“Building Social Europe”, Flagship conference by Social Platform

Message by Social Platform President

Introduction and background

Sobre a conferência – em português

Location

Conference language

Provisional programme

Panel descriptions

Workshops

Registration

Accommodation

Message by Social Platform President

Dear friends,

I am delighted to present our first official conference mailing and to invite you to the Social Platform’s “Building Social Europe” conference which will take place on 29-30 November in Lisbon and which is organised in cooperation with the government of Portugal.

The purpose of this conference is to mark the one year anniversary since the Proclamation of the EU’s Pillar of Social Rights – an important milestone in shifting the compass of the EU towards being more social and inclusive.

We want to ensure that our conference is a platform not just to debate but also translate the commitments in the European Pillar of Social Rights and in the Sustainable Development Goals into tangible political goals, given upcoming European elections and the institutional transitions in 2019.

We aim to welcome around 80 participants equally representing our membership at European and national level. Besides our membership, we aim to engage EU and national decision makers, social partners, civil society organisations, and academics.

The conference offers two panel debates with participation of high level speakers, three workshops, numerous study visits and meetings with the local projects in Portugal, “Made in Social Europe” exhibition of practices from across our membership, and also a chance to discover the charm and beautify of Lisbon.

I very much hope many of you and other representatives of your organisations will come to Lisbon with us to what is promising to be a lively, stimulating conference!

Jana Hainsworth, President of the Social Platform 

Introduction and background

On 17th November 2017, Social Platform delegation at the Social Summit in Gothenburg launched a strong call to Heads of States and Government for reviving the European Union to regain people’s trust by prioritising tackling inequalities, delivering a strong social agenda that goes beyond employment and partnering with organised civil society to leave no one behind.

This took place in the framework of the proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which underscored the united political commitment of Europe’s leaders to realise a truly socially and economically just Europe, based on a new instrument that we contributed to shape from the initial launch of the initiative until its final adoption.

Following years of distrusts and inaction, this has been welcome as a new window of opportunity that has the potential to bring about the necessary policy changes to make Europe more social.  A meaningful implementation of the Pillar would not only be an opportunity for the political establishment to regain people’s trust by showing that the EU brings real added value to their daily lives, but would also respond to people’s expectations: a November 2017 Eurobarometer survey found that 45% of Europeans want social equality and solidarity to be emphasised in the face of major global challenges.

While the European Union is slowly coming out of the financial and economic crisis that shook it to its core a decade ago, it continues to face challenges on its march towards achieving socio-economic justice for all its 500 million plus inhabitants.

That is why we want to combine discussions on the implementation of the Pillar with those concerning some of the most pressing challenges of our time: inequality and sustainability.

We will do this taking into account the upcoming European elections, ongoing discussions on the future of Europe and the next multi-annual financial framework, and the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which are just three areas where the argument for a broader EU social agenda can gain real traction, beyond employment.

The first panel will look at inequalities in Europe, discussing the state of art, the main drivers behind recent trends and the necessary measures to address inequalities, with a specific attention to the packages of new tools following the proclamation of the Social Pillar.

The second panel will have a more forward looking angle and will look at solutions to rebalance social, economic and environmental objectives to build a Europe that is inclusive, fair and sustainable for all.

High level speakers from academia, EU and national decision makers, social partners and civil society will take part in both panels.

The three parallel workshops will discuss the role of and the tools available to civil society to promote progress on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the construction of a more social Europe.

During the conference we will display the “Made in Social Europe” photo exhibition showcasing projects that civil society organisations from across our membership are already delivering on the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights on local and national level.

Sobre a conferência – em português

Sobre nós

A Plataforma Social é a principal aliança da sociedade civil no combate pela justiça social e a democracia participativa na Europa. Formada por 49 redes de ONGs pan-Europeias, a Plataforma Social procura assegurar que as políticas da UE são desenvolvidas em parceria com as pessoas por elas afetadas, respeitando os direitos fundamentais, promovendo a solidariedade e melhorando as suas vidas.

Objetivos da Conferência

A Conferência tem um objetivo duplo. Em primeiro lugar, queremos assinalar o 1.º aniversário da proclamação do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais que os/as líderes da UE adotaram no ano passado na destacada Cimeira Social e que foi uma ideia apoiada e reivindicada por nós. Queremos fazer uma avaliação inicial e ainda mais importante, queremos discutir de que maneira é que o compromisso político e o Pilar se traduzem numa implementação efetiva e com significado.

Em segundo lugar, queremos assegurar que o processo de tomada de decisão em assuntos sociais inclui de facto e envolve as organizações da sociedade civil. Como uma das organizações membro da nossa plataforma advoga: “Nada sobre nós sem nós!” Acreditamos que uma Europa verdadeiramente forte, sustentável, social e economicamente justa só é possível quando as pessoas e o seu bem-estar estão no centro do debate e a sociedade civil faz parte desse debate e do processo de tomada de decisão.

