By working together, we can transform Europe for the better, PES President tells ETUC

23/10/2018

Sergei Stanishev speaks to the European Trade Union Confederation

Socialists and trade unions were the two pillars that created the labour movement, and they are the two forces that will transform Europe again, PES President Sergei Stanishev said today at the European Trade Union Confederation Executive Committee in Brussels.

Speaking to representatives from 90 national member organisations and ten federations, Stanishev reaffirmed the PES’s commitment to work with the Trade Union Movement to end years of austerity and finally put social progress back at the heart of the European project at the European elections next year.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Looking to 2019 and beyond there are many big societal challenges ahead - globalisation, demographic change, technological change, financialisation and climate change, to name a few. Each of these will have an impact on our social protection, on our jobs, on our societies at large. We will only meet these challenges if we create a progressive front for the elections, to gather positive forces and answer citizens’ expectations.

“The PES has historic ties with the Trade Union Movement because of our common fight to protect workers, because of the proximity of our values and proposals, and because we represent the same communities. But these ties are not just historic, the Trade Union Movement is an essential partner for PES. Together we are fighting for equality, social protection, collective bargaining and unionisation, fair wages and decent work across Europe. We need to work hand in hand - the socialist movement and the trade union movement are the two pillars that can keep the labour movement strong.”

Over the past legislative term PES has been working hard with the Trade Union Movement and others to deliver real improvements for workers. This has included: changing the European Semester into a more flexible policy frame, allowing investment and social protection to regain some financial margins for manoeuvre; pushing hard for a good agreement on the Posting of workers directive revision; the Youth Guarantee, which has served as a springboard for young people to join the labour market; last November’s Social summit on the European Pillar of Social Rights; and the fight against austerity and ‘There Is No Alternative’ mind-set.