European leaders sign Porto commitment at Social Summit

The Social Summit of the European Union (EU) on Friday generated the Porto Social Commitment, an agreement guaranteeing mechanisms for the member states to fulfill the objectives of the European social pillar in the next decade.

"With unemployment and greater inequalities due to the pandemic, it is important to channel resources where they are most needed to strengthen our economies and to focus our political efforts on equal opportunities, job creation, entrepreneurship and poverty reduction, and exclusion," said the commitment.

The document aims to mobilize the necessary financial resources for investments and reforms to solve the economic and social crisis, strengthening competitiveness based on sustainable growth "with jobs and social justice."

Key points include public policies that value technological and digital values in small- and medium-sized businesses, the pursuit of gender equality and the protection of children at risk of poverty, the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants, homeless people or belonging to minority groups should be the target of anti-discrimination.

The Porto Social Commitment was signed by the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, the Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, and representatives of social players.

In the closing speech of the summit, Costa said "for the first time" "a joint commitment" was reached by the social commitments.

The agreement, he said, is tripartite because it brings together an understanding between the President of the European Parliament, the President of the European Commission, and the social partners.

European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, described the summit as a "revolutionary moment" for the social area in the European Union.

The European Commission's Executive Vice President, Valdis Dombrovskis, welcomed the "very good result" of the summit which will now allow "to start working to adopt social policies and guarantee an inclusive economic recovery" in the EU.

The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, said that the European Union should "consolidate and strengthen the great climatic and digital transformations" with "economic development, innovation, and prosperity," but also protect "the most vulnerable."

French President Emmanuel Macron said that "more money is needed" and so are "joint decisions for the great historical transformations."

The summit defined the action plan of the European pillar of social rights with three major targets for 2030: to have 78 percent of the population employed, 60 percent of workers with vocational training, and to lift 15 million people out of poverty and social exclusion. 

(c) Xinhua



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