International cooperation on the agenda of Berlin conference

05/12/2019

Albania earthquake

Panel discussion at the International Conference in Berlin. Pictured L-R: Helene Fritzon MEP, PES President Sergei Stanishev MEP, President of the S&D Group Iratxe Garcia Perez MEP, and Robert Biedron MEP, Chair of the Polish Wiosna Party.

Progressive change in Europe is only made possible by effective international political cooperation, the Party of European Socialists said today as high-level representatives from the international progressive family met in Berlin.

Guests from around the world convened for the International Conference at the famous Willy Brandt Haus on the eve of the SPD Congress. The event - co-hosted by PES and Germany's SPD - saw progressive speakers including PES President Sergei Stanishev and PES Secretary General Achim Post stress the need to continue reinforcing the international network of social democrats.

PES Secretary General Achim Post, who welcomed guests and speakers to the meeting, said:

“In an era threatened by misinformation and populism, transatlantic and indeed global cooperation between progressives is not only desirable, it is essential. Without this solidarity now, democracy in our societies will be undermined and the progressive reforms we have achieved over decades will be put at risk. Today’s conference is a valuable opportunity to coordinate and reinforce our international network for the future.”

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“International cooperation is central to tackling the challenges which progressives continue to face around the world. We have a collective duty to overcome the rise of hate and populism in Europe and elsewhere, and we must combat the climate crisis. Through solidarity with one another, through the strength of our common effort, we can lead Europe and the world to a just and sustainable future.”

The PES President also congratulated the newly elected co-leaders of the SPD.

“Congratulations to Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken on becoming the newly-designated SPD co-leaders. The SPD has always been at the centre of international progressive cooperation and we look forward to working with you to strengthen these bonds. Together, we will fight for a more progressive, sustainable, and free Europe.”

The International Conference promotes common action by European social democratic, socialist, democratic and labour parties, and strengthened cooperation between progressives from Europe and their partners around the world.

Leading international politicians spoke at the conference, including:

  • Achim Post MP, PES Secretary General
  • Norbert Walter-Borjans, Chair-designate of the SPD
  • Heiko Maas MP, German Minister of Foreign Affairs and member of the SPD Board
  • Udo Bullmann MEP
  • Iratxe Garcia Perez MEP, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Vice-President of the PES
  • Sergei Stanishev MEP, President of the PES
  • Enzo Amendola, Minister of European Affairs, PD Italy
  • Robert Biedron MEP, Chair of the Polish Wiosna Party
  • Helene Fritzon MEP, Vice-President of the PES, Vice-President of the S&D Group and Head of the Swedish Social Democratic Delegation to the European Parliament
  • Jens Geier MEP, Head of the SPD Delegation to the European Parliament
  • Andrea Horwath, Leader of the New Democratic Party (NDP) of Ontario (Canada)
  • Johanna Ortega, IUSY President, JPS Paraguay
  • Paul Mashatile, Treasurer, Member of the Executive Committee of the South African ANC Party
  • Teo Nie Ching, International Secretary of Democratic Action Party (DAP), Malaysian Deputy Minister for Education
  • Niels Annen MP, German Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Member of the SPD Board
  • Katarina Barley MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament
  • Rolf Mutzenich MP, President of the SPD Parliamentary Group in the German Bundestag