Magazine ed*
ed* Nr. 01/2024

Porto Social Summit and implementation of the EPSR


ed* Nr. 01/2024 – Chapter 8

2021 was also the year in which the EU put its heart and soul into social policymaking. The further agenda for implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) was set at the Social Summit in Porto in May 2021. Social declarations of intent have been replaced by concrete social policy goals to be achieved by 2030. It is undisputed that good social policy needs a solid economic foundation. At the Tripartite Social Summit on 22 March 2023, EU leaders and social partners worked together on this foundation and responded to the challenges facing Europe concerning competitiveness. 

Paradigm shift in fiscal policy?

Frank Vandenbroucke
© 2023

A Europe that is strong and competitive on the outside must show solidarity within.

Frank Vandenbroucke, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Health and Social Affairs

The will to ensure that social policy continues to play an important role in European politics in the future became very clear during the Spanish and Belgian Council Presidencies. This is reflected, among other things, in the utilisation of the results of the expert group on the future of social protection. For example, informal working groups of the Council Presidencies are currently looking at how to deal with social investments, for example in education and training, but also at the growth-promoting potential of expenditure on prevention and rehabilitation. This indicates a paradigm shift in terms of fiscal and budgetary policy: in the future, investment in social areas could be seen as a contribution to increasing Europe’s competitiveness and its single market. This means that the single market and social policy would be viewed as complementary.