PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR THE FAMILY AND SOCIAL SOLIDARITY: Social Affairs and Employment Ministers discuss the ‘Labour Market as a Vehicle for Social Inclusion’ during the Informal EPSCO Council

During the second day of the Informal Meeting of Ministers of Social Affairs and Employment (EPSCO) held in Valletta, the Maltese Presidency discussed the ‘Labour Market as a Vehicle for Social Inclusion’.

The Minister for the Family and Social Solidarity Michael Farrugia presided over the second day of the Informal EPSCO where, during his opening address, he stated that a debate regarding welfare dependency needs to be carried out in view of various socio-economic factors.

Michel Servoz, Director General, Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, European Commission shared his views and perspectives about moving away from benefit dependency, and the labour market as a vehicle for social inclusion.

While addressing the plenary, Minister Michael Farrugia stated that in the context of combating welfare dependancy, one should not undermine the entitlement to basic social and economic rights which help secure an adequate standard of living.

Michael Farrugia said that in order to overcome benefit dependency, one needs to take a multidimensional approach while ensuring the availability of quality jobs which provide adequate wages.

“In today’s constantly evolving economic situation, it is key to modernise the welfare system in a context of changing labour markets”, added Michael Farrugia.

Speaking about the shift from traditional welfare provision to activation and active inclusion, Minister Farrugia said that this approach requires the creation of a system built around individualised and targeted approaches which both support and empower the individual.

“Policies favouring activation and inclusion, such as adequate pay levels, upskilling pathways and work-life balance initiatives, would render member states’ labour markets more attractive for citizens and enhance productivity levels across the EU”, stated Michael Farrugia.

Source: Government of Malta