EUROPEAN UNION – The EU Employment and Social Policy Council, represented by the respective ministers of Member States, has laid down three principles for future action on sustainable pension systems in the union.

In anticipation of this week’s European summit in Gothenburg, the council announced its belief that pension systems have to be capable of meeting social policy objectives including the delivery of secure, adequate pensions to pensioners and their family members while continuing to guarantee good health and medical care services for the elderly.

Financial sustainability should be maintained at the same time, and fair distribution of available resources has to be ensured, the council says.
Also, pension systems must be adapted to changing social and labour market conditions and be sufficiently flexible to meet gender equality goals, while catering to individual needs, the ministers say.

Claes Ånstrand, state secretary of Sweden, comments: “Although pension systems are a national concern, we have a great deal to learn from one another. Economic policy, labour market policy and social policy must act together if we are to achieve social stability in our societies. I am therefore particularly pleased that the council has decided to back these principles.”