Germany holds the Presidency of the Council from 1st of July until the end of 2020. Within this framework, the German ministers presented the priorities in their field to the MEPs.
Hubertus Heil, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, said that solidarity and the strengthening of social security would be high on the agenda. A legislative proposal for a minimum wage and Council conclusions on basic social security systems are expected in the autumn. On artificial intelligence (AI) and platform work, Minister Heil stated that technological progress and social progress should go hand in hand and that AI should not replace employees, but support them. Ensuring human rights and working conditions in global supply chains, as well as reaching an agreement on the coordination of social security systems within the year, are also among the priorities.
MEPs’ questions focused on workers’ health and safety, progress on an EU unemployment reinsurance scheme, stronger safeguards for young people, the rights of disabled people and ensuring gender equality in policy-making. Several MEPs stressed that cross-border and seasonal workers need better social protection and better housing conditions.