EU Porto Social Summit (7-8 May 2021) | 3 EFFAT demands for a fairer Europe for workers

May 5, 2021 | Press release

On 7- 8 May 2021, representatives of the EU Institutions, EU heads of states and social partners, will come together to shape the European social policy agenda for the years to come and reinforce their commitment to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR).

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll, we need a truly social Europe based on equal opportunities, fair working conditions, strong collective bargaining, and social protection for all workers.

Representing millions of workers in some of the most precarious sectors of the labour market, EFFAT demands an ambitious EPSR action plan with effective actions that deliver for the most vulnerable ones.

  1. EFFAT demands the immediate introduction of Social Conditionality in the new Common Agriculture Policy (CAP).

The pandemic and the current CAP inter-institutional negotiations present the EU with the opportunity to rethink the agriculture sector with a more sustainable and socially just vision where workers’ rights are respected.

In view of the Porto Social Summit and in full respect of the Portuguese Presidency’s commitment to strengthen social rights in the EU, EFFAT together with a movement of more than 300 signatories, calls on the EU Institutions to deliver a truly sustainable CAP that upholds the respect of workers’ rights through an effective social conditionality mechanism: an easily applicable solution that would help in raising labour standards for millions of farm workers (See Open Letter )

  1. EFFAT demands strong actions to protect migrant and mobile workers.

EFFAT sectors largely depend on the work of mobile and migrant workers who make up a significant proportion of those harvesting our fields, packing, and processing our food, as well as those cleaning our houses and allowing the hospitality sector to run.

Despite being essential, migrant and mobile workers often fall victim of discrimination, labour exploitation, and other labour abuses. With the recent COVID-19 outbreak their hardships have become evident and deserve new attention.

EFFAT calls for new EU binding measures that ensure decent and affordable housing conditions for all mobile and migrant workers; the regulation of the role of subcontracting and placement agencies; the establishment of common standards for effective labour inspections and complaint mechanisms and better social security provisions for all mobile and migrant workers.

  1. EFFAT demands the relaunch of Tourism with a new sustainable model.

The hospitality sector has been among the hardest hit, with businesses being forced to shut down at short notice as part of the collective fight against the virus. Almost 6 million workers have either lost their job or are in a retention scheme due to the impact of COVID-19 on tourism. The sector still faces huge uncertainties as recovery is likely to be long and difficult.

Despite being one of the predominant European industry, tourism has often relied on poverty wages and precarious employment. Now is the time for the EU to rethink a new long term, sustainable and socially responsible tourism model: one based on excellence and quality service, and that values its workers, offering decent and stable employment, granting workplace health and safety rights, investments in training and qualifications.

The European hospitality sector needs a coordinated relaunch at EU level, and dedicated financial support for businesses and workers well beyond 2021.  Short time work schemes to protect jobs must be extended. State aid should only be given to the many companies that respect labour standards, play by the rules, and pay their fair share to society. EFFAT believes that tourism should become a shared competence of the EU to ensure a resilient and sustainable European tourism model capable of dealing with future challenges.

There is no recovery without a social recovery and no just transition without decent work. EFFAT expects the European Social Summit in Porto to be a real course change that leaves no one behind.


Porto Social Summit, Friday 7 May – more information here and here
Informal meeting of heads of state or government on social issues, Saturday 8 May – more information here





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