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.


Priorities of Spanish Presidency in the field of employment and social policy
/the first half of the year 2010/

The presiding country of the European Union (hereinafter - EU) - Spain (January 1 - June 30, 2009) has prepared its Presidency Agenda putting forward the most important priorities of the first half of the year 2010.  Spanish Presidency plans to pay attention to the elimination of impact of crisis as well as its bad social consequences on labour market, paying attention to the less protected social groups and inhabitants under the risk of rejection.

Spanish Presidency emphasizes employment as the most important priority of the strategy "Europe 2020" therefore the main objectives are the following:

  • creation of new workplaces and maintenance of the current ones by improving the efficiency of employment, work efficiency and competitiveness as well as by promoting the training of employees and improving their qualification,
  • implementation of structural changes in labour market in order to improve its performance,
  • transition from unemployment to training and from training to promotion of employment as well as promotion of investments in human resources and mobility,
  • creating of specific program which supports the employment of the young generation,
  • struggle against undeclared and illegal employment and grey economy.

At the same time it is necessary to promote the equality between women and men as well as eliminate various types of discrimination in labour market. It is planned also to prepare the proposals or to continue working on initiatives regarding directive on sending employees and employees' rights within the context of free movement of services.

In the field of social policy Presidency in cooperation with European Commission plans to evaluate the implementation of the revised Social Program 2008 - 2010, at the same time starting to work at new European Social Program. Spain has put forward the consolidation of the European social security systems as one of the main priorities in order to promote the integration in labour market of those pushed aside from the labour market. Spanish Presidency has intended to promote the preparation of White Book on Ageing in Europe and European Active Ageing Program.  Presidency plans to summon to support the decision of the European Commission by means of which the year 2012 would be announced as the European Year of Active Ageing and Intergenerational Solidarity.

In order to ensure the access to general social services as well as their quality, the work at finding new implementation tools, for instance, by extending the open method of coordination will be continued.

Within the context of "EU 2020" in field of gender equality and non-discrimination the Presidency plans to pay attention to such issues as equal opportunities in the labour market, differenes in pay, part-time job, equal business opportunities and coordination of work and family life.

It is planned to evaluate the current Gender Equality Guide as well as to start elaborating a new Guide 2011 - 2015 during the next half year. At the same time a special attention will be paid to the elimination of violence against woman, therefore it is planned to motivate to establish the European Observatory on Gender Violence.