We are deeply disappointed with the outcome of the Social Summit in Porto (Portugal). After four long years since the Gothenburg meeting and more than a year marked by the effects of the pandemic, we stay at the side of those European citizens and workers who would have liked to see a more concrete discussion about the social dimension of Europe.
For us, the floodgates for the revival of austerity’s macroeconomic conditionality must be concretely and unambiguously closed. We remain vigilant against any attempt to facilitate the return to business as usual. Only when the European Treaties will contemplate the Pillar of Social Rights it will be possible to speak about a concrete European commitment toward the social dimension of Europe.
We need an economic model oriented towards public welfare. In the light of the economic crisis we are experiencing, which follows years of asymmetric economic depression and neoliberal austerity policies of privatizing public services, the outcome of the Porto’ Summit still worries us. It can open the door again to what we have always seen at the European level so far in regard to the social dimension of the EU. Moreover, while Angela Merkel was not present at the informal meeting of Heads of State or Government on May 8, the future of the social dimension of Europe was again left to the goodwill of the member states and their willingness to act in this direction.
In Porto, we began holding demonstrations again and occupying squares and streets as it was important to get back on the road on the side of workers and citizens. The Social Counter-Summit promoted by Bloco de Esquerda was an important step to fight together for ambitious goals.
Only by fighting together, we will create real radical change. It is crucial to design together with the path for strong future actions and to keep discussing ways to put pressure on the European institutions.
Heinz Bierbaum, President of the European Left
originally published at the website of the Party of the European Left (11/5/2021)