At the 3210th meeting of the General Affairs Council in Brussels on the 11th December 2012, the representatives of the up-coming Trio Presidency, namely Ireland, Lithuania and Greece presented their 18 months work programme setting out the Council’s work as established by the future Irish, Lithuanian and Greek Presidencies, covering the period January 2013 to June 2014.
The document consists of two parts, one is the strategic framework, the other contains the operational programme of the Presidency Trio. Under the Operational Programme for Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs, there is a specific mention of the 2014 European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life.
It states that “Designating 2014 as the European Year for Reconciling Work and Family Life would help improving the social situation of families by triggering a reflection on the necessary responses to the far-reaching societal challenges in this context”. While acknowledging, that family policy and families are primarily within the competence of the Member States, “there is considerable scope for cooperation at EU level which can also provide added value to policy options and solutions at national level”.
“This is very good news for COFACE, the 2014 Alliance, but also for women and men in Europe, for the families who are struggling to reconcile their family life with their work commitments and their carers responsibilities” says Annemie Drieskens, the President of COFACE. She adds that “We are very pleased that the up-coming Presidencies have endorsed the idea of the year, as it is now more important than ever to rethink how the labour market is organised, to exchange knowledge on what public policies could work best to support working parents, carers, and all women and men in reconciling their work, family and private life”.
18 month programme of the Council (1 January 2013 – 30 June 2014):
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