The Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) deals with a wide range of policy areas including employment, social protection, consumer protection, health and equal opportunities. Member States are represented by the Ministers best-placed to address the items on the agenda, e.g. Ministers of Employment, Social Affairs, Health or Consumer Policy. During the Irish Presidency EPSCO will be chaired by Mr. Richard Bruton, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Ms. Joan Burton, Minister for Social Protection and Mr. James Reilly, Minister for Health.
The key priorities of the Irish Presidency include:
Tackling the issue of youth joblessness through a Youth Employment Package.
Enhancing job creation and social cohesion through progressing proposals for the European Social Fund (ESF), the Programme for Social Change and Innovation (PSCI) and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF).
Facilitating citizen mobility by advancing proposals on key issues such as portability of pensions and the posting of workers.
Progressing a series of health policies including on cross border health threats, tobacco products and pharmaceuticals & medical devices.