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Statement by President von der Leyen at the joint press conference with President Sassoli and Prime Minister Costa at the Porto Social Summit

Met dank overgenomen van Europese Commissie (EC), gepubliceerd op vrijdag 7 mei 2021.

Thank you very much, António,

Thank you very much, David,

For this very extraordinary Social Summit. It was impressive to witness it during the day. And I must say: You really delivered on what the expectations were. We had five years ago, indeed, Gothenburg, with the first Social Summit and the principles enshrined. But now, five years later, for the very first time, all the social partners were not only present, but they signed the commitment. A joint commitment signed by all the different stakeholders that were here today. So this is not only about the principles that were so important, but this is about action. This is about delivering to the people.

And indeed, we have been discussing a lot about what is typical for the European social market economy. A social market economy that gives opportunity to people, but that also protects. Protects against illness, ill fortune, unemployment, the great risks of life - reliably. And with the pandemic, of course, we had an incredible difficult time, and we still have an incredible difficult time with all the negative impact of the pandemic.

But sometimes, the approach towards social Europe reminds me of our vaccination campaign. During the first year that we just had now with the pandemic, kind of the first shot was that we did everything to protect lives and livelihoods. That is, for example, by creating the SURE instrument to make sure that people stay in employment, but also by flexibilising all the European funds in order to inject money in the economy, to get people through the worst phase of the pandemic we have seen so far.

But now comes the second shot, which is basically the long-term recovery. And it is flanked by NextGenerationEU, our investment and recovery package worth EUR 750 billion and indeed - as you said, António - with a clear priority of digitisation and the European Green Deal. But flanking to that too come now our three basic targets to 2030 to create jobs, better jobs, good jobs, future-proof jobs. And one part is of course the investment through NextGenerationEU - investment and reforms. But, of course, a lot depends on our employers and trade unions - present today.

The goal is at least 78% of EU adults in employment by 2030. At least 60% of all adults participating in training every year. Here too, we need all the stakeholders. We need the employers, we need the trade unions, we need the organisations and civil society. But, of course, also the infrastructure by the Heads of State or Government, or by the Member States, flanked by cohesion funds and flanked by European social funds. And the third target, reducing the number of people at risk of poverty by at least 15 million, including at least 5 million children.

The most noble task, to get children out of poverty. We know the main pillar is: give their parents a job, but also make sure that these children have a good education, have access to childcare, have access to good schools. And there, as I have said in the meeting: It takes a whole village to raise a child, it takes the whole of the European Union to get children out of poverty.

So thank you very much for this impressive Social Summit, the delivery. It is about delivery, the motto of the Portuguese Presidency.


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