Czech Presidency of the Council of the European Union

During its presidency, the Czech Republic will focus on five closely linked priority areas:

1. Managing the refugee crisis and Ukraine’s post-war recovery
2. Energy security
3. Strengthening Europe’s defence capabilities and cyberspace security
4. Strategic resilience of the European economy
5. Resilience of democratic institutions

More information on the priorities can be found on the Czech Presidency website.

Employment and social work priorities

CZ PRES in the Council of the EU will support the policies and actions of the European Union and its Member States aimed at implementing the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which are aimed at ensuring continued upward convergence, social justice, intergenerational solidarity and cohesion in the EU in the future, as the Union comes to terms in its labour markets and social protection systems with the impact of the Russian aggression in Ukraine and the wave of war refugees into the EU, with rising energy prices associated with the risk of increased energy poverty, with the impact of digital and green transformation and with the consequences of the covid-19 pandemic.

Rising energy prices linked to Russia's aggression against Ukraine, global economic developments, the transition to a carbon neutral economy and the search for new sources of energy as the EU reduces its energy dependence on the Russian Federation are significantly complicating the social situation of many EU residents and households, especially among the elderly and single parent households. The issue of energy poverty is one of the key challenges of social cohesion in the EU and CZ PRES wants to contribute to the search for effective solutions to this challenge.

Coping with the unprecedented refugee wave resulting from Russia's aggression against Ukraine requires European cooperation and solidarity. CZ PRES will support the rapid and effective integration of refugees, especially women and children from war-affected Ukraine, into the labour market and society of EU Member States, including ensuring their children's access to pre-school education and care services.

The ageing of European society, the introduction of new technologies, the digitalisation of industry and services and the transition to a carbon neutral economy will require activating all available human resources, adapting workers and improving their skills to be able to compete in a rapidly changing labour market. CZ PRES will support the introduction of effective tools for the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market, lifelong learning policies and career guidance through quality training and public employment services, the implementation of the Package of measures for the integration of people with disabilities into the labour market, the Action Plan to Support the Social Economy and the Commission Recommendation on effective active employment policies, including increasing labour market flexibility.  

CZ PRES will also strive to ensure quality working conditions and the protection of workers in all types of gainful employment. As part of this effort, CZ PRES will make it a priority to achieve a general approach by the Council on the Directive on working conditions of workers on online platforms and to advance the negotiation of the Directive on the protection of workers exposed to asbestos at work.

CZ PRES will underline the EU's commitment to reducing child poverty by 2030, in particular by promoting their access to education at all levels and supporting steps to implement the European Guarantee for Children. In this context, CZ PRES is also ready to launch the debate on the draft Council Recommendation on the revision of the Barcelona targets with a view to its early adoption. CZ PRES will focus on the new EU Care Strategy aimed at reforms to develop accessible, quality and financially sustainable long-term care services and will work towards the discussion and adoption of the Council Recommendation on long-term care. CZ PRES will also look at ways of promoting informal care to ensure a dignified life for care-dependent people. CZ PRES will start discussing a draft Council Recommendation on setting minimum income standards, which it sees as one of the possible instruments for combating poverty, while taking care to respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

CZ PRES will support the development of the EU as a union of equality, taking into account the situation of particularly disadvantaged groups such as the Roma. In line with the Council's 18-month programme and the Trio Presidency's declaration on gender equality, gender equality will also be a priority in the EPSCO Council. CZ PRES will therefore continue to discuss the proposal for a directive on ensuring transparency in gender pay and will start discussing a proposal to strengthen the role and independence of equality bodies, which play a key role in ensuring individuals' rights to equal treatment.


High-level Events Organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

7.-8. 7. 2022 – Prague – High Level Presidency Conference on Child Support in the Context of the Child Guarantee

20.-21. 9. 2022 – Prague – Presidency conference on integration of people with disabilities into the labour market

13.-14. 10. 2022 – Prague – Informal Meeting of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers (EPSCO)

High-level Events Co-organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

Informal Meetings Organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs