PES President Stanishev to have meetings in Poland and the Baltics, debating the future of the EU
The President of the Party of European Socialists Sergei Stanishev is on tour to Poland and the Baltic states. Leading a PES delegation, Stanishev will discuss the current situation in the EU with high-level officials from the countries' member parties, academics and other PES partners.
Stanishev's tour comes after the Socialists and Democrats expressed their political will to take the leading role in redefining Europe. As it was declared at the last High-Level Progressive Summit in Paris last month, the PES is convinced that the EU must now invest in its people if it is to gain back their support, especially when it comes to the young generation.
Prior to his departure Stanishev said: "We have taken Europe for granted and that's a gigantic mistake. Europe must be an evolving project, a project that is constantly updated to serve the people. Most importantly, the top down austerity imposed over the last years has hurt the perception of our citizens about the EU institutions. Some of the most unpopular policies in the last few years are now perceived to be the policies of 'Europe', when in reality they were the policies of the conservatives".
Today in Poland, the PES President will participate in a discussion about the welfare state at the Krynica Economic Forum. More than three thousand participants from Central and Eastern Europe are attending the event including politicians, business people, journalists and academics. Stanishev will defend the welfare state from unjustified attacks at the plenary session: "A well-functioning welfare state is an engine of economic growth, not a burden."
On Friday, in Vilnius, PES President will participate at a conference on the current and the future situation in Europe and will meet the Lithuanian Prime Minister Algirdas Butkevičius, whose party LSDP is a PES member. Then, Sergei Stanishev will continue to Estonia and Latvia.