The Social Affairs Council on 20 October discussed the Commission’s Communication on ‘Strengthening the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy’.
The Social Affairs Council on 20 October endorsed the Opinion on the SPC, backing the core objectives of the Commission’s proposal through a better interaction between the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines and the European Employment Strategy, and by strengthening the synergies between the different strands of work on social protection.
However, the SPC underlines the importance of maintaining the distinct public identity that has been created for the different processes of social inclusion and pensions. In this context, it believes that the National Action Plans for Inclusion and National Strategy Reports on Pensions should continue as specific components of a single framework. It adds that a detailed evaluation of the work undertaken in various areas is essential before streamlining can take place, and the close cooperation between the SPC and EPC should be continued.
The SPC proposes that a short, high-level paper setting out coherent and integrated policy messages reflecting key issues within the current work on social protection should be prepared for submission to the Spring 2004 European Council.