PES President warns that Europe was built on “United we stand and not divide and rule” as European Summit prioritizes banking union measures


PES Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime-Ministers family photo

“Bilateral arrangements of a contractual nature a particular concern” says Stanishev At its preparatory meeting before the European Council, the Party of European Socialists’ (PES) Heads of State and Prime Ministers expressed concern at the short term focus and direction of the European Council, taking place today and tomorrow (13-14 December).

The PES has welcomed that some progress has been made overnight at the Finance Ministers meeting on a single supervisory mechanism but the feeling is that there are still significant steps to take. Still on the agenda is how bank recapitalisation could be decided and scheduled.

PES President Sergei Stanishev stated that; “Yes there is progress on banking union but we have to have a balance, for banking regulation, but also on the wider policy mix. Worryingly, for example, the social elements, needed to regain people’s confidence in the EU project, have been relegated. However, I am happy to say that we received strong commitment from our meeting participants that they would push for the adoption of the Employment package, in particular the prioritization of a European Youth Guarantee”.

However, the PES President noted that of particular concern is the proposed “arrangements of a contractual nature”. These are bilateral arrangements between eurozone countries and the EU institutions. He added that; “There are major concerns about these arrangements on content and on democratic oversight and accountability. We need a lot of clarification on how they will be applied and assessed, for example on the role of the European Parliament to ensure transparency. The PES will monitor developments closely to make sure there are no negative impacts.”

PES President Sergei Stanishev said that; “As this Summit starts, we would do well to remember that Europe was built on United we stand and not divide and rule. The ‘arrangements of a contractual nature’ run the risk of each member state’s social provisions being picked off, country by country and measure by measure. The measures should be to promote growth and to enforce social standards”.

PES Social Ministers have also sent a strongly worded letter ahead of the Council expressing concerns on the arrangements of a contractual nature’.