PES president: Europe is running out of chances to deliver for its citizens
Sergei Stanishev, president of the Party of European Socialists, welcomed President Juncker's commitment to European solidarity and democracy in today’s State of the Union address -- but highlighted the lack of significant progress in protecting social rights.
Mr Stanishev said:
"President Juncker was right to speak of unity and solidarity as a major source of strength for the European Union. We are a Union of south and north, west and east, and we can only face the challenges of the 21st century when we stand together.
"I warmly welcome plans for a new agency to protect labour standards and fight social dumping, as well as his support for pan-European democracy through transnational lists in the next European elections. And PES has long called for better Eurozone integration, including a Eurozone finance minister -- it is reassuring to see that our arguments have not fallen on deaf ears.
"But there are also disappointments. Today's speech, coming only a few months after the Commission published its social pillar proposals, was one of the few remaining opportunities for Mr Juncker to set out how he will make his promises on social Europe a reality. Europe's citizens need concrete action, including vital measures to fight poverty, promote equality, improve young people's prospects and ensure that all workers benefit from social protections, even in the digital economy.
"We will not give up our fight for the European Union's economic freedoms to be matched with personal freedoms and social rights. We now turn our attention to the much-anticipated summit in Gothenburg in November, when European governments will strongly urge Mr Juncker to take the action we need."