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Social Protection Committee

The Council set up a Social Protection Committee, with advisory status, to promote cooperation on social protection policies between Member States and the European Commission.

ACT

Council Decision 2004/689/EC of 4 October 2004 establishing a Social Protection Committee and repealing Decision 2000/436/EC [Official Journal L 314 of 13.10.2004].

SUMMARY

This Council Decision establishes the Social Protection Committee and repeals Decision 2000/436/EC based on the Commission's communication " A Concerted Strategy for modernising social protection ". The aim of this communication was to reflect on the importance of the convergence of social protection objectives and policies and to reaffirm the place of this social protection among the common values of the European Union (EU).

The Social Protection Committee was set up to promote cooperation on social protection policies between Member States and the Commission. Its main objectives are to:

  • make work pay and provide secure income;
  • make pensions safe and pension systems sustainable;
  • promote social inclusion;
  • ensure high-quality and sustainable health care.

The Social Protection Committee, which has an advisory role, consists of two representatives appointed by each Member State and two representatives of the Commission. It may also establish appropriate contacts with the social partners and social non-governmental organisations.

The new Committee retains all the tasks of the former Social Protection Committee, namely:

  • monitoring the social situation and the development of social protection policies in the Member States and the Community;
  • exchanges of information, experience and good practice;
  • preparing reports, formulating opinions or undertaking other work within its fields of competence, at the request of either the Council or the Commission or on its own initiative.

In practice, since its foundation, the Committee's work has been largely determined by the strategic objective which the Union set itself in terms of socio-economic progress at the Lisbon European Council in March 2000: "to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion".

Background

The legal basis for the Social Protection Committee is Article 144 of the Treaty of Nice, which provides for the creation of a new Social Protection Committee to promote cooperation on social protection policies between the Member States and the Commission. The purpose of the decision to replace the former committee with this one is essentially procedural - to establish the Committee in line with the new legal basis.

REFERENCES

ActEntry into forceDeadline for transposition in the Member StatesOfficial Journal
Decision 2004/689/EC----Official Journal L 314 of 13.10.2004

RELATED ACTS

Council Decision 2000/436/EC of 29 June 2000 setting up a Social Protection Committee [COM(2000) 436, Official Journal L 172 of 12.07.2000].
On 29 June 2000, the Council approved the Commission's proposal to help Member States to improve and strengthen their social protection systems. In this communication, the Commission proposes to begin a new phase in the process of examining social protection systems at Community level. To this end, the Council supported the Commission's suggestion to establish a mechanism for enhanced cooperation brought about by the work of the group of high-level officials for the improvement of social protection systems. This group of officials laid the foundations of the Social Protection Committee.

The Social Protection Committee has clearly shown its usefulness as an advisory body for both the Council and the Commission, and it has been actively involved in developing the open method of coordination as defined by the Lisbon European Council.

Last updated: 01.03.2005
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