full responsibility for defining their health policies and for the organisation and delivery of healthcare, the Council adopts, together with the European Parliament, legislation relating to the quality and safety of human organs and blood, patients' rights in cross-border healthcare and the quality and safety of medicines and medical devices.

  • Updated 22-06-2015