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Minister Da Silva highlights social priorities of Portuguese presidency

Brussels, 11.09.2007

Friday 14 September 2007

Eurofedop attended the meeting of the Employment and Social affairs committee in the European Parliament, where the Portuguese Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity presented Portugal’s priorities in these areas.

  The Lisbon agenda is being re-evaluated but the main objective remains more and better jobs.

  Flexicurity will remain a hot item in Europe the coming months. According to the Minister Flexicurity should become a useful instrument aiming at economic as well as social cohesion. He underlined the importance of active involvement of the social partners.

  Strengthening the cooperation and policies on social inclusion; active inclusion, guaranteed minimum social norms, high quality social services provision.

  Sustainability of social security systems (financial, economic and social cohesion).

  Directive on the portability of pension rights. The minister stressed that the deadlock within the debate on this directive needs to be overcome.

  Working time directive. Many attempts the past few years could not lead to a consensus on this highly sensitive directive. It is Portugal’s aim to closen the gap that currently exists between the different member states.

After the Minister’s presentation a debate among different MEP’s took place. Eurofedop realises the importance of some of the action point but always remains realistic, or even critical. It will be of the utmost importance to closely follow the debates on flexicurity and to make sure that it does not serve as an instrument through which other difficult policies will be introduced (such as the working time directive).

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