Declaration on the Porto Social Summit: Making social rights a reality for all Europeans

21/04/2021

Ahead of the Porto Social Summit on 7 May 2021, the Party of European Socialists, Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, social partners and civil society have endorsed a joint declaration strongly calling on EU governments to transform the European Union into an engine for social progress.

This ‘2030 Porto Agenda for sustainable wellbeing’ declaration is the outcome of a hybrid conference held in Brussels today with politicians, experts in the field and social partners.

On 6 May, the PES and S&D Group will host a Pre-Summit meeting in Porto, which you can register for and join online here.

Sergei Stanishev, President of the PES, said:

“The fight to make social rights a reality for all is a socialist fight. In the European institutions, in Member States, and beyond, we are pushing for the wellbeing of all, for fair and sustainable societies.

“It was our drive that led to the Gothenburg Summit and the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Now, with the Porto Summit we have an opportunity to finally reorientate the EU towards equality, solidarity and social justice for all. Porto can be the moment we install these values at the heart of the EU agenda and build momentum for social progress across the EU. It can be the moment Europe sends citizens a message of hope for a better future.” 

Iratxe Garcia MEP, S&D Group leader, said:

“We call on EU leaders to be courageous and send a message of hope from Porto: a different, a better future is in our hands. We have been calling for a Social Europe for many years and it can't wait any longer. People all over Europe need this message more than ever, after the pandemic has robbed them of loved ones, made them suffer with illness, destroyed their livelihoods or thrown their future into limbo. By hosting the Social Summit in Porto, Prime Minister Antonio Costa has taken a decisive step to make the 20 principles of the Pillar of European Social Rights a reality. Now, it is up to other EU leaders to follow his example and, with real acts of solidarity, build the Social Europe our citizens demand.
 
“Building a Social Europe also demands the courage to commit to a golden rule for social investments to create jobs, better public services and reduce inequalities. A real, permanent Unemployment Re-Insurance Scheme is a positive act of solidarity that will improve the lives of many Europeans hit hard by the pandemic.”

Heléne Fritzon MEP, S&D vice-president responsible for a new social Europe, said:

“During this pandemic, the European Union has demonstrated that by acting together the European project can be a powerful shield protecting the health and the living conditions of its people. Thanks to our collective efforts, a fundamental shift in the European response to the Covid-19 crisis was agreed and decisive political actions have put the EU back on its path to recovery. If we make the right choices, the EU can be an engine of solidarity and wellbeing for the people, as well as the source of future shared prosperity for all.
 
“In Gothenburg in 2017, our political family, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, managed to set the 20 principles of the Pillar of European Social Rights. Getting young people into quality jobs, ensuring gender equality and wellbeing for all with men and women paid the same, guaranteeing affordable housing – all these social rights are laid down in the Pillar. Porto must now fire the starting shot to make these social rights a reality for all Europeans.”

Agnes Jongerius MEP, S&D spokesperson for employment and social rights and Chair of the PES Social Europe Network, said:

“Our Porto Agenda is not about abstract objectives, it is about improving real lives for real people. Our first goal is quality jobs. Not just any job, but decent jobs. As the European Parliament’s negotiator for minimum wages, I fight against in-work poverty and for a threshold of decency. Our second goal must be to halve poverty by 2030. As a socialist family we have been campaigning for a Child Guarantee since 2014 to ensure that all children receive a good education and healthcare, eat healthy food and have a roof over their heads. Funding the Child Guarantee with €20 billion is the best investment we could possibly make. Our third goal is protecting workers from hazardous working conditions and work-related illnesses. No job is worth dying for, so the target should be put at zero work-related deaths. Every year, we can still save thousands of lives in Europe.
              
“Commissioner Nicolas Schmit has worked hard and managed to include many of our demands and proposals in the Social Action Plan. If EU leaders, the Commission and Parliament commit to a new social agenda in Porto, we can together write history and build a Europe where all workers earn a decent wage, all families can afford housing and no child grows up in poverty.”