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.


Employment and social policy priorities of the Netherlands Presidency /1st half of 2016/

On January 1, 2016 the Presidency of the Council of the European Union was taken over by the Netherlands (January 1 – June 30, 2016). The priorities of the Netherlands Presidency are as follows:

• a comprehensive approach to migration and international security issues;

• Europe as an innovator and job creator;

• sound and forward-looking European finances and a robust euro zone;

• forward-looking climate and energy policies.

With regard to employment and social policy, the Netherlands Presidency intends to commence the work on the European Commission's planned Labour Mobility Package, which includes social security regulation amendments and review of the posting of workers directive.

With regard to occupational health and safety policy, the Netherlands Presidency will focus on the Carcinogens Directive by extending the protection of employees from a variety of risks.

At the same time, the Netherlands Presidency will encourage the Member States to share experiences and knowledge with regard to poverty reduction issues.

During the next half of the year the Presidency will also focus on the current issues, such as gender equality and economic independence, the European Semester process, the Available Act, the social rights pillar. The presentation of the New Skills Agenda to the Council is also scheduled.

The Netherlands Presidency website: