PES steps up commitment to Arab spring and welcomes Fatah and Ettakatol
The Congress of the Party of European Socialists gave a green light to the membership of two new member parties, Ettakatol of Tunisia and Fatah of Palestine. The move comes at a crucial time in the post-Arab Spring period. It reiterates the commitment of the PES, to North Africa and the Middle East and the calls for hope and dignity and progress.
Newly elected PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “The PES membership of Fatah (Palestine) and Ettakatol (Tunisia) is an historical moment. It brings the two parties even closer to their progressive partners within the European political family but it also takes the PES closer to the people of Palestine and Tunisia and their concerns. Today the progressive family across the two sides of the Mediterranean comes together with common objectives and efforts to build a future of shared prosperity, peace, mutual respect and democratic values.”
The PES has backed the legitimate demands of the revolutions to bring about democratic change for future generations. Today progressive movements throughout the region are emerging, providing a real and credible political alternative for the people. Together, we will provide a clear plan to achieve social and economic development in a democratic environment. The PES stands ready to support progressive forces in the region and to step up its presence and efforts even further. Together we will demonstrate that democracy is an universal value to the benefit of all.
Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Chair of Ettakatol and President of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, declared: “The PES was the first European political family to hold an international conference in Tunisia after the Revolution. Today Ettakatol becomes member of the Party of European Socialists and finally unites the two shores of the Mediterranean. The decision of the PES Congress brings with it both symbolism and central political significance. Progressive forces across the Mediterranean are united and ready to offer an alternative to the policies of the Conservatives. We stand by the side of all peoples for social development, modern economies, sustainable growth and decent jobs within the framework of strong democratic institutions.”
Nabil Shaath, Fatah Commissioner for International Relations, stated: “The PES Congress decision on the membership of Fatah comes at a crucial time for progressive forces in Palestine and in the Arab world. We are proud to join the political family which has always been fair and supportive to the cause of the Palestinian people. Our membership together with Ettakatol today shows that we share the struggle for freedom, justice and dignity and constitutes a new demonstration of the European socialists’ support for the recognition of the State of Palestine and its membership in the UN. Strengthened by the values and strategies of our sister parties, we will strive to implement new progressive policies responding to the needs and demands of our people.”
Since 2010 and the onset of the street protests, the PES has been present in the region with two major international conferences in Tunisia on the region’s uprisings as well as a series of activities in Brussels on the role of the EU to support people’s legitimate demands for freedom, justice and dignity. The PES has set up a permanent Task Force on the Arab Spring. It has also co-organised with Fatah and Ettakatol a seminar on constitutional challenges and reform. Constitutions must represent the very foundations of fundamental freedoms and individual and collective rights while preserving a pluralist democracy and a separation of powers as well as social, economic and territorial justice.