Latvian EU Presidency says yes to engaging with civil society

Social Platform welcomes the commitment of the new Latvian EU Presidency to engage with social partners and larger civil society regarding their social priorities during its six month mandate. This commitment was made by Latvian Minister for Welfare, Uldis Augulis, during his presentation of the priorities and programme of the Presidency in the field of employment and social policy in the European Parliament on 21 January. The presentation was followed by an exchange of views with Members of the European Parliament.

The Minister thanked social partners and NGOs for their help in preparing the work programme. The Minister explained that stakeholder involvement would be required by the Presidency in the context of the European Semester, and in particular for the revision of the Employment Guidelines, as well as in discussions on projects to be funded in the context of Commission President Juncker’s Investment Plan. However, the Minster primarily focused on the involvement of social partners, and less on civil society.

In December we met with Minister Augulis for an exchange on the social priorities of the Latvian Presidency. We hope to have further opportunities to discuss how to ensure meaningful and structured civil dialogue – next to social dialogue – with the Latvian Presidency and all social ministers when we meet them at the informal Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs (EPSCO) Council in April.

Read more: Social Platform assessment of the Social Priorities in the Latvian Presidency Progamme.