EU leaders are heading to Porto for Social Summit and EU-India talks

They will discuss also the Covid-19 situation and other issues of international concern

Photo: EU Charles Michel.

On Friday afternoon, EU leaders are gathering in Porto for taking part at the Social Summit, a flagship event of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council. Their informal meeting will also address the Covid-19 situation and other issues of international concern. On the agenda on Saturday there is an EU-India leaders' meeting with the participation via videoconference of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The summit, hosted by Portuguese PM António Costa, is expected to give political impetus to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its action plan, emphasising its central   role in European recovery and in adaptation to the climate, digital and demographic transitions.

It will also give a chance for strengthening dialogue with social partners and citizens.

The summit will put particular focus on the areas of employment, qualifications and social protection.

The future of work, decent work, the negotiation of a directive on adequate minimum wages, and promoting the development of appropriate skills for a modern and digital economy, will also be discussed.

Three parallel workshops will be dedicated to ‘Work and employment', ‘Skills and innovation' and ‘Welfare state and social protection'.

The Commission will have a strong representation at the summit. Along with EC President von der Leyen, part will also take Executive Vice-Presidents Vestager and Dombrovskis, High Representative/ Vice-President Borrell as well as Commissioners Gabriel, Schmit and Ferreira.

In March, the Commission put forward an Action Plan to further implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and address the socioeconomic consequences of the pandemic, as well as more long-term demographic, societal and technological challenges.

The plan suggests as well EU-level targets for employment, skills and social protection to be achieved by 2030.

In his invitation letter sent to the EU heads of state and government on Wednesday, European Council President Charles Michel explained that the morning discussion on 8 May will concentrate on how to best ensure an inclusive recovery, with education and skills “at the heart of our political action”.

Leaders will discus on ways to create jobs and improve job quality, and fight poverty and social exclusion, and how to support all those affected by the Covid-19 crisis and who have, for example, seen their education, training or participation in the labour market disrupted.

The EU-India Leaders' meeting will focus on strengthening EU-India cooperation. The President of the Commission will update leaders on the latest trade developments with India.

Our meeting takes place against the dramatic backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic recently hitting India and for which the EU and Member States are providing support, Michel stressed adding that beyond this immediate priority, leaders will discuss how to reinforce the Strategic Partnership with India. I believe the current global situation may allow us to open a new important chapter in our relationship and we should make the best of this opportunity, he pointed out.

EP President David Sassoli, Employment Committee Chair Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová (ECR, SK) and several other MEPs will as well participate in the Porto Social Summit on 7 May.

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