5 May 2021, 20:25
It is my pleasure to invite you to our informal meeting in Porto, where Prime Minister Costa is kindly hosting us. Following the High Level Conference organised by the Portuguese Presidency on 7 May, which will focus on social matters, we will have our working dinner, where we will address the COVID-19 situation and prepare the EU-India leaders’ meeting of the following day. We will also touch upon other issues of international concern.
Our morning discussion on 8 May will concentrate on how we can best ensure an inclusive recovery, with education and skills at the heart of our political action. We will focus on ways to create jobs and improve job quality, and fight poverty and social exclusion. We will also address how to support all those affected by the COVID-19 crisis and who have, for example, seen their education, training or participation in the labour market disrupted. The Porto Declaration, which we expect to adopt at this meeting, sets out our vision for Europe’s ambitious digital, green and fair transition.
We will then welcome Indian Prime Minister Modi, who will join us via video conference for the EU-India Leaders’ meeting that same day. Our focus will be on strengthening EU-India cooperation. The President of the Commission will update us on the latest trade developments with India. Our meeting takes place against the dramatic backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic recently hitting India and for which the EU and Member States are providing support. Beyond this immediate priority, we will discuss how to reinforce our Strategic Partnership with India. I believe the current global situation may allow us to open a new important chapter in our relationship and we should make the best of this opportunity.
As to the practical proceedings, our informal dinner on 7 May will start at 7:45 pm. We will resume the following day at 9:30 am, and will then proceed to the EU-India Leaders’ meeting over a working lunch from 12:30 pm. All times indicated are in local Porto (WEST) time. I look forward to seeing you in Porto.