PES Europe ministers call for a European recovery strategy that respects democratic values

21/09/2020

PES GAC ministers meeting

PES GAC ministerial videoconference

The next Multiannual Budget for Europe and recovery fund must promote and enhance respect for the rule of law, Europe ministers from the PES said today as they met by videoconference.

The ministers further discussed the tense situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and the political turmoil in Belarus, and agreed that a coordinated approach to the address the different Covid-19 travelling restrictions is needed.

Meeting Chair and Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Tytti Tuppurainen, said:

"Europe should no longer tolerate human rights violations. People deserve to live in societies with independent judiciaries, with a free press, and without fear of violence against themselves or their loved ones. Respect for democracy and the Rule of Law must be at the heart of the European recovery strategy. Solidarity must go hand in hand with democracy. This must be directly reflected in our agreement for the next European Budget and Europe’s recovery package. We need a strong Rule of Law mechanism to secure the proper use of EU funds. This should not be negotiable."

Commenting on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean she said:

“The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is very worrying. We need a real de-escalation in order to be able to open a dialogue for a comprehensive solution in the region. We condemn the illegal drilling operated by Turkey. We stand in full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. We welcome the EU German Presidency for its mediation efforts. We call on Turkey to open a genuine discussion in order to find a peaceful and lasting solution framed in international law."

On European COVID-19 coordination she said:

"There are far too many ways of calculating and deciding on the various restrictions that have been applied to Europe to protect citizens from Covid-19. This is creating a lot of confusion and difficulties for many of Europe’s citizens. So far countries have managed well to get this unprecedented health crisis under control. We need to exchange best practices and lay a base for a more coordinated approach. Our aim in this exercise is to maintain freedom of movement while at the same time ensure the safety of public health."

Europe ministers from the PES convened to coordinate before tomorrow’s EU GAC meeting, which takes place ahead of a full European Council meeting on Thursday.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Chair and Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Vicenzo Amendola, Minister for European Affairs, Italy
  • Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Malta
  • Juan González-Barba, State Secretary for the European Union, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden
  • Iratxe Garcia Perez, President of the S&D Group, Vice-President of the PES, MEP, European Parliament
  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme. S&D Group and PES