PES leaders discuss progressive policy plans ahead of European Council

21/03/2019

Image: PES family photo - 21 March 2019

Party of European Socialists leaders discussed the important policy issues on today’s Council agenda alongside PES Common Candidate Frans Timmermans.

Leaders from the PES family met to agree a progressive approach toward the key issues that will be considered at the Summit, including climate change, European economy and industry, and relations with China. 

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“I was glad to welcome the leaders of the progressive political family to Brussels today to discuss the agenda for the European Council and our strategy for the European elections. The challenges facing Europe are the challenges our party has been working to address for decades. We have led, and will continue to lead, on efforts to make our society more sustainable and we will continue to fight for workers’ rights and decent pay and conditions. Our priorities are Europe’s priorities. It’s time to make our continent a fairer, freer and more sustainable place to live and work.”

The PES is committed to action on the areas that will be discussed at the Council today. The progressive family will lead the green transition for Europe’s economy through a Green Transition Fund, and we will raise the EU’s climate ambition in line with the Paris Agreement, if a progressive majority is achieved in May’s European elections.

A New Social Contract for Europe, the PES’s manifesto for the European elections, also sets out commitments for stronger workers’ rights and a more equal society. Europe needs a long-term Investment Plan to ensure Europe harnesses the green transition and digital revolution. We need a workforce that has access to quality healthcare and education, and descent pensions when they retire.

PES Common Candidate Frans Timmermans has already hit the campaign trail, travelling to 11 countries to set out the progressive vision for the next five years and to meet with leaders, parties and voters. This weekend he will travel to Alicante for a Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) rally and to Stockholm for the Swedish Social Democratic Party (SAP) Congress.

Today’s meeting was also attended by Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, who provided the meeting with an update on her work on the EU’s external relations. 

UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn briefed the PES preparatory meeting on developments in the UK.

Photos from the event can be found on the PES Flickr.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the PES
  • Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission and PES Common Candidate
  • António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Viorica Dăncilă, Prime Minister of Romania
  • Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
  • Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of Slovakia
  • Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain
  • Alexis Tsipras, Prime Minister of Greece (Observer)
  • Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
  • Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs
  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Maria João Rodrigues MEP, President of FEPS
  • Jean Asselborn, LSAP, Luxembourg
  • Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, UK
  • Fofi Gennimata, Leader of PASOK, Greece    
  • Elio di Rupo, Leader of PS, Belgium
  • Nicola Zingaretti, Leader of Partito Democratico, Italy