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On 16 September Federal Minister Hubertus Heil will hold a discussion with European guests about what must be done to promote inclusive growth and social justice throughout the EU in light of the Corona crisis. The conference is the central event of the German Presidency of the Council of the European Union on the social dimension of Europe; it will take place following the State of the Union address by President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen before the European Parliament on the morning of the same day.

The conference will start with a discussion between President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Hubertus Heil. The topic of this high-level panel will be how the EU’s recovery fund, its financial support for short-time work schemes and common social standards can prevent economic and social disparities within the Union from increasing. 

Federal Minister Hubertus Heil made the following statement: 

We must both invest in economic success, getting the economy going and modernising it even during the crisis and ensure that as many people as possible benefit from the progress. Both things are necessary to preserve European cohesion.

In the second part of the conference, Federal Minister Heil, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit and the Ministers of Labour and Social Affairs from Romania, the Czech Republic and Portugal, will provide insight into current issues of EU social policy. Topics will include the situation of seasonal workers, the EU initiative for fair minimum wages, combating poverty through better minimum income schemes and reforming the EU’s youth guarantee. 

Federal Minister Heil:

We need to move Europe forward together. It is not just necessary for us to emerge from the crisis in good shape. We must take the right steps in response to make Europe economically strong and socially just in the long term. For me, these especially include ensuring that decent wages are paid. At the same time, we need social safety nets that make it possible for those who cannot work to participate in society. That is what I will work for during Germany’s presidency.