Discussions involving EU and business leaders, trade union representatives, and civil society are set to focus on the establishment of 20 initiatives designed to boost growth, increase employment, and ease inequality.
"We are here to put people first for a social Europe," Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven said, opening the summit.
Security measures surrounding the summit caused severe disruption for commuters, with road closures across the city.
Löfven, Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, and president of the European Council, Donald Tusk held a joint press conference during which Löfven said that the EU had "not paid enough attention to the need for good jobs with decent working conditions."
"I firmly believe that the best way to increase trust in the European Union and its institutions is to bring about real improvements in people's daily lives," Löfven said.