This weekend, apart from the 71st celebration of Europe Day, the Social Summit in Porto (Portugal) was a crucial event, 4 years after the establishment of the Pillar of Social Rights. The Declaration and Commitments emanating from the meeting, including the resounding commitment to the EPSR Action Plan, together with trade unions and civil society are very positive steps on the long road towards a Social Europe and one thing is clear: European citizens are demanding it. According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, nine in ten Europeans identify social Europe as a top priority. But it cannot be done only through declarations, only through real commitments. The European level has a clear role to play in achieving it, beyond suggestions and recommendations.
Such high-level meetings are a welcome exercise that should be followed by continued high level monitoring of the implementation of progress in relation to the Action Plan and commitments made, possibly in an annual social summit, with highest priority given to an inclusive and sustainable action plan in these times of recovery. Our hope and future commitment for the process towards a Social and inclusive Europe, is to work for a comprehensive and ambitious implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights through and beyond the recently endorsed Action Plan.
It is time to follow up this historical moment with bold action, expansive funds, and comprehensive reforms for a just transition towards social justice that leaves no one behind: for this to happen there is need to work together for an ambitious implementation of the EPSR both through the Action Plan measures, as well as the various directives and initiatives now taken (operationalising of the EGD, the fit for 55 package and the CoFoE). We need to make sure that funding now made available is directed to efforts for sustainability, and to continue to guarantee a seat at the table for civil society in a meaningful civil and social dialogue.
Leading to the Social Summit...
In the framework of our partner Social Platform's Flagship Conference Building Social Europe, we organised 2 parallel workshops that sent a series of recommendations to Porto:
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