PES GAC: EU must be tough on new Rule of Law breaches

16/11/2020

PES GAC meeting by videoconference

PES GAC meeting by videoconference

The EU must not turn a blind eye to emerging Rule of Law breaches, Europe ministers from the Party of European Socialists said today.

The ministers convened ahead of the General Affairs Council tomorrow to coordinate on the Annual Rule of Law Dialogue, the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations and accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania.

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

“In several Member States there is a worrying upturn in Rule of Law breaches. Also, we are witnessing a serious backlash on women’s rights and on gender issues in general. The idea of denying women’s right to safe abortion or creating so called “LGBT free zones” is simply not acceptable. It goes against our shared core values, basic human rights. This time calls for constant vigilance from all of us and from the EU. We cannot let our common values be tossed aside. Women’s rights are human rights, Democracy and the Rule of Law are cornerstones of our civilisations.”

The ministers once again welcomed the German Presidency’s push for country-specific discussions on the Rule of Law situation, covering every Member State.

The meeting also discussed the Multiannual Financial Framework negotiations and welcomed the agreement met at institutional level on the MFF and the recovery fund, as well as Rule of Law conditionality.

Europe Ministers discussed EU enlargement and welcomed the Western Balkan Summit in Sofia. They commended the progress both North Macedonia and Albania continue to make on their accession journey. The PES has long supported a European future for these nations and the ministers expressed support for the opening of formal negotiations with both countries.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Chair, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Tomáš Petříček, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Malta
  • Ana Paula Zacarias, State Secretary for European Affairs, Portugal
  • Juan González-Barba, State Secretary for the European Union, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden
  • Iratxe Garcias Perez, President of the S&D Group, MEP European Parliament
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary Generals, PES