Employment, equal opportunities, social protection and health were key themes on the agenda the Porto Social Summit on Friday 7 May. The summit was organised by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU.
The aim of the summit was to strengthen the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. In addition to the members of the European Council, the summit was attended by EU-level representatives of labour market organisations, OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and ILO Director-General Guy Ryder, among others. The participants spent most of the meeting working in workshops.
Prime Minister Sanna Marin participated in a panel on education and innovation.
In her speech, Marin emphasised the importance of education as the key to the EU’s economic success.
“Europe needs creative thinking and skilled hands to drive the digital and green transition forward. The conclusion is clear: people’s skills are Europe’s most important resource. With this in mind, the EU should set the goal of having the highest level of education in the world,” Marin said.
Prime Minister Marin also stressed the importance of closer EU cooperation in the education sector and drew attention to the digital transformation in education.
She went on to describe the role education plays in strengthening the resilience of societies and advancing equality and inclusion.
The programme for Friday evening also included an informal dinner of heads of state or government, where the main themes on the agenda were the EU’s joint measures to combat COVID-19 and the EU-India Leaders’ Meeting taking place on Saturday.
Also on Saturday 8 May, the members of the European Council will hold an informal meeting in Porto, where they will continue their discussion on social issues and adopt the Porto Declaration.