Martin Schulz joins Elio Di Rupo at progressive rally in Brussels
The Party of European Socialists gathered in Brussels at a three-day conference with friends, partners and members from all over Europe last week. Participants outlined the key issues for the European elections at the Renaissance of Europe event, organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)
The aim of the event was to promote political discussion and mobilisation of progressive forces for the upcoming campaign. Addressing people’s needs directly was acknowledged as the best way to encourage participation in the European elections.
PES Common Candidate Martin Schulz closed the event on Friday evening with a passionate speech. Speaking in French he highlighted the unique opportunity to bring about a new era in European democracy, and talking about the key issues for the campaign “In Europe we talk casually everyday about millions and billions of Euros, and many people in Brussels have forgotten that for 95% of citizens 1000 Euros is already an enormous amount of money. I want us to speak for these people. The progressive family used to be known for defending and representing normal people. I want us to become that party again and look out for these people.”
Elio di Rupo, Prime Minister of Belgium, criticised the “blind conviction” he has seen in European Council meetings that deregulation is the solution to our economic problems, and attacked the one-dimensional approach to addressing public debt, “The policy of non-stop salary reductions leads us into a dead-end street” said Di Rupo.
The lead candidates for the Belgian Socialist Parties also spoke at the event, with Kathleen van Brempt poignantly stating “The world envies our social justice and social welfare system, and yet for the last five years the leaders in Brussels have constantly attacked this heritage.” Marie Arena continued by highlighting the Belgian approach, “The European Commission told us to cut spending but not once did they tell us to increase our revenues. We went against this guidance and fought tax fraud and evasion to increase our capacity to deliver quality public services. I want us to do the same at European level.”
For more details of the FEPS Renaissance Europe Event, please click here.
See below Elio Di Rupo’s recent video message to the PES Election Congress in Rome: