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Deputy Minister discusses social investment with peers in Brussels

The importance of social investments, the role of Cyprus in the development of the European Disability and Parking Cards, and the actions taken in the country to tackle structural racism were discussed by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, during the Employment and Social Policy Council of the EU, which was in Brussels earlier this week.

According to a press release, during the second day of the Council, on 28 November, the ministers discussed social investment and its importance for the sustainable development of the economy in conditions of social cohesion.

Evangelou referred to the importance of social investment and stressed that the exchange of best practices can contribute to a better assessment of its economic and social returns. She added that a more active involvement of the Council would strengthen the promotion of employment, skills and social policies.

Also on the second day, the Council adopted conclusions on social security, strengthening democracy at work, the transition of care systems throughout life, and support for people with disabilities.

During the first day of the Council, the Ministers adopted the general approach of the 27 on the proposal for a directive establishing the European disability card and the European parking card for persons with disabilities. According to a press release by the Council of the EU, the proposed directive will introduce a standardised European disability card and European parking card for persons with disabilities, both available in accessible and bilingual formats, which will be recognised throughout the EU.

In her intervention, the Deputy Minister highlighted the importance of the European disability card and the European parking card for persons with disabilities, to encourage and facilitate the free movement of people with disabilities in the EU.

Speaking after the meeting, Evangelou said that she informed her counterparts that Cyprus was one of the eight Member States that successfully participated in the Disability and Parking Card pilot programme from 2017.

The Ministers also exchanged views in the context of the European Semester process on the annual coordination of EU economic, financial, labour and social policies, with a focus on the results of the Autumn Package and in particular on Green Collective Bargaining, that is the role of collective bargaining during the green transition.

Evangelou advocated encouraging agreements between social partners that promote environmentally friendly inclusive practices in the workplace, and stressed the importance of adequate training and skills development programmes to prepare workers to better adapt to the green transition.

Finally, in the context of the discussion on the implementation of the European Strategy against Racism for the period 2020 - 2025, the Deputy Minister referred in detail to the national actions to combat structural racism, and to the legislative framework in Cyprus.

She stressed the importance of education and awareness - raising to promote a culture of learning about the historical roots and manifestations of racism.

(Source: CNA)

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