Progressive Ministers for European Affairs defend European values and foster an ambitious agenda for Europe
European affairs ministers from the Party of European Socialists reaffirmed their commitment to defending the rule of law and respecting human rights in the EU, and welcomed the fact that this discussion will continue during the Estonian Presidency.
They also welcomed the fact that the Commission fully engaged with the General Affairs Council in dealing with these critical issues. They also discussed the European Commission President’s State of the Union speech, commenting that a new impetus is badly needed to promote a strong social dimension for Europe.
Italian State Secretary for European Affairs Sandro Gozi, after chairing the meeting, stated:
‘Europe’s foundations lay on a bedrock of strong shared values. Democracy, human rights and the rule of law are an essential pillar of the European project. Today we deepened our discussion on how to preserve and bolster them. This concerns core people’s rights and freedoms. As a political family, we stand ready to do everything we can to defend people’s rights and freedoms. As a political family, we stand ready to do all we can to defend Europe’s values and relaunch the European process. There are many issues of concern that remain and many things to be done and we will not stop until Europe’s challenges and needs are fully addressed.’
The meeting was also attended by Helena Dalli, Minister for European Affairs and Equality of Malta, Ana Paula Zacarias, State Secretary for European Affairs of Portugal, Ann Linde, Minister of EU Affairs and Trade of Sweden, Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of the European Commission, Maria Joao Rodrigues, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Javier Moreno, S&D Secretary General in the European Parliament, and Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General of the PES and as an observer - Georgios Katrougalos, Greek Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs.