President Klaus Iohannis said on Friday that the COVID-19 pandemic affects not only people’s health and economies, but also their social structure, pointing out that Europewide solutions are needed.
The Romanian chief of state participates, on May 7-8, in the Porto Social Summit in Portugal as part of an informal meeting of the European Council, as well as in the EU – India Summit via videoconference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Mod.
“It is extremely important to meet now, because the pandemic does not only affect people’s health and economies. It also affects social structures. We want to address all these issues together and we want to find European solutions. There are many areas where we can step in together. I can only mention a few: obviously, jobs, education, equal opportunities, gender equality and so on, pensions, pay – all of these come in a very large package that we will deal with. On the other hand, by getting out of the pandemic, because of the money we will use for reconstruction, we can also address areas of this social pillar – obviously education, which in Romania has an extremely important place in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR). But we also have digital education, lifelong learning, skills training in the digital area for adults and people who are still economically active; there are a lot of areas,” Iohannis said ahead of the Porto Social Summit.
He pointed out that after the Social Summit there will be a very applied discussion about the pandemic, its management and the way out of this health crisis.
He also spoke about the EU-India summit on the agenda of the meeting.
“It’s important to us as well, because the European Union and India seem to have more and more in common: we’re getting closer in terms of the economy, in terms of connectivity, in the digital area. Unfortunately, the pandemic these days and weeks has been making many victims in India and we, Romania, helped India: we were the first team in the European Union that came up to India with help and I think we will work together on a very strong partnership,” said Iohannis, according to Agerpres.
According a release of Romania’s Presidential Administration, the Porto Social Summit has as central topic the optimal implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The event targets drawing up the priorities of the social agenda for the next decade, so that it responds to the challenges of the green and digital transition.
President Klaus Iohannis will have an intervention during the second thematic session regarding competencies and innovation, in the panel on education, competencies and innovation.
The agenda of the informal reunion of the European Council will feature the relations between the European Union and India, in the perspective of the EU-India informal summit, as well as the elements referring to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The EU-India Summit will approach topics that regard the consolidation of cooperation in the effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, reaffirming the interest of both parties regarding the continuation of development of trade relations, the promotion of efficient multilateralism, the consolidation of cooperation in what regards the main foreign policy and security challenges, as well as encouraging cooperation in the realm of connectivity. The adoption of a joint EU-India political statement is also in view, focusing mainly on aspects regarding the management of the COVID-19 pandemic and durable social-economic and digital recovery.