Commission and Portuguese Presidency announce Social Summit in Porto

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen have invited EU Heads of State or Government, EU institutions, social partners and other key stakeholders to a Social Summit in Porto on 7 May 2021. The invitation coincides with the visit of the President and members of the College of Commissioners to Lisbon for the launch of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Social Summit will focus on how to strengthen Europe’s social dimension to meet the challenges of climate change and the digital transition, in order to ensure equal opportunities for all and that no one is left behind. It is inspired by the Commission’s Action Plan to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, which is due to be presented in the coming weeks. The Action Plan will recall the implementation actions carried out so far and set out the EU’s further actions for turning the commitments already endorsed by EU leaders into concrete action.

The green and digital transitions are changing how we live and work, and we must adapt to these changes. To emerge from the crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, we must have a recovery that is inclusive, sustainable and resilient. This requires equal focus on the social aspects as the economic, and for all partners to work together.

European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, said: “Europe is about people. It’s about the workers, the small businesses. It’s about opportunities for the young generation. It’s about solidarity in times of crisis. This is why the Social Summit in Porto, in May, is so important. We will send a very strong political signal: the European Union fosters a recovery that puts people and their well-being at the centre.”

Portuguese Prime Minister, António Costa, said: “We need a common commitment to make the European Pillar of Social Rights a reality and that is why we intend to gather EU leaders, institutions, social partners and civil society at the Porto Social Summit. The social dimension of the EU is absolutely key to ensure that the double transition our societies need is fair and inclusive, leaving no one behind.”

Taking forward the European Pillar of Social Rights
The previous EU Social Summit took place in November 2017 in Gothenburg, resulting in the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

In its Strategic agenda 2019-2024, the European Council stressed the need to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. It is now time to turn commitment into action, inspired by the Commission’s upcoming Action Plan for the implementation of the Pillar. The EU Social Summit in Porto will spark the political dialogue at the highest level on how to reinvigorate our European social model and shape a vision for 2030.

The Social Summit will be organised around two events. On 7 May 2021, a high-level conference will take place, focused on the Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, followed by an informal meeting of Heads of State or Government on 8 May.

Large parts of the Social Summit will be livestreamed, giving people around Europe the opportunity to tune in for discussions that will impact their everyday lives, such as jobs, fair working conditions, equal opportunities, better health care and social protection.


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