PES EPSCO: Porto Summit must mark beginning of paradigm shift for the EU

15/03/2021

PES EPSCO meeting by videoconference

PES EPSCO meeting by videoconference

PES Employment and Social Affairs ministers today praised the European Commission’s proactive approach on social and gender issues and called for the Porto Summit to cement this paradigm shift for the EU.

Meeting by videoconference, PES EPSCO ministers were joined by European Commissioners Helena Dalli and Nicolas Schmit for a strategic discussion on the Porto Social Summit, employment and social initiatives from the European Commission, and other social issues.
 
Meeting Chair and Portuguese Minister for Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, said: 
“We have stressed several times the need for a paradigm shift in the EU, for the answer to the current crisis to lead to a fair recovery and stronger social and gender-equality policies across the EU. The social response to this crisis will be crucial for the future of our societies.
 
“Thanks to Prime Minister Löfven and the Göthenburg Summit, we have solid ground to build on with the European Pillar of Social Rights. And thanks to the activism of progressive European Commissioners Helena Dalli and Nicolas Schmit we are making real progress. This must continue.
 
“The Porto Social Summit is the moment to install social issues as a permanent priority for the EU. Yes, we must focus on social Europe as a central part of the recovery. But more than that, the Summit must pave the way for a decade or more of social progress. This is how we build a fairer, more prosperous, and more sustainable Europe for all.”
At the last PES EPSCO meeting in February, socialist and democratic ministers adopted a joint declaration calling for the Social Action Plan to spearhead the shift to a more social, more sustainable, EU. The PES strongly hailed a raft of European Commission proposals to fulfil the Social Pillar when they were announced last week, and today PES EPSCO ministers echoed this welcome.
 
Ana Mendes Godinho, added: 
“We strongly welcome the Action Plan and EASE initiative presented by Commission Schmit and the Pay Transparency Directive and Disability Strategy presented by Commissioner Dalli. These are proof that social issues are finally back on the European agenda, in the political debate. The collective push of socialists and democrats is starting to pay off.”
The meeting noted that the latest EP Eurobarometer found that citizens identified the fight against poverty and social inequalities as their top political priority. Ministers agreed to continue working to shape the debate towards a more social Europe, a fair recovery and just transitions.
 
Ministers also discussed other issues relevant to the EPSCO agenda, including fair wages across Europe and social conditionality in the Common Agricultural Policy.
 
The meeting was attended by:
 
  • Ana Mendes Godinho, Chair and Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, European Commission
  • Jana Maláčová, Minister (ČSSD) of Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Peter Hummelgaard, Minister of Employment, Denmark
  • Dr Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Andrea Orlando, Minister of Labour and Social Protection, Italy
  • Romain Schneider, Minister of Social Security, Luxemburg
  • Carmelo Abela, Minister for Sustainable Development, Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto and Social Dialogue, Malta
  • Miguel Cabrita, State Secretary of Employment, Vocational Training, Portugal
  • Eva Nordmark, Minister of Labour, Sweden
  • Helene Fritzon, PES Vice President, Member of the European Parliament, Head of delegation, Vice-president of the S&D Group in the EP
  • Pedro Marques, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, PES-S&D Coordinator on the implementation of the progressive Commission work programme
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Group in the European Parliament, Chair of PES Social Europe Network
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, ETUC
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES