The presiding state of the European Union (further - presidency) leads the work of the Council of the European Union (the Council of the European Union is called European Council when it brings together the heads of states of the European Union, or the Council of Ministers when the ministers of the respective fields meet). The presidency, in coordination with the European Commission, organizes the agenda of the European Council and Council of Ministers, according to the priorities set out by the presidency. The presidency is changed every 6 months in accord with the principle of rotation.


The priorities of Belgian Presidency in the field of employment and social policy
/the second half of the year 2010/

The presiding country of the European Union - Belgium (July 1 - December 31, 2010) has prepared its work plan for presidency period, setting the most important priorities of the second half of the year 2010. Belgian Presidency will launch the implementation of European Employment Strategy taking into consideration the objectives set for the employment and development strategy "Europe 2010".  In this respect a close cooperation not only with member states and European Parliament but also with national parliaments, regions and social partners is intended. At the same time it is planned to make a decision about the guidelines of employment.

In the area of employment it is planned to make a decision about the key principles of employment about which the Council of Ministers agreed in general already during the Spanish Presidency on June 7, 2010. Additionally, the Presidency will pay the attention to four priorities in employment:

  • it is planned to adopt conclusions in order to promote the green works and encourage the transition to low carbon economy;
  • due to demographic changes the attention will be paid to work and ageing society. It is planned to adopt the conclusions about new methods of career management;
  • integration in labour market and elimination of discrimination at work place is going to be one of the issues to promote social cohesion;
  • promotion of flexicurity in order to ensure that mobility of workers in labour market is profitable both for employees and employers.

At the same time Belgian Presidency will pay attention to the issue of motivation of unemployed persons, improvement of skills, continuation of training courses as well as the role of employment agencies in this issue. Unemployment among the young generation is a crucial issue about which discussions are planned to be held in the Council of Ministers in order to evaluate the measures for promoting employment and training of youth.

In the area of employment relationship the work on directive on security and health protection improvement for pregnant women, women in post delivery period or breastfeeding women will be continued. After consultations with the social partners discussions are planned to be held in the Council of Ministers about The Working Time Directive.  Presidency is going to try to make an agreement about revision of the labour safety against electromagnetic waves directive.

Belgian Presidency will continue the work in order to improve the application of the open method of coordination in the field of health, pensions and social inclusion.  At the same time in the field of social policy discussions on one of initiatives from the strategy "Europe 2020" will be launched aiming at reduction of poverty. It is planned to also adopt the conclusions of Council both regarding the sustainability and transferability of pensions and general social services as well as children poverty, homelessness and prevention of poverty.

In the field of gender equality and non-discrimination the Presidency will adopt the Council conclusions regarding the Communication from the Commission about the new strategy on equality between women and men (2011-2015), as well as equal pay. Belgian Presidency will pay attention also to elimination of violence against women about which discussions among member states were launched by Spanish Presidency in the first half of the year 2010. 

Belgian Presidency's internet homepage: