Frans Timmermans launches campaign to become President of the European Commission in Lisbon

08/12/2018

Sergei Stanishev

Frans Timmermans set out his vision for the future of Europe in an impassioned speech at the PES Congress in Lisbon today.

Delegates packed into the Cidade Universitária to see Frans Timmermans take to the stage for the first time as the PES Common Candidate for the 2019 European Elections.

In a rallying call to progressives across Europe, Frans Timmermans said that only a social democratic victory at the European elections next year would secure a free, fair and sustainable society for people across Europe.

His speech received a standing ovation from prime ministers António Costa, Pedro Sanchez, Joseph Muscat, and Commissioners, party leaders and activists from the progressive family.

Addressing delegates, Frans Timmermans said:

“These are not ordinary elections. These elections are about the soul of Europe. We need to adapt to a changing world. We are the political force with the willingness and capacity to do this. We need to write a new social contract with Europe’s citizens.”

The PES Congress in Lisbon saw the progressives gear up for the elections in May 2019. At the Congress the party passed eight resolutions – an ambitious policy platform to invest in communities, push for a green transition, and create opportunities for young people. The eight resolutions will form the basis of the 2019 PES election manifesto. The resolutions, as adopted, can be downloaded here. You can find them in languages other than English here.

1000 participants - prime ministers, party officials, delegates, activists, academics and guests - from 56 different countries took part in the Congress, making it one of the largest progressive gatherings ever organised by the PES.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: 

“This Congress has been about putting our party on an election footing. Together, we have set out our ambition for Europe, and we are standing behind the man who will deliver this future in May - Frans Timmermans.

“Frans has fought for democracy, fairness and equality his entire political career. He is a committed fighter for a just and social Europe and a formidable campaigner - he is the right person to lead our family, and the right choice for the next President of the European Commission.”

Udo Bullmann, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament said:

“My warmest congratulations to Frans Timmermans! We are proud and happy to have endorsed Frans, this passionate European, as our common candidate. With him we are ready to win Europe back, defend it against right-wing forces and to re-shape it for the people. We will win in the universities, in the work places, in the streets - wherever people struggle to make ends meet, to prosper and grow, to live a healthy life. In order to support these people we need to change our model fundamentally, fight poverty and protect our soils, water and air at the same time. We fight with our heart and soul for this new Europe, and our fight starts today.”

Watch Frans Timmermans' speech to the PES Congress in Lisbon