PES leaders vow stronger, fairer and more social Europe
Progressive heads of state and government from across Europe are meeting on the eve of the Treaty of Rome anniversary to agree a common position on the European Union’s future.
The leaders are meeting in Rome on the invitation of Italian prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, to discuss current challenges, including securing stronger rights for European citizens, fighting social dumping, supporting young people and defeating terrorism.
Before the meeting, PES president Sergei Stanishev said:
"This is a historic moment in the truest sense of the word. Sixty years ago, hundreds of people, normal citizens, waited under the rain to witness the signature of a treaty that turned a history of violence and division into a reality of peace and solidarity.
"But it is also historic because the EU is under threat. The values of the EU are profoundly social democratic, but in the eyes of many citizens, the EU has moved away from those values. It is the image of an EU of austerity and neoliberalism that people are running away from.
"We support the application of the European social and labour acquis, particularly with regard to collective bargaining, in all member states without exception and taking into account the specific situation currently under discussion with regard to Greece.
"As European progressives, we have always fought for the values of respect, solidarity and fundamental rights that are the foundation of the EU. We believe that the EU needs a new direction based on these principles. We want to renew Europe’s original promise: a future of prosperity, equality and fairness for all its citizens.
"That is what our leaders will be fighting for as we plan the future of the great European project, and that is why I will be joining the March for Europe in Rome tomorrow," added Mr Stanishev.
- Sergei Stanishev, PES president, chair
- Paolo Gentiloni, prime minister of Italy, host
- François Hollande, president of France
- Antonio Costa, prime minister of Portugal
- Christian Kern, chancellor of Austria
- Stefan Löfven, prime minister of Sweden
- Joseph Muscat, prime minister of Malta
- Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece (observer)
- Gianni Pittella MEP, leader of the Socialists & Democrats group in the European Parliament
- Federica Mogherini, EU high representative for foreign and security policy
- Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission
- Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner
- Maroš Šefčovič, European Commissioner
- Giacomo Filibeck, PES deputy secretary general
- Yonnec Polet, PES deputy secretary general