PES European Ministers convinced that Europe needs new momentum after Brexit
European Ministers from the PES family met in Rome to discuss on priorities to be fixed at the European agenda in the aftermath of the British referendum. The meeting began with ministers signing a book of remembrance for the victims of the attack in Nice last night. Progressive ministers of European Affairs expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and their solidarity with the citizens of Nice and the people of France.
During the meeting the ministers acknowledged the urgent need for bold policy proposals aiming at reinvigorating the European project and expressed their commitment to working on concrete initiatives in preparation of the 27 European leaders’ Summit to be held in Bratislava on the 16th of September.
On the basis of the discussions held by the 27 European heads of States and Government on the 29th of June, they acknowledged that security, support for growth, investment and social cohesion as well as specific actions for the younger generations were pivotal to restore the link between Europe and its citizens. In this regard, they underlined the important contribution provided by the PES New Agenda for Europe 2016/2019.
PES European Ministers also agreed to meet again in Paris, shortly after the Bratislava Summit, in order to ensure a smooth follow-up of the decisions made by the 27 leaders.
Harlém Desir, French Minister of State for Europe and chair of the PES GAC Ministers network, commented after the meeting: “Now is the time for action and for results. As progressive Ministers, we are committed to working for a Europe able to protect. We need to ensure that the European border guard corps will be operational within the next few weeks and to advance towards a European ESTA. But we also need to enhance social safety at the meantime, because the most fragile among us are also often the most threatened.
It is also our joint responsibility as social-democrats to make sure that innovative projects with a strong growth-potential will be further supported by a prolonged and reinforced Juncker Plan.
Last but not least, we want Europe to live up to the younger generation’s expectations, by providing each Young European, whatever its scholar background, with a mobility opportunity within Europe. Because this is what European citizenship really is about.
Only through such concrete realizations will we be able to rebuild the bound between our citizen’s and the European project”.
Sandro Gozi, the Italian Secretary for European Affairs said: “Europe needs solid and rapid answers against youth unemployment, we need effective common immigration and security policy, agreements with African Countries and European Border Guards. In the next months, the negotiation of Brexit will be tough, but we respect the outcome of British referendum and we are conscious of our historical responsibility to European citizens. We want to avoid a situation of immobility, because this status quo could lead to a European disintegration. If we will give solid answers, we will gain credibility with a view to the celebration for the 60° year of the Treaty of Rome and to the relaunching of the European political process.”
Photos form the meeting - here
List of participants:
Harlem Désir Minister of State for European Affairs, France
Axel Schäfer MP, Vice President of the Parliamentary Group responsible for EU Affairs, Germany
Nikos Pappas Minister of State, Greece (observer)
Nikos Xydakis Alternate Minister for European Affairs, Greece (observer)
Sandro Gozi State Secretary for European Affairs, Italy
Carmelo Abela Minister of Home Affairs and National Security, Malta
Margarida Marques State Secretary for European Affairs, Portugal
Marie Granlund MP, Group Leader of the SDP in the EU Committee, Sweden
Maria Joao Rodrigues Vice President of the S&D Group in the EP
Yonnec Polet Deputy Secretary General, PES
Giacomo Filibeck Deputy Secretary General, PES