How does the EU manage after the crisis to take everyone with it in the economic recovery and to secure important social rights?
At an EU summit there are at least strong commitments.
Porto - boost the economy, get jobs, alleviate poverty: At the social summit in Portugal, representatives of the EU countries, trade unions and employers jointly committed to a fair recovery after the corona crisis and a more social Europe.
In a declaration on Friday evening, they committed themselves to specific goals in order to noticeably improve the social situation by 2030.
The aim is to achieve an employment rate of at least 78 percent in the EU by the end of the decade.
At least 60 percent of adults should attend further training courses annually and the number of people at risk of poverty and social exclusion should be reduced by at least 15 million.
EU summit: Von der Leyen presents aid program - "bigger than the Marshall Plan"
Such a far-reaching agreement between the states and the social partners is unprecedented, said Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa *.
He spoke of a "historic moment".
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasized that the recovery from the Corona crisis * and the digital and green change in the economy are now about creating good, future-proof jobs and the necessary qualifications.
The EUR 750 billion in EU development aid would support this, emphasized von der Leyen.
The program is "bigger than the Marshall Plan," but it must now be implemented quickly.
Von der Leyen appealed to all EU countries to ratify the necessary budget decision in May.
Then the Commission could start taking out the necessary loans on the financial markets in June.
EU summit: Poland and Hungary prevent word "gender equality"
The meeting did not go off without any dispute.
Because Poland and Hungary prevented the word “gender equality” in the planned declaration of the EU social summit in Porto.
Warsaw and Budapest had resisted the term because it “creates space for LGBT rights” and sees “the fabric of their Christian societies” in danger, said an EU diplomat on Friday.
Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban * criticized EU governments who wanted to refer to something other than equality between men and women.
The dispute, which concerned only one of 13 points in the declaration of the social summit, had occupied the EU ambassadors for days. In an original draft from the beginning of the week it was said that the EU wanted to "close the gap in employment, pay and pensions between men and women and promote gender equality and fairness for every individual in our society". In the final version, which is to be adopted on Saturday, it is now said that Europe wants to "close the gender gap in employment, pay and pensions and promote fairness for every individual in our society". Reference is also made to basic principle number two of the European Pillar for Social Rights adopted in 2017. Only "women and men" are mentioned there.This prevented a possible reference to the LGBT community. The English abbreviation LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.
EU summit: Orban drives attack department - "They don't like the Christian approach"
Orban defended the blockade stance.
It is about an "ideologically motivated expression, the meaning of which is not clear," he said when he arrived at the summit in Porto.
If the term gender equality is used, it should refer to men and women.
But this is always rejected by other EU countries, said the Hungarian.
"They don't like the Christian approach." Warsaw insists on adhering to the provisions of the EU treaty, said a Polish representative of the AFP news agency about the dispute.
"The EU treaty clearly does not refer to gender equality, but to equality between women and men."
The EU meeting lasts until Saturday.
Incidentally, Porto should also be about the corona pandemic and, among other things, the question of whether vaccine patents should be released in order to advance global supply.
The EU states are divided on this.
EU summit: also focus on foreign and social policy
The heads of state and government also wanted to discuss foreign policy issues, including relations with Russia. A video conference with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also planned for Saturday. In addition, Chancellor Merkel will hold a press conference on Saturday at 4 p.m. She did not travel to Germany due to the pandemic and only switched on temporarily via video. The SPD European politician Katarina Barley criticized this and called on the EU states to do more for social cohesion. The left-wing European politician Özlem Demirel complained: "Social policy only plays a subordinate role in the EU, and that has to change."
Many EU states do not want Brussels to interfere with social policy. Concrete social policy EU plans such as requirements for the introduction of local minimum wages in all 27 countries are very controversial and hardly make any progress.
(dpa / AFP / cibo) * Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA