A more progressive Europe is our condition for supporting Juncker, say PES leaders
(Ypres, Belgium) Meeting in Ypres on the eve of the European Council, PES Heads of State and Government today gave their support for a more accountable and democratic European Union. The PES insists on a strongly progressive policy programme for the next Commission. The overwhelming message from EU voters is that they want change and that they want policies that address their concerns.
“It is clear to everybody in Europe that Jean-Claude Juncker is not our first choice candidate - that was Martin Schulz - but we must respect European voters. Now we want to use our strengthened position to shape the Commission’s policy programme and to secure important commitments for the next five years. Our priority is to meet the needs of EU citizens by securing progressive economic and social policies. As socialist leaders we all agreed that we need a more flexible application of the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact, to allow for more public and private investments to foster sustainable growth and quality jobs.” said PES President Sergei Stanishev.
The PES’s support for Jean-Claude Juncker is conditional on his policy programme. “The EPP know that they lost a lot of seats and votes, and that the people in Europe want a change; austerity-only policies have been overwhelmingly rejected;” said PES Secretary General Achim Post. “PES leaders have made clear to their colleagues in the Council and Parliament that Europe’s voters have delivered a mandate for change. This mandate must be respected by Jean-Claude Juncker and the EPP.”
The PES Prime Ministers and leaders emphasised that the next EU Commission should deliver an investment and industrial policy which creates jobs and helps economies to grow. In the Pre-Council meeting today they discussed a 10-point policy programme presented by Sergei Stanishev.
These PES priorities will shape tomorrow’s Council Conclusions and the strategic plan of the EU for the next five years. The important progressive policies outlined in the Council’s draft strategic document, due to be adopted on 27 June, will include: sustainable growth, more and better jobs, boosting public investments, and fighting tax fraud and tax evasion; These were all central elements of the PES Manifesto that will be addressed by the new European Commission.