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Energy poverty and labour market integration of Ukrainian refugees on the agenda at meeting of EU employment and social affairs ministers in Prague

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 13.10.2022 10.02 | Published in English on 13.10.2022 at 10.17
Press release 236/2022

The EU ministers responsible for employment and social affairs will convene for an informal meeting in Prague on 13–14 October 2022. Minister of Social Affairs and Health Hanna Sarkkinen will represent Finland at the meeting.

On the first day, the ministers will discuss the employment of Ukrainian refugees. The second day will be devoted to the debate on the social impact of rising energy prices. 

In connection with the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, it was agreed that the EU would reduce the number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion by at least 15 million by 2030. Inflation and rising energy prices are threatening to increase poverty.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed that our social security system works relatively well in crisis situations, too, despite some of its deficiencies. It is also possible to partially mitigate the impact of rising energy prices on citizens by means of social security. In addition, we need targeted measures to curb the rise in energy prices, to offset the impact of rising energy prices and to save energy. Even in the current situation, it is important to ensure that the EU continues to promote its social goals and reduce poverty”, says Minister Sarkkinen.

Most of the Ukrainians who have fled the war are women and children, and this is why it is important to take the gender perspective into account when talking about employment.

“In Finland, we have sought ways to support the recruitment of Ukrainians, for example, by organising targeted recruitment events together with employers. These events have attracted both employers and Ukrainians, and they have been the most effective way to reach those fleeing the war and connect them with employers. However, there is still plenty of work to be done in Finland to strengthen the inclusion of Ukrainian refugees in working life”, says Minister Sarkkinen.

During the meeting, Minister Sarkkinen will also meet ministers from Spain, Norway and Austria.

Inquiries:

Jiri Sironen, Special Adviser to Minister of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 40 450 9077
Pasi Korhonen, Director of International Affairs, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 295 163 175
Susanna Piepponen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, tel. +358 295 047 990

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