PES President Sergei Stanishev thanked the Congress for the confidence placed in him, underlining that; “our values are our strength. If we want to change the direction of Europe away from austerity and short-sighted politics, if we want to get out of the crisis together, we must set the example both inside and outside our political family. This is the reason why democracy and solidarity are the essence of the PES Congress – because they are at the very core of being progressive and of being European”.
Mr. Stanishev added: “This Congress shows that we are a unified party. Our major goal is to give back hope to the European citizens, to restore the confidence that the European project is the path for a better future. People here believe that an alternative to austerity is not only possible but necessary. We have taken big steps on economic policy, on social policy and on democracy. On economic policy, we have pushed for movement on Financial Transaction Tax, on regulation of credit rating agencies, on a genuine banking union and on Eurobonds. On social policy, we are calling for a social pact, so that people can believe that Europe is about them, and on democracy we have set in stone our plans for a democratic common candidate”.
Hannes Swoboda, leader of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, stated: “I warmly congratulate Sergei Stanishev on his election as PES President. Sergei has taken on this challenge at a time of European crisis, with millions of citizens looking for a new direction from the EU. As we begin our preparations for the European Elections in 2014, his leadership will help the PES to present strong progressive policies, built on a democratic and open platform. I look forward to working with him for the Europe we need”.
Mr. Stanishev took over the party leadership as Interim President in late 2011 after his predecessor, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, stepped down at the last PES Council. Since the beginning of his presidency, the top priorities of the PES have been to promote sustainable and fair growth, bring more democracy, transparency and accountability to the European Union, and call for a European Youth Guarantee.