Enquadramento

A nossa Conferência é um resultado direto da proclamação do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais e é nossa intenção organizá-la anualmente.

A 17 de Novembro de 2017, a delegação da Plataforma Social na Cimeira Social em Gotemburgo desafiou os/as Chefes de Estado e os Governos a reavivar a União Europeia e a reconquistar a confiança das pessoas através da priorização do combate às desigualdades, construindo uma agenda social forte que vá para além do emprego e concretize uma parceria com a sociedade civil que não deixe ninguém para trás.

Fizemo-lo no quadro da proclamação do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais que sublinhou o compromisso político dos/das líderes da Europa para construir uma Europa verdadeiramente justa social e economicamente, com base num instrumento novo que nós ajudamos a moldar desde o lançamento da iniciativa até à sua adoção final.

Após anos de desconfiança e inação, este foi recebido como uma nova janela de oportunidade que tem o potencial para produzir as necessárias mudanças políticas. A implementação significativa do Pilar não seria apenas uma oportunidade para as instituições políticas reconquistarem a confiança das pessoas através da demonstração do valor realmente adicionado ao seu quotidiano, mas seria também a resposta às preocupações e às expectativas das pessoas.

É por isto que queremos que a nossa Conferência alie as discussões relativas à implementação do Pilar com aquelas que dizem respeito a alguns dos desafios mais prementes nos nossos dias: a desigualdade e a sustentabilidade.

Faremos isto tendo em conta as próximas eleições Europeias, as discussões existentes sobre o futuro da Europa e do próximo quadro financeiro multi-anual, e a adoção da Agenda 2030 para o Desenvolvimento Sustentável que são as três áreas onde o argumento em defesa de uma agenda social da UE mais alargada pode ganhar tração real para além do emprego.

Estrutura da Conferência

Plenário
Vamos olhar para as desigualdades na Europa, discutir o estado da arte, aquilo que são os principais impulsionadores das tendências mais recentes e as medidas necessárias para contrariar as desigualdades, com especial atenção para os pacotes e os novos instrumentos que seguiram a proclamação do Pilar Social. Vamos adotar uma perspetiva de futuro e procurar soluções para equilibrar os objetivos sociais, económicos e ambientais para construir uma Europa que seja inclusiva, justa e sustentável para todos e todas. Oradores/as vindos/as da academia, decisores/as locais, nacionais e da UE, parceiros/as sociais e a sociedade civil farão parte de ambos os painéis.

Oficinas
Três oficinas paralelas irão discutir o papel da sociedade civil e as ferramentas disponíveis para agilizar o processo de implementação do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais e a construção de uma Europa mais social.

Exposição
“Feito na Europa Social” é uma exposição de fotografias que vão exibir os projetos que diversas organizações da sociedade civil que fazem parte da nossa plataforma já desenvolveram relativamente aos princípios do Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais a nível local e nacional.

Visita a Projetos Locais
Os participantes e as participantes terão a oportunidade de visitar projetos locais desenvolvidos pelas organizações da sociedade civil Portuguesas.

Jantar de Gala
Os participantes e as participantes serão recebidos/as num Jantar de Gala oferecido pelo Governo de Portugal.

A quem se dirige a Conferência?

A nossa Conferência tem como destinatários/as a sociedade civil, os/as parceiros/as sociais, os/as decisores a nível local, nacional e da UE, e investigadores/as.

 

Location

Our event will take place at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: Av. de Berna, 45 A, 1067  001 Lisbon, Portugal

Conference language

The conference will be in English and Portuguese.  Simultaneous interpretation will be provided during all panels and workshops.

Provisional programme

28 November – Wednesday (only for Social Platform members)

Time Event Location
Arrivals
18:00 – 20:00 Lisbon tour Lisbon city
20:00 Networking meeting tbc

29 November – Thursday

Time Event Location
09:00 – 13:00 Projects visits/meetings Local projects
13:00 – 14:00 Registration & light snack lunch Conference venue: Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation: Av. de Berna, 45 A, 1067  001 Lisbon, Portugal
14:00 – 14:45 Welcome and introduction

Jana Hainsworth, President of Social Platform

José António Vieira da Silva, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security of the Republic of Portugal

Representatives of EU institutions and Portuguese government

Conference venue
14:45 – 16:15 Panel 1 – Inequalities in Europe: will the Social Pillar deliver on its promises?  
Key note speech, panel discussion, Q&A
Conference venue
16:15 – 16:45 Break Conference venue
16:45 – 18:00 Panel 2 – Towards the next decade: How to build a Europe that is inclusive, fair and sustainable for all?
Panel discussion, Q&A
Conference venue
18:00 – 18:15 Concluding remarks Conference venue
19:30 – 22:00 Dinner
Convento de Santos o Novo, Largo de Santos-o-Novo Calçada Cruz da Pedra nº44 1900-173 Lisboa, 1900-173 (hosted by Government of Portugal)

30 November – Friday

Time Event Location
09:30 – 11:30 Parallel workshops:

–          The new EU investment plan: what is in for the social sector?

