On 7 May 2021, EFEE attended the High-Level Conference within the Porto Social Summit, which was organized by the Portuguese Presidency and was broadcast online. The Social Summit was a continuation of the Gothenburg Social Summit held in 2017 and aimed to discuss the future of a more Social Europe. At the heart of the discussions of the day, were the recovery of Europe into a more inclusive and social EU as well as the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan. Or as President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, put it: “If Gothenburg was all about principles, Porto is all about action. It is about turning the principles into tangible positive change for millions of Europeans”. In light of this, three ambitious yet achievable targets have been set:

1.  At least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment,

2.  At least 60% of all adults should participate in training ever year,
3. The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million, including at least 5 million children.
In order to achieve these objectives, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the Portuguese Prime Minister currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European cross-sectoral social partners and civil society organisations, signed the Porto Social Commitment.

The Porto Social Commitment can be found here.

In addition to the Porto Social Commitment, Heads of State and of Government of the 27 Member States endorsed this Commitment by signing their own Porto Declaration on social affairs on 8 May 2021. This Declaration stresses the “importance of European unity and solidarity in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic”, the fundamental role of the European Pillar of Social Rights in the recovery whilst also recognising that the “social dimension, social dialogue and the active involvement of social partners have always been at the core of a highly competitive social market economy.” Lastly, the European Council introduceds “the new EU headline targets on jobs, skills and poverty reduction and the revised Social Scoreboard proposed in the Action Plan” and welcomed, “as another success of the European social dialogue, that they made a joint proposal for an alternative set of indicators to measure economic, social and environmental progress, supplementing GDP as welfare measure for inclusive and sustainable growth.”

The Porto Declaration can be found here.

For more details, please contact isaline.ossieur@educationemployers.eu