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7 December 2017

  • 10:15 Public session
  • 14:50 Public session
  • 17:00 Press conference

8 December 2017

  • 10:10 Public session
  • 14:15 Press conference

Sceideal measta

Main results

Highlights from the Health Council part of 8 December 2017, held in Brussels, Belgium

Health - 8 December 2017

Health ministers took stock of the state of pharmaceutical policy in the EU, focusing on future perspectives. The debate responded to the need to strengthen the balance in the pharmaceutical systems in the EU and its member states.

The Council adopted conclusions on cross-border aspects in alcohol policy. These conclusions focus on cross-border issues such as labelling, advertising through social media and the cross-border transport of alcoholic beverages.

I am pleased that member states have sent a strong message today that public health takes priority over economic interests. Europe has the highest levels of alcohol consumption in the world and as a result suffers most from alcohol-related harm. Most of the tools to address this are in the hands of the member states. We have therefore focused on cross-border issues that could be tackled more effectively through better cooperation between the member states.

Jevgeni Ossinovski, President of the Council and minister for Health and Labour

The Council adopted conclusions on "Health in the digital society – making progress in data-driven innovation in the field of health".

We have worked hard during the Estonian Presidency to enhance digital innovation in healthcare. By providing good quality and safe e-services we can improve the treatment of patients and ensure that the health systems of member states are more efficient and sustainable.

Jevgeni Ossinovski, President of the Council and minister for Health and Labour
Highlights from the Employment and Social Policy Council part of 7 December 2017 in Brussels, Belgium

Employment and social policy - 7 December 2017

The Council agreed its position (general approach) on a the accessibility directive. This legislation will make it much easier for persons with disabilities to access products and services.

Everybody in Europe should be able to lead their life to the full, and have an equal opportunity to realise their potential. Today’s commitment will make it possible for people with disabilities, as well as elderly people and those with temporary health problems, to access products and services more easily. With all the smart technological solutions available today, our societies can be much more inclusive and ensure a better quality of life for all.

Kaia Iva, Minister of Social Protection of Estonia and President of the Council

The Council reached a partial agreement on its position (partial general approach) on the regulation on the coordination of social security systems. This agreement covers the chapters on long-term care benefits and family benefits. It facilitates labour mobility and introduces better safeguards of citizens' rights in cross-border situations.

The Council also reached an agreement on a directive on maritime labour convention which improves the working conditions of seafarers. It focuses on protecting seafarers' rights in case of abandonment, and provides guarantees for contractual claims in case of death or long-term disability.

The Council assessed progress on the equal treatment and work-life balance directives. 

Ministers exchanged views on the European Semester 2018, following the economic package presented by the Commission in November. The Council approved the social and employment aspects of the euro area recommendation. 

The Council adopted conclusions on: "The future of work: Making it e-Easy","Enhancing community-based support and care for independent living" and "Enhanced measures to reduce horizontal gender segregation in education and employment." 

The Council formally adopted the directive on the protection against carcinogens or mutagens at work in order to improve protection of workers against exposure to 13 carcinogens.