EU ministers ready to tackle Europe’s black economy?

Undeclared work and the synchronisation of EU social policies are the two main discussion points on the agenda of the informal Council meeting on 10-12 July 2003.

The informal employment and social policies Council, with the participation of Ministers from the acceding Member States, will give particular attention to undeclared work in the enlarged Union and on the policies that could help to transform it into regular work. In this context, the Italian Presidency is to organise a special workshop on the black economy in December 2003 and intends to prepare a Council Resolution based on its conclusions.

The Council will also discuss how the EU's various social policies could be simplified and streamlined to reinforce the social dimension of the Lisbon agenda, on the basis of a Communication adopted by the Commission in May 2003. This Communication aims at improving and giving more visibility to the EU's work in coordinating Member States' social protection policies, including pensions, social inclusion and combating poverty, healthcare and care for the elderly, and social security systems. The Commission suggests that the above fields of social protection should be integrated into a single framework by 2006.


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