Socialists urge European Council to agree a strong, social and sustainable recovery deal

16/07/2020

PES Pre-Council meeting

PES prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders meeting in Brussels today.

It is vital that the European Council backs an ambitious recovery strategy, socialist and democratic prime ministers, commissioners and leaders agreed in Brussels today.

The PES family convened this afternoon to coordinate ahead of the European Council tomorrow.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Across our Union there may be differences of opinion and different national circumstances, but there is only one solution to this crisis: a strong European response based on solidarity. We need a plan which has the European Pillar of Social Rights at its centre and which embraces the European Green Deal and the digital transformation.

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to overcome national differences. Europe needs to take very strong action to avert catastrophe. The situation is urgent, and the Council must react urgently. If we see more delays, I fear the damage to our economies, our societies and the European project will be severe.”

The EU must not repeat the mistakes of 2008. The Union needs solidarity, not austerity. This means a strong MFF, progress on own resources, and support for member states hit hardest by this crisis.

At the meeting, the prime ministers, commissioners and leaders agreed that the recovery must also support the clear socialist and democratic commitment to defence of the Rule of Law.

Late last month the Presidency of the PES adopted a declaration calling on the European Council to endorse the Commission’s “Next Generation EU” plan. Socialists and democrats want to see an ambitious recovery strategy agreed and put into action quickly, so the Union can overcome the COVID-19 crisis and move towards a green, social, digital, gender-equal, inclusive and sustainable future.

Since the beginning of this crisis, socialists and democrats have been calling for a strong recovery strategy to support Member States, regions, communities, businesses and citizens who are suffering because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the meeting, Sergei Stanishev briefed the prime ministers, commissioners and leaders on the anti-government protests in Bulgaria and the Rule of Law situation in the country. The PES President reiterated his support for the Bulgarian citizens who are taking to the streets to demand more transparent governance and full respect for the Rule of Law in Bulgaria.

Among other topics, the meeting discussed Turkey’s intention to press ahead with illegal offshore gas and oil exploration off several Greek islands. The prime ministers, commissioners and leaders expressed strong concern about the activity and reiterated their support for, and solidarity with, Greece. International law must be respected.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the PES

  • Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
  • Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta
  • Pedro Sanchez, Prime Minister of Spain
  • Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden

  • Frans Timmermans, European Commission Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal
  • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy

  • David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament
  • Iratxe Garcia, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament

  • Norbert Walter-Borjans, Co-leader of SPD Germany

  • Giacomo Filibeck, PES Deputy Secretary General
  • Yonnec Polet, PES Deputy Secretary General