The social summit, which is being organised a day ahead of the October session of the European Council by Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, was also attended by representatives of European trade unions and business associations.
This year the discussion focused on a socially just recovery and a digital and green transition and on transforming recovery into a long-term sustainable growth that will support new and better jobs.
Janša said the summit was a confirmation of social dialogue being one of the EU’s fundamental values. “In the context of the commitment to strengthen the social dimension of the EU, the Slovenian presidency particularly highlights the importance of the European Pillar of Social Rights and its implementation as a fundamental element of the post-pandemic recovery”, Janša was quoted as saying by his office.
He noted that the crisis laid bare societies’ vulnerabilities. “I think we have responded largely well to ensure that the most vulnerable groups in our societies have not been overly affected during the pandemic, and we keep this in mind during the recovery efforts as well.”
Janša also noted upbeat economic growth forecasts, hoping that the fast growth in energy prices would not jeopardise them.
Speaking about the importance of using the opportunity of recovery for a digital and green transition, Janša underscored the need to find complex answers to multifaceted challenges.
He said the green transition should be done in the right way “because it also means a more resilient EU, less dependent on the energy sources we need to import. This awareness helps steer our boat in the right direction at a time of rising energy prices.”
He emphasised the need to make Europe more competitive, where he mentioned life-long learning as the only way to give Europeans enough skills and knowledge in the future. He noted the second goal from the European Pillar of Social Rights action plan under which at least 60% of adults should attend training courses every.
He also called for better respect for protecting workers’ health and safety set down in contracts.
“By focusing on quality and sustainable work, we can create a supportive environment for our businesses, from which derive all the conditions we need for the prosperity of our citizens to be enhanced and for all of us to be guaranteed an adequate level of social protection and social security,” Janša said.
He appealed “on everyone to work together and wisely use the instruments proposed by the European Commission”, adding that only through joint action would it be possible to keep the momentum of recovery and implement the green and digital transition.