The Porto Social Summit on Friday will make it possible to build a “central part of our European home” that is committed to the social dimension, which “must be” reinforced, according to the Portuguese Minister of State for Foreign Affairs.
Augusto Santos Silva said that the aim of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU is to "reinforce the social dimension now, which is the right time for it. For two reasons: first of all, because we are facing a very severe economic and social crisis (due to the COVID-19 pandemic) and we want our recovery to be fair and to leave nobody behind”.
On the other hand, the Minister added, the Portuguese Presidency is also working towards making the economic recovery from the crisis “a transformation: we want to make the European economy greener, more environmentally friendly, while making the most of the huge potential of information technology and, therefore, making it more digital also”, Santos Silva emphasised.
To this end, he concluded, “our training and qualification systems must be more accessible, employment policies must be more active and we must reinforce social protection mechanisms”.
The Porto Social Summit, which will be held in the Alfandega Porto Congresse Centre, on the banks of the River Douro, will precede the informal meeting of EU Heads of State or Government, also in Porto, where the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU hopes to obtain a written commitment from the 27 Member States on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, a set of 20 principles aimed at placing the social dimension at the centre of European policies.
*in collaboration with LUSA