PES Presidency: wellbeing and sustainability must be key drivers for recovery

18/02/2021

PES Presidency

PES Presidency meeting by videoconference 

Meeting by videoconference, the PES Presidency today held a strategic discussion on socialist and democratic priorities for the future of Europe.

Representatives of PES full member parties and organisations adopted two declarations: Towards a society of wellbeing and Progressive and sustainable cities. These two issues – wellbeing and sustainability – must be at the heart of a successful recovery from COVID-19.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“These remain very difficult times for Europe, and as the socialist and democratic family we are focused on providing solutions. The declarations adopted today are the continuation of our efforts to build a recovery which leads to a fairer and more sustainable future. We are working for a Europe which embraces innovation, respect and cooperation.

“I would like to thank my colleagues Agnes Jongerius MEP and Javi López MEP for their work producing the PES publications which have informed the declarations. They are a clear commitment by our family to a future which meets the needs of people and planet together.”

The Presidency declarations tie into two upcoming PES publications: Towards a society of wellbeing prepared by Agnes Jongerius MEP within the framework of the PES Social Europe Network, which she chairs. And Leading the way for Progressive and Sustainable Cities, prepared by Javi López MEP as part of his work as Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network.

PES Social Europe Network Chair Agnes Jongerius MEP said:

“Wellbeing and social fairness must become the indicators by which we judge the success of policies. This is the path to reconnect with citizens and renew the EU’s promise of social progress and shared prosperity. We need to conclude concrete social targets at the Social Summit in Porto, to make social rights a reality for all Europeans.”

PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network Chair Javi López MEP said:

“It is time for a new vision for urban and regional development. As we renew and rebuild after the pandemic, Europe must become a beacon of carbon-neutrality, inclusive democracy and social equality. We socialists and democrats will continue to work hand in hand with cities to make them the foundation for just and sustainable societies.”

The PES Presidency also exchanged on the Portuguese Presidency of the EU. The meeting strongly supported the agenda of the Presidency and the PES looks forward to the Social Summit in Porto – a key moment to embed Social Europe.

Sergei Stanishev added:

“The EU must embrace the Porto Summit. It will be an important moment to take stock of social rights in Europe and renew our efforts to fully implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. I commend Prime Minister António Costa and PS Portugal for showing leadership on this, building on the Gothenburg Summit hosted in 2017 by Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and SAP Sweden. Once again, socialists and democrats are working to guarantee decent wages, quality housing, life-long education and more for all EU citizens. The whole PES family is behind the summit and its goal of a more social Europe.”

The PES Presidency also discussed other upcoming events and received reports from member parties and organisations.

The PES Presidency praised the Partito Democratico ministers’ Vincenzo Amendola, the Italian former Minister of European Affairs, Roberto Gualtieri, former Minister of Economy and Finance, and Giuseppe Provenzano, former Minister for the South, for their invaluable service in government. At a time when Italy faced great challenges, they worked tirelessly for the benefit of all Italians and were instrumental in the adoption of the Next Generation EU recovery fund. President Stanishev thanked the ministers on behalf of the PES during the meeting.