European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimír Špidla will this weekend represent the EU at a high level meeting of employment and labour ministers from the world's eight largest economies. The special G8 meeting on employment in Niigata, Japan, will focus on labour market reform, addressing growing social disparities, the social dimension of globalisation and of environmental challenges like climate change. The conclusions of the meeting will feed into the main G8 Summit taking place in Hokkaido Toyako in July.
Vladimír Špidla underlined, "Globalisation generally has a positive impact, but the G8 countries and the EU need to make sure that its benefits are fairly spread within countries as well as between countries and at global level." He added, "In the labour market, we need to combine flexibility with security; in particular we need to make the workforce more skilled and responsive and labour markets more inclusive. Finally, we need to pay special attention to the employment and social dimensions of climate change so as to use the potential for job creation but also to appropriately address adverse effects, manage restructuring and job losses resulting from transition to a low carbon economy"
The Commission also welcomes the G8 consultation with social partners. It is pleased that the discussions will cover the challenges of emerging and developing countries as well as the G8 and developed countries themselves. Indonesia and Thailand have been invited to participate at the meeting, along with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The G8 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting is a ministerial conference where delegates discuss the labour problems shared by developed nations. The meetings contribute to the main G8 leaders' summit. Similar meetings have been held annually since 1994. The European Commission participates on behalf of the European Union.