Stanishev and Schulz address young socialists
Young socialists from more than 30 countries and hundreds of representatives from the progressive youth in Europe are gathering in Germany.
The city of Duisburg is hosting delegates for the 13th congress of the Young European Socialists (YES) and guests at the 'Europe Turn Left' event, which are running in parallel.
The headline speakers at 'Europe Turn Left' will be the SPD leader Martin Schulz, candidate for German chancellor and former president of the European Parliament, and PES president Sergei Stanishev.
Among the topics high on the agenda is the European Youth Plan, launched last year by its parent organisation the Party of European Socialists to offer a brighter future to every child and young person in Europe.
Official speeches at the event began with one minute's silence in tribute to victims of the attack in Stockholm which took place earlier today.
In opening remarks following the tribute, Sergei Stanishev said:
"Everywhere in Europe, we need strong socialist voices. We need to rebuild trusting and lasting relationships with citizens, giving a progressive vision and implementing real change. That's why it's so important that young people especially gather at events like this.
"But meanwhile, millions of young people in Europe today are without jobs, and millions of children are at risk of poverty. This is not acceptable.
"A job should not be a privilege. A hot meal each day should not be a privilege. Access to free and quality education, broadening your views, and empowering you to be an active citizen should not be a privilege. These are rights.
"And it is our duty, as the future of Europe's socialist parties, to ensure they become a reality for all children and young people in Europe."
At the congress, the Young European Socialists will also elect its new officers, including its President and Secretary General.