Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny TD, in his position as vice president of the European People’s Party (EPP ), will chair the new EPP Ministers of Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs group. This is following a decision by the EPP presidency where the Mayo TD will chair the preparatory meetings prior to the scheduled meetings of the Council of Ministers on behalf of the EPP. The position will be chaired in conjunction with Italian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Maurizio Sacconi, on behalf of the ministers.
“I am delighted to be given the responsibility of chairing the EPP Ministers of Employment, Labour and Social Affairs,” Deputy Kenny said. “The protection and creation of jobs is a huge challenge and I firmly believe that the European Union must have this at the heart of its economic policy. In creating this ministerial group, the EPP is recognising the importance of this issue. From an Irish point of view, where the unemployment crisis is worsening, my appointment to chair this ministerial group gives Fine Gael a direct input into the formulation of the European response. It will also allow us to learn from the economic and employment policies that are being pursued in other EU member states.
“I have recently highlighted the high level of unemployment in Co Mayo and the recent statistics have shown that emigration is on the rise in the county. Therefore, acting as chair of this EPP group will allow me to play a significant part in counteracting these problems facing us at local, national, and European level.”