High Level Progressive Summit in Paris: PES family united in reviving Europe
The leaders of the Party of European Socialists have continued with discussions on the future of the European Union after the ‘leave’ vote in the UK following earlier talks at a PES meeting on 29 June. The meeting took place today and was hosted by the President of France, François Hollande, at the Château de la Celle Saint Cloud, in the outskirts of Paris. At the beginning of the meeting, France’s President delivered a speech on behalf of the PES family in which he called for solidarity with the Italian people after the earthquake in Central Italy.
The main points on the agenda were achieving economic growth, social cohesion and the most important – saving and further development of the European Project.
PES president Sergei Stanishev said: “We are the political family that should step forward in shaping the future of the EU. Unlike the right wing, we the progressives cannot waste more time before we come united in the name of the European project. The topics we are addressing today will determine the EU we will pass on to our children and grandchildren. We must live up to this challenge. And I’m convinced that we will.”
The PES already started this discussion among its political family and the Socialists and Democrats will come up with a more concrete steps at the next European council preparation meeting in Bratislava in September and at the PES council in Prague in December.
The leaders from the PES family confirmed again today, that they should protect their most precious trademark: social rights and the welfare state. PES leaders believe that the ‘austerity only’ approach has been proven to be reductionist and therefore wrong. Instead, the European progressives are calling for a focus on investment because only by boosting growth to create jobs and tax revenue will we guarantee the sustainability of our welfare states in the long term. In that regard, the leaders expressed their wish for the funding for the so-called ‘Juncker Plan’ to be substantially increased in order to amplify its positive effects. The leaders took note of a proposal by France’s President to double the current amount of €315 billion.
“Today European socialists and Democrats agreed once again that the progressives should lead the process of further development of the EU for the best of its citizens,” Stanishev added. He underlined that the stability of the European institutions is crucial at this stage and that the leaderships of all three political institutions should remain unchanged.
PES leaders agreed on the need to rediscover the social democratic roots of the EU. Only a European Union that is attractive to citizens will be successful in the long run.
List of participants:
François Hollande, President of the French Republic
Sergei Stanishev, PES President
Christian Kern, Chancellor of Austria
Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France
António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia
Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece (Observer)
Sigmar Gabriel, Deputy Chancellor of Germany and Minister of Economy and Energy
Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France
Jean Asselborn, Minister of European and Foreign Affairs of Luxembourg
George Vella, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malta
Harlem Désir, State Secretary of European Affairs of France
Elio Di Rupo, President of PS Belgium
Jevgeni Ossinovski, President of SDE, Estonia
Diederik Samsom, Leader of PvdA, the Netherlands
Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
Gianni Pittella, Leader of the S&D Group at the EP
Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC
Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the EC and Commissioner for Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations
Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner of Economy and Finance