Euro-area labor and social affairs ministers will meet Monday for the first time as a bloc to discuss the currency union’s future, according to Luxembourg, which holds the 28-nation European Union’s rotating presidency.
The Oct. 5 special meeting will “provide the first opportunity” for the 19-nation euro zone’s employment and social affairs ministers “to exchange views on the potential added value of such a meeting” within the context “of extending the governance of economic and monetary union.” While euro-area finance ministers meet regularly ahead of get-togethers of all 28 EU finance ministers, such limited gatherings are not standard for other national ministers.
“We believe it is necessary to be able to have substantial discussions on the specific challenges facing member states which share the same currency,” Nicolas Schmit, labor and social affairs minister of Luxembourg, said in a statement Thursday.
The morning euro-area meeting will be followed by a regular meeting of all EU labor and social affairs ministers.
Strengthening the EU’s common currency has become a priority after years of financial crisis forced five euro members to seek bailouts and threatened to force Greece out of the euro altogether. The European Commission will propose an initial set of legislative measures this month to bolster the euro area without requiring a treaty change.