Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, TD, is in Luxembourg today attending the meeting of the Employment and Social Policy Council of Ministers (EPSCO) to discuss the Commission’s Employment Package, among other things.
Bruton also attended a meeting of the Members of the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, where he met the chair of the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee, the chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs, and the EPP co-ordinator of the Committee for International Trade, as well as a group of Irish MEPs.
These meetings were arranged as a precursor to Ireland’s upcoming presidency of the European Council in 2013.
Jobs and growth at the top of the agenda
“For many months now the Irish Government has been seeking to put jobs and growth at the top of the agenda in Europe,” said Bruton. “At today’s council I will be discussing, with ministers from 26 other EU countries, ways in which the EU can act together to enhance jobs and growth across the continent and back into the Irish economy.”
One of the key items up for discussion is the Commission’s Employment Package, which is a response to the high level of unemployment in Europe and includes medium-term plans for the EU to reach its 2020 goals for smart, sustainable and inclusive jobs and growth.
This proposal outlines ways in which member states can encourage hiring by reducing taxes on labour or providing support for start-ups. It also identifies the green economy, health services and ICT as the areas with the biggest job potential for the future.
“The policy communication ‘Towards a Job-rich Recovery’, launched by the commission last April, identifies the EU’s biggest job potential areas and the most effective ways for member states to create more jobs in today’s difficult economic and social climate,” said Bruton. “I look forward to discussing these issues with ministers from across the EU and making progress on implementing proposals that can make a real difference to our economy.”