EU celebrates Europe Day with a declaration outlining ambitious social agenda

9 May is Europe, celebrated by the European Union and across the continent to highlight and celebrate peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historic Schuman declaration, which started Europe on the path to today's European Union.

This year, faced by the challenges of the pandemic and its social and economic consequences, European leaders meeting at an informal summit in Porto, hosted by the current Portuguese Presidency of the EU, focused on social issues, including on how to ensure an inclusive recovery, with education and skills at the heart of the EU's political action.

European leaders adopted the Porto declaration, setting out their vision for Europe's digital, green and fair transition.

The social dimension, social dialogue and the active involvement of social partners have always been at the core of a highly competitive social market economy. Our commitment to unity and solidarity also means ensuring equal opportunities for all and that no one is left behind.

The Porto declaration

You can read the Porto Declaration in full here.

EU leaders discussed the implementation of the European pillar of social rights at EU and national level, as established by the EU strategic agenda 2019-2024.  The action plan presented by the Commission in March 2021 provides guidance on the implementation of the European pillar of social rights, including in the areas of employment, skills and social protection. The action plan also sets three main targets to be achieved throughout the European Union by 2030:

  • an employment rate of at least 78% in the EU
  • at least 60% of adults attending training courses every year
  • a reduction of at least 15 million in the number of people at risk of social exclusion or poverty

What is the Schuman Declaration?

In 1950, European countries were slowly recovering from the human and economic devastation caused by World War II, under the shadow of the renewed global tensions sparked by the Cold War. On 9 May 1950, in what became known as the Schuman Declaration, French Foreign Minister and future European Parliament President Robert Schuman announced the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community placed under the control of a common High Authority.

Robert Schuman wanted the countries to share production of coal and steel in order to make war ‘not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible’. His call was heard around Europe and other European countries joined the initiative, laying the foundations for lasting peace. The Schuman Declaration, and the model of international collaboration at its heart, proved to be the first step on the path to today’s European Union.

The editorial team of extends our best wishes to all our European readers, subscribers and supporters on the occasion of Europe Day 2021: HAPPY EUROPE DAY

source: with the Council of the European Union

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