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6-7XII2010 COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN 17323110 REV 1

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6-7XII2010 COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN 17323110 REV 1

    COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION

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    PRESSE 331

    PR CO 43

    PRESS RELEASE

    3053rd Council meeting

    Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs

    Brussels, 6 and 7 December 2010

    President Ms Joëlle MILQUET

    Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Employment and

    Equal Opportunities,

    Ms Laurette ONKELINX, Deputy Prime Minister and

    Minister for Social Affairs and Public Health, and

    Mr Michel DAERDEN, Minister for Pensions.

    PRESS

    Rue de la Loi 175 B 1048 BRUSSELS Tel.: +32 (0)2 281 5394 / 6319 Fax: +32 (0)2 281 8026

    press.office@consilium.europa.eu http://www.consilium.europa.eu/Newsroom

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    Main results of the Council

    Employment and Social Policy

    The Council discussed the draft directive on maternity leave for the first time since the European Parliament adopted its first-reading position and took note of a presidency progress report on the directive on equal treatment between persons irrespective of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. Ministers adopted two sets of conclusions concerning gender, one on the

    implementation of the strategy on equality between women and men, and one on the fight

    against the gender pay gap. Ministers exchanged views on employment policies in the Europe 2020 strategy and the European Semester, and adopted two opinions paving the way for the new governance structure under the European Semester.

    During lunch, ministers discussed the social dimension in the national reform programmes in the context of the Europe 2020 strategy.

    Furthermore, the Council adopted a general approach on a draft decision declaring 2012 as the year of active ageing. Ministers adopted conclusions on the social dimension in the framework of the

    Europe 2020 strategy. They held a policy debate on the future of pensions systems and adopted

    conclusions on adequate and sustainable pensions. Ministers adopted a declaration on the fight

    against poverty and social exclusion to mark the closing of the 2010 European Year against poverty and social exclusion. Finally, the Council adopted conclusions on social services of general interest.

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    Health and Consumer Affairs

    Ministers reached political agreement on the draft regulation on food information to consumers.

    They exchanged views on the follow-up to the lessons learnt from the A/H1N1 pandemic, and in

    particular on the joint procurement of vaccines and antiviral products.

    During lunch, ministers exchanged views on the joint Economic Policy Committee - European

    Commission report on health care systems in Europe.

    Furthermore, the Council adopted three sets of conclusions on:

    ; investing in Europe's health work force for tomorrow: scope for innovation and collaboration;

    ; innovation and solidarity in pharmaceuticals;

    ; innovative approaches for chronic diseases.

    As "A"-items, ministers decided without discussion:

    ; not to accept the European Parliament's second-reading amendments to the draft regulation on novel foods, meaning that a conciliation procedure will now be launched;

    ; to mobilise a total amount of EUR 6.17 million under the European Globalisation Adjustment

    Fund (EGF), providing support for workers made redundant in Poland and Spain.

    ; to adopt a regulation allowing for the financing of investment projects in the area of energy

    efficiency and energy from renewable sources, by local, regional and national public

    authorities, in particular in urban settings.

    With the exception of the lunch discussions and the "other business" points the whole two-day-

    meeting will be public can be followed, together with the press conferences, by video streaming at http://www.consilium.europa.eu/videostreaming.

1;; Where declarations, conclusions or resolutions have been formally adopted by the Council, this is indicated

    in the heading for the item concerned and the text is placed between quotation marks.

    ;; Documents for which references are given in the text are available on the Council's Internet site

    (http://www.consilium.europa.eu).

    ;; Acts adopted with statements for the Council minutes which may be released to the public are indicated by

    an asterisk; these statements are available on the Council's Internet site or may be obtained from the Press

    Office.

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    1 CONTENTS

    PARTICIPANTS........................................................................................................................... 6 ITEMS DEBATED

    Directive on maternity leave ........................................................................................................... 9 Directive on the principle of equal treatment ................................................................................. 11 Gender equality ............................................................................................................................. 12 Employment policies in the Europe 2020 strategy and the European Semester .............................. 13

    Social dimension of the Europe 2020 Strategy .............................................................................. 15

    Year of active ageing .................................................................................................................... 16 Social protection and social inclusion ............................................................................................ 16 The future of the pensions systems ................................................................................................ 17 Fight against poverty and social exclusion..................................................................................... 18 Social services of general interest .................................................................................................. 18 Food information to consumers ..................................................................................................... 19 Pandemic A/H1N1 ........................................................................................................................ 20 Health care systems in Europe ....................................................................................................... 21 Europe's health work force for tomorrow ...................................................................................... 22 Innovation and solidarity in pharmaceuticals ................................................................................. 22 Chronic diseases ........................................................................................................................... 23 Any other business ........................................................................................................................ 24 OTHER ITEMS APPROVED

    EMPLOYMENT

     Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund for Poland and Spain ......................................... 27

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    SOCIAL POLICY

    Coordination of social security schemes - EU and Switzerland ......................................................................... 27

    AGRICULTURE

     Novel foods ..................................................................................................................................................... 28 EXTERNAL RELATIONS

     EU-Switzerland agreement on government procurement .................................................................................. 28 EU/Canada framework agreement .................................................................................................................... 28 FISHERIES

     Partnership agreement - EU and Solomon Islands ............................................................................................ 29 Alignment with Lisbon Treaty - Technical measures in Baltic Sea ..