Social civil society leader cites Porto Social Commitment as important first step on long road to a more social Europe

Social Platform’s President Piotr Sadowski (l) and Board Member Heather Roy (r) with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen (c) at the EU Social Summit in Porto, 7 May 2021


Addressing European Union Heads of State and Government, the leader of the EU’s largest network of civil society organisations advocating for a social Europe called for a commitment to turn the words and spirit of the Porto Social Commitment into “real, lasting and positive” change to the lives of people in Europe.

The Porto Social Commitment, which Social Platform has contributed to and officially endorsed, sets out a shared ambition for a transition towards a green, socially just, and digital economy, which will shape the livelihoods of people across Europe for the decades to come. Speaking during the closing panel of the Porto Social Summit hosted by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU today [7 May], Social Platform President Piotr Sadowski said:

“This […] is the right moment to proclaim our political commitment, but we must be sure that we do not merely hide behind declarations, and instead deliver on our commitments when we return home. […] It is high time for the social agenda to be dealt with at the highest level of EU decision-making, and for these promises to be turned into actions.”

As well as calling for social investment and upwards social convergence to be at the heart of the EU’s recovery plans, Piotr Sadowski recommended the establishment of annual Social Summits to keep these and other social issues at the top of the EU agenda. He also welcomed the proposal set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan to put in place national coordination mechanisms to ensure the engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation of the Social Pillar, and encouraged Member States to fully involve civil society organisations in all stages of related policy-making, implementation, evaluation, and monitoring processes.

Referencing a recent Eurobarometer survey, which found that nine in ten Europeans identify social Europe as a top priority, Piotr Sadowski challenged EU Heads of State and Government to put the need for a strong European social model ahead of national protectionist tendencies, saying:

“For us, there should be a European social model where everyone is included, respected, treated as a human being and not discriminated against. So, if we are serious about a European recovery that leaves no one behind, let us stop focusing on what cannot be done and focus on what can be done to improve the lives of every person in our societies, in every corner of our European Union.”

As well as participating in the Social Summit’s three workshops and closing plenary, Social Platform held an official side event of the Portuguese EU Presidency on 4-5 May, it’s fourth annual ‘Building Social Europe’ Flagship Conference.


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