Stanishev highlights importance of public investment in Helsinki
PES President Sergei Stanishev underlined the importance of public investment in order to achieve fairer cities with improved housing and public transport at a joint conference on urban development, growth and welfare hosted by the PES and the Finnish Social Democratic Party (SDP) today in Helsinki.
Stanishev said: “We can be proud of our successes in major European capitals such as London, Berlin, Paris or Amsterdam. Their progressive mayors greatly enhanced citizens’ lives, ensured a harmonious development of their cities and promoted fair urbanization measures. We truly hope that, after your elections, Helsinki will become the next social-democratic capital to implement sustainable, citizen-oriented development policies”.
According to the PES President, austerity has led to increased social welfare demands to many local administrations which find themselves stretched to their limits by the lack of funding. Stanishev said: “These restrictions demonstrate that the EU, the national and regional governments and the cities must embark on stronger cooperation”.
Stanishev used the opportunity to present the European Youth Plan to the Finnish audience: “As you all know, Europe’s youth is paying a high price in the current difficult economic and social context. Youth unemployment, despite improvements, remains worryingly high and is turning structural, with long term consequences on individuals and the economy. We must give those young people hope and opportunities”.
Stanishev had a meeting with Antti Rinne, chairman of the SDP – Finland. They discussed the progressive response to recent events such as the Brexit vote or the outcome of the US presidential election.