Progressive Summit in Paris: The European Common Ground for Growth
European Progressives expressed their will to bring Europe back on the track of growth and reforms, ensure the future of the European project and show unity and solidarity in solving the refugee crisis. These were the main messages from the meeting of European Socialist and Democrat heads of state and government, hosted by President François Hollande at the Palais de l’Elysée on 12th of March 2016.
“It is clear that we share the political will to change Europe, and this change will be for the best.
We – the Socialists and Democrats, our political family – are the ones to lead this positive change for the good of the people in the European Union. This leadership is dedicated to doing so,” said after the meeting Sergei Stanishev, president of the Party of European Socialists.
“The European Union is facing difficult times. We are challenged on many fronts including high unemployment among our youth, rising populism and the refugee issue. As Progressives, we are working to improve the lives of everyday people. We can achieve this only by toiling together, as a political family, and return Europe to growth by investing in youth and sustainable economy. We are ready to work with all progressives in achieving these positive changes,” Stanishev added.
The PES President announced the leaders' full support for the PES Plan for European Youth with its four main pillars – jobs, education, children and culture.
The Socialist and Democrat heads of states and government and leaders agreed on the importance of investment and the further development of the so-called Juncker Plan, with a focus on small and medium enterprises.
On the refugee crisis, the Progressive leaders agreed on the vital role of Schengen.
“We need to strengthen our external borders instead of closing the internal ones. We still stand for European solution - countries working individually will never be able to resolve this alone,” Stanishev said.
The summit in Paris has been the first of its kind and judging by the discussions held today, more such events will come in the near future.