–          A non-binding Pillar of Social Rights: how to use legal frameworks for its implementation?

–          Involving civil society in EU semester process: challenges and opportunities?

Conference venue
11:30 – 12:00 break Conference venue
12:00 – 13:00 Plenary :

–          Workshops reporting

–          Conference closing

Conference venue
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Conference venue
14:00 Departures

Panel descriptions

Panel 1 – Inequalities in Europe: will the Social Pillar deliver on its promises?             

The inequality debate has reignited during the economic crisis and while Europe is slowly recovering from it, the data, research and lives experiences of citizens clearly show that the EU suffers from significant inequality and poverty.  Despite that, the EU does not have a systematic and explicit strategy to fight against inequalities and the Europe 2020 Strategy has a poverty target that is failing attaining. However in the complex framework of EU policies and instruments, tools exist that might help reducing poverty and inequalities and the Proclamation of the European Pillar of Social Rights has created a momentum for change.

In this context, the panel will debate questions related to drivers of inequalities and tools to address it; ability of the current EU policy framework to fight inequalities; possible complementary or alternative solutions; opportunities and challenges to face in order to bring these elements into the democratic debate.

Panel 2 – Towards the next decade: How to build a Europe that is inclusive, fair and sustainable for all?

As the Europe2020 strategy to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is set to expire and a successor strategy yet to emerge, this session will explore how a future sustainable Europe needs to be shaped to deliver well-being, social and economic progress for present and future generations. In a highly interdependent world, the Sustainable Development Goals recognise the necessity to navigate complexity and increase synergies between the different goals to ensure that ‘no one is left behind’ within planetary boundaries. The European Pillar of Social Rights is an example of an EU initiative with strong potential to drive and reinforce many SDGs, by working towards full inclusion, fair working conditions and equal opportunities for all.  To deliver concrete and visible results for people, the economy and the environment, constructive partnerships that involve civil society in all its diversity are both precondition and a key driving force to achieve the Goals.

In this context, the panel will debate questions related to the need to rebalance social, economic and environmental objectives and the ability of the current EU policy framework to take up the challenge; aspiration versus political feasibility for a reform of the European governance model for sustainability; transparency, accountability and civic participation as key enablers for a more sustainable future.

Workshops

The three parallel workshops will discuss the role of and the tools available to civil society to promote progress on the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the construction of a more social Europe.

The focus will be on the three main axes underpinning our policy and advocacy work: legal instruments, social and economic governance and funding.

This exercise will allow participants to exchange views and members to shape ideas, strengthen synergies with other organisations and test the proposals via interactive discussions with stakeholders from EU institutions, member states and other partners.

Registration

Please register here. Deadline for registration: Monday, 5 November 2018.

Accommodation

Social Platform made necessary arrangements with a number of hotels nearby the conference venue. However, each participant needs to arrange their own booking/payment for their accommodation directly with the hotel.

Please find below a list of hotels where we blocked number of rooms for our conference participants and particularly pay attention to the deadline until when you can make a reservation in each particular hotel. Unfortunately, once the deadlines we agreed with the hotels expire, we will not be able to provide any assistance with the accommodation and it will be individual responsibility of the participant. Once again, we strongly encourage you to make your hotel reservations directly with one of the suggested hotels as soon as possible as Lisbon is a very popular tourist destination even in November and finding accommodation in that city is not always an easy task. When booking your accommodation in one of the suggested hotels, please make reference to Social Platform.

Hotel Holiday Inn Lisbon Continental**** 
115€ (double room, including breakfast)
100€ (single room, including breakfast)
Deadline: 12 October 2018. Booking form to be sent to csilva@grupo-continental.com

Hotel Açores Lisboa****
74€ (double room, including breakfast)
67€ (single room, including breakfast)
Deadline: 26 October 2018. Booking form to be sent to ana.rodrigues@bensaude.pt

VIP Grand Lisboa Hotel & SPA*****
105€ (double room, including breakfast)
95€ (single room, including breakfast)
Deadline: 12 October 2018. Booking form to be sent to sales.trade@viphotels.com

SANA Malhoa Hotel****
100€ (double room, including breakfast)
90€ (single room, including breakfast)
Deadline: 28 October 2018. Booking form.

VIP Zurique***
75€ (double room, including breakfast)
70€ (single room, including breakfast)
Deadline: 30 October 2018. Booking form to be sent to res.zurique@viphotels.com

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