Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2023

From 1 July to 31 December 2023, Spain is taking over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Spain forms part of the so-called “trio presidency”, along with Belgium and Hungary, who will hold the presidency in 2024. The full 18-month programme of the trio of Presidencies can be found here.

The Spanish Presidency has set out four priorities for its 6-month period:

  1. Re-industrialising the EU and guaranteeing its strategic autonomy
  2. Promoting the green transition
  3. Promoting greater social and economic justice, and
  4. Strengthening European unity by continuing to push forward European integration.

The full six-month programme of the Spanish Presidency is available here.

Out of the priorities that fall under social and health policy, for statutory social accident insurance, the following points are of particular importance:

  • Promoting safe and healthy workplaces, especially through the continued implementation of the Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2021–2027.
  • Advancing European Commission initiatives aimed at protecting workers from the risks associated with exposure to lead and diisocyanates and at improving working conditions for platform workers
  • Improving social protection for the self-employed and strengthening coordination of their social security rights at the EU and international levels
  • Promoting labour mobility and European job market integration by continuing negotiations regarding ongoing legislative dossiers and advancing digitalisation with regard to the coordination of social security systems
  • The proposal of an initiative on international remote work and its impacts on the coordination of social security systems
  • The adoption of the Council Conclusions on mental health and precarious work
  • Guaranteeing the rights of workers in the new economic sectors, including by seeking to conclude an agreement with the European social partners on remote work and the right to disconnect
  • Developing a European strategy aimed at adapting national social protection systems to the new reality of an ageing population
  • The introduction of a European Disability Card, and
  • The completion of the European Health Union, including the creation of a European Health Data Space (EHDS).

The International Relations Division will be following these matters closely and is available to answer questions from members of the DGUV and will be advocating for the interests of these members within the European institutions and the Federal Government.