12 Mar

At the Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council on 11 March 2024, the Hungarian delegation was led by Attila Fülöp, Minister of State for Care Policy.

The Council held a policy debate on the future social agenda. During the debate, ministers discussed how the EU can best contribute to addressing the short-term risks of upward social convergence in the field of employment and social policy, which are the main priorities of the future strategic agenda, and what the benefits of enhanced cooperation with finance ministers could be for Social Affairs and Employment Ministers. Attila Fülöp, State Secretary of Hungary, said that Hungary agrees with the messages of the Social Pillar and is committed to its principles, but most of them are within the competence of the Member States and this competence should be fully respected. Among the future challenges, he highlighted demographic and structural changes, digitalisation, as well as labour and skills shortages. Among the priorities, he mentioned activating the labour reserve, fighting poverty, reducing territorial disparities, promoting the integration of persons with disabilities, improving access to quality services and child protection.

Under the legislative dossiers, ministers approved the preliminary political agreement reached between the Council and the European Parliament on the platform workers directive. The Hungarian Government welcomes legislation, as we believe that the compromise reached will ensure adequate protection and greater welfare of platform workers while respecting national competences.

In preparation for the upcoming Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, Attila Fülöp held bilateral talks with Johannes Rauch, Austrian Minister of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection, Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, Polish Minister of Family, Labour and Social Affairs, Karien van Gennip, Dutch Minister of Social Affairs and Employment, Marina Elvira Calderone, Italian Minister for Labour and Social Policy. These bilaterals provided an opportunity to outline the plans of the Hungarian Presidency and to identify fields of cooperation in relation to the thematic priorities.