Bringing a Just Transition perspective to the Porto Social Summit

Four years after the Gothenburg Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth, during which the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) was proclaimed, EU Heads of State or Government, social partners and other key stakeholders met in Portugal on 7 May 2021 and endorsed the EPSR Action Plan presented by the European Commission. During the Summit, colleagues from Social Platform presented eight recommendations on building a Social Europe, four of which were co-developed by SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation and focused on ensuring a socially just green transition. 

The set of eight recommendations stemmed from the “Building Social Europe” Flagship Conference organised by Social Platform in collaboration with the Portuguese Ministry of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security in the framework of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union. As part of the Conference, SOLIDAR and SOLIDAR Foundation co-organised two workshops on 4 May 2021: 

Workshop 1 “Roadmap to Quality Employment through a Just Transition and a Fair Recovery” brought together representatives of trade unions, EU institutions and social and environmental NGOs to reflect upon ways to create and foster sustainable and quality jobs as part of a fair, inclusive, and resilient recovery and a just transition to greener societies. – Watch the recording here 

The workshop was organised also in the framework of SOLIDAR's European roundtable in cooperation with the European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) and produced the following recommendations: 

1. EU and Member States must ensure they reach the quantitative headline target 1 in a way that creates and fosters quality employment. This means adopting bold strategies and measures as part of a just green transition and recovery, including adequate wages, job security, health and safety, life-long learning, collective bargaining and work-life balance, for all.  

2. A holistic interpretation of a just transition is necessary to ensure social and labour market inclusion for those who are traditionally ‘left behind’ and most negatively affected by the green transition. EU and Member States must strengthen the integration of environmental and social policies and strategies and considerably increase the Just Transition Fund to underpin them. 

Workshop 2 “Skills and life-long learning: Life-long and life-wide learning for just green transition” stressed that lifelong learning cannot simply be reduced to gaining skills for employability and highlighted the valuable contribution of informal learning and non-formal learning to the development of green skills among young people, trainers, teachers and parents, especially through social action and volunteering  – Watch the recording here 

The workshop was organised by SOLIDAR Foundation in cooperation with Volonteurope and European Parents Association. It produced the following recommendations: 

3. Every EU policy has to make sure that it contributes to a just green transition and to the implementation of a sustainable digital infrastructure and digital skills; these are key to inclusion and cohesion. Life-long and life-wide learning is a continuous process and a human right that needs a holistic approach to curricula, methodology and evaluation, and that hears the voices of all stakeholders: students, learners, parents, employers, civil society, and democratic institutions.  

4. Every EU policy has to make sure it contributes to a just green transition and has to include a lifelong learning dimension. Life-long Learning cannot be reduced to employability; to maintain and enhance democratic societies we must include the development of active democratic citizenship. Transversal competences are mainly acquired through non-formal and informal learning, social action, and volunteering. Member States must guarantee that these competences are validated in cooperation with civil society and employers' organisations, chambers, and other responsible actors. 

Both workshops are part also of the list of preparatory events of the Global Progressive Forum

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