PES in Porto to put Social Pillar in motion

PES in Porto to put Social Pillar in motion

One year out from the European elections, socialists from across Europe will return to Porto, Portugal, to discuss a key column of the socialist programme: stronger social rights for citizens.

In cooperation with Partido Socialista (PS), the Party of European Socialists (PES) will hold a PES Social Summit on the evening of 26 May to discuss equality, work, and social protection and inclusion.

President of the PES Stefan Löfven and Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa will host the event with the participation of high-level figures from progressive governments, the European Commission, the European Parliament, trade unions, NGOs and other organisations.

European socialists have led the drive for social rights in Europe. In 2017, during his tenure as Prime Minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven organised the Social Summit for fair jobs and growth in Gothenburg, Sweden, which proclaimed the European Pillar of Social Rights. In 2021, during the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU, Prime Minister António Costa built on this work, organising the highly successful 2021 Porto Social Summit where EU leaders agreed the landmark Porto Declaration. The PES Social Summit further builds on this work, taking place before EU representatives gather again for the 2023 Porto Social Forum (26-27 May) organised by the Portuguese government.

The PES returns to Porto to take stock of progress since 2021 and identify where Europe must go further. The PES event will take place at the Porto Leixões Cruise Terminal on 26 May 2023 from 17:00 to 20:00 WEST/UTC+1 (Porto time) / 18:00 to 21:00 CEST/UTC+2 (Brussels time). A livestream will be available in Portuguese, English and original sound.

The event will be opened by Mayor of Matosinhos Luísa Salgueiro, Head of the PS Portugal delegation in the European Parliament Maria Manuel Leitão Marques, PS Portugal Regional Leader Porto Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues, and European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) General Secretary Esther Lynch (video message).

This will be followed by the first panel: The Pillar in motion – our battles for a more social Europe. It will feature Portuguese Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security Ana Mendes Godinho, Belgium Deputy Prime Minister Frank Vandenbroucke, Spanish Minister for Inclusion, Social Protection and Migration José Luis Escrivá, Chair of the PES Social Europe Network and S&D Coordinator for the European Parliament Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL), PvdA Netherlands MEP Agnes Jongerius, German State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs Rolf Schmachtenberg, and Portuguese State Secretary of European Affairs Tiago Antunes. The moderator will be PS Portugal MEP João Albuquerque.

Finnish Minister for Employment Tuula Haatainen, Luxembourgish Minister for Social Security Claude Haagen, President of the European Committee of Regions (CoR) and Member of the Group of the Party of European Socialists (PES Group) in the CoR Vasco Cordeiro, Young European Socialists (YES) Vice-President Evelyn Logghe, and President of French association Territoires Zéro Chômeur de Longue Durée (TZCLD) and former MP Laurent Grandguillaume will take part in the second panel: The Pillar in motion – Improving welfare states in Europe. The moderator will be PS Portugal MEP Isabel Carvalhais.

Keynote speeches will be delivered by European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, Leader of PvdA Netherlands Attje Kuiken and Deputy Secretary General of PS Portugal João Torres.

The third panel – Towards 2024: a social priority for a fairer Europe – will feature Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Employment Pierre-Yves Dermagne, Portuguese Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation and PES Executive Vice-President Francisco André, President of the European Economic and Social Committee Oliver Röpke, S&D Group Vice-President and PS Portugal MEP Pedro Marques, and PSOE Spain MEP Estrella Durá Ferrandis. The moderator will be PS Portugal MP Vera Braz.

President of the PES Stefan Löfven and Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa will close the event.