PES president addresses democratic procedures and Schengen in Strasbourg press conference


Sergei Stanishev in press interview

The PES family should be the flagship of democratic and transparent processes in the EU, including selecting candidates for the next president of the European Commission, said Sergei Stanishev in a media statement in Strasbourg on Wednesday.

"In the PES Council in Lisbon this month, we decided to involve all our members in an open and inclusive procedure to choose our common candidate. European socialists and democrats were the ones who initiated the Spitzenkandidat idea in 2014, and it should be us who brings this idea closer to the citizens," said Mr Stanishev.

The PES president addressed the media in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, right before a parliamentary debate on the situation with Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania and their admission to the Schengen agreement. The debate was initiated by the S&D group.

Progressive MEPs called for Bulgaria and Romania to be admitted to the Schengen passport-free area as soon as possible. They also insisted that Croatia should join as soon as it meets the technical criteria for doing so. Both Mr Stanishev, who is an MEP, and the president of the S&D group Gianni Pittella addressed the plenary during the debate.

Mr Stanishev added:

"To further delay the enlargement of the Schengen area will weaken people’s faith in EU democratic procedures. The Council must respect the commitments it made, otherwise this undermines trust in the EU and feeds the populist and anti-European mood not only in the Balkans, but also across Europe."