PES Ministers agree on a common strategy to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union
The European Affairs Ministers of the Party of European Socialists (PES) met today at the PES Headquarters in Brussels to prepare for the General Affairs Council meeting of 19 May 2015. The Ministers had the chance to discuss measures for strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) in light of the report to be presented in June by the Four Institutions Presidents, namely the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Council, the President of the Eurogroup, and the President of the European Central Bank on the same topic. The Ministers highlighted the need to deepen the integration of the Economic and Monetary Union, in particular by strengthening its social dimension, developing better coordination of fiscal policies, and reinforcing the existing banking union.
French Secretary of State for European Affairs and chair of the Ministers network Harlem Desir stated: "The project for strengthening the Economic and Monetary Union started in 2012. Today 3 years later Europe is still facing sluggish economic growth, is challenged by high unemployment rates and is struggling to keep the quality of welfare states at desirable levels. This trend must be reversed. Our political family is committed to bring forward a more social Economic and Monetary Union that takes into account the impact that fiscal and economic measures have on society. We want to create a framework that can deliver both economic growth and social cohesion at the same time. To meet this end we are calling for progressive fiscal measures that expand our economies and safeguard the sustainability of our welfare states."
The Ministers also coordinated their position with regards to the European Agenda on Migration, recently released by the European Commission which is promoting a new holistic and comprehensive approach on migration to respond to immediate emergencies but also to work on a long-term strategy for a common European migration policy. Ministers discussed, among other things, the EC proposal of a distribution mechanism both for the relocation and for the resettlement of migrants, based on the principles of solidarity and shared responsibilities among EU Member States.
Harlem Desir added: “The European agenda on migration is an important and crucial improvement. We should be ready to deliver good responses in line with the core values of the European Union and respecting the fundamental rights of migrants. We want to shape a common strategic policy, building on the pillars identified by the European Council and recalling that migration is much more an opportunity than a threat for our continent."
The meeting was attended by (list of participants)
- Harlem Désir, Minister of State for European Affairs, France
- Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
- Peter Javorcik, State Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, Slovak Republic
- Maria Joao Rodrigues, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
- Javier Moreno, Secretary General of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
- Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES