POLITICS & INSTITUTIONS - ECONOMY

Lux commits to EU social targets at Porto summit



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Photo: SIP/Jean-Christophe Verhaegen 

EU leaders, including Luxembourg prime minister Xavier Bettel, met in Porto over the weekend in an effort to boost the bloc’s social agenda.

The European Commission under then president Jean-Claude Juncker in 2017 presented the so-called European Pillar of Social Rights, which sets out 20 key principles on equal opportunities, labour market access, working conditions, and social protection and inclusion.

His successor, Ursula von der Leyen, picked up the baton to create an action plan around the pillar. This includes commitments to meet three headline targets by 2030:

  • At least 78% of people aged 20 to 64 should be in employment;
  • At least 60% of all adults should participate in training every year;
  • The number of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million, including at least 5 million children.

The members of the European Council, including Bettel (DP), in the Porto Declaration welcomed these targets and pledged to “to work towards a social Europe” and implement the social rights pillar.

“The Porto Social Summit is our joint commitment to build a social Europe that is fit for our day and age and that works for everyone,” Von der Leyen said in a statement.

Bettel on social media said the declaration adopted by EU leaders on 8 May is a “commitment for an inclusive and sustainable recovery” from the coronavirus pandemic, another key agenda item at the summit and the informal European Council meeting of the bloc’s heads of government and state.