Stanishev: Socialists must fight for what they believe


Sergei Stanishev

People have lost faith in the establishment – and they see socialists as part of that establishment, PES president Sergei Stanishev will tell a packed conference hall this afternoon.

In his opening address to the Party of European Socialists Council in Prague, Mr Stanishev is expected to remind delegates of the wake-up calls from 2016, including the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump.

And he will challenge the assembled activists, party leaders, staff and volunteers to replace words with actions, and fight for what they believe in.

Mr Stanishev is expected to say:

We are not the status quo, and we do not accept the status quo. Not on austerity, not on inequality, not on poverty, unemployment or social exclusion.

He is expected to make bold proposals on a newly funded Youth Guarantee, on fixing the Stability and Growth Pact and on fighting for minimum wages across all EU countries.

And referring to the debate around the next president of the European Parliament, he will say:

We must fight our own fights. And that means we must not allow the centre right to hold all three presidencies – the second-largest group must be represented.

The keynote speech opens the PES annual council which this year is being held in Prague. More than 500 party members from around Europe are meeting for a busy programme of workshops, debates and campaign events on a wide range of topics.

Leaders including German vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, Slovakian prime minister Robert Fico and Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka are also in attendance.