PES family welcomes progress on progressive drive for fair and sustainable recovery

24/06/2021

PES President Sergei Stanishev and S&D Group President Iratxe García Pérez at the PES European Council preparation meeting in Brussels

PES President Sergei Stanishev and S&D Group President Iratxe García Pérez at the PES European Council preparation meeting in Brussels

A quicker, fairer and greener recovery is on the horizon, the Party of European Socialists’ EUCO preparation meeting agreed today as it welcomed the start of European Union approval for National Recovery Plans.

The European Green Deal led by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) flexibility and the Next Generation EU pushed by Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, fairer wages and the Social Pillar Action Plan spearheaded by Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and support for regions and the Just Transition Fund overseen by Commissioner Elisa Ferreira are just some successes socialists and democrats have secured in the fight for a fair and sustainable recovery from this crisis.

Tomorrow, the PES political family will gather in Berlin for the conference With Courage. For Europe. to set out how this progressive vision can be advanced further.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The PES congratulates Antonio Costa and the Portuguese Presidency for the excellent job that they have done. Like the German Presidency before it, it took place under the very difficult circumstances yet achieved historic results.

“We welcome that National Recovery Plans are starting to be approved, including from several PES governments. The faster this happens, the quicker Member States can put EU funds to work to address the challenges ahead.  

“It is very positive that key EU targets for the recovery reflect the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan, in line with the Porto Declaration, and the European Green Deal. We expect the European Council to send a clear signal once again that the recovery will bring us closer to a fair and environmentally sustainable future.

“We have always stated that economic recovery and social and environmental issues must be addressed together. Recognition that these are interconnected represents a major shift for the EU, which the PES has been pushing for since the last crisis. Without the efforts of socialists, Europe would no doubt be facing yet another period of deeply damaging austerity. Instead, we have positive programmes to help our communities recover.”

Prime Minister Antonio Costa, European Commissioners and leaders looked ahead to the With Courage. For Europe. conference taking place in Berlin on Friday 25 June and Saturday 26 June. The PES is proud to host the event in Germany, where the SPD have been instrumental in pushing for a recovery based on clear progressive values.

The PES family also voiced its full support for Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and the Swedish Social Democratic Party, expressing hope that progressive forces could once again coalesce to end the political instability in Sweden.

At the meeting, participants condemned the Hungarian government’s continued attacks on European values. The meeting welcomed the strong stance of European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli on the issue and expressed solidarity with LGBTIQ+ community in Hungary and across Europe, vowing to fight to defend rights and freedoms for all EU citizens.

The meeting further discussed issues on the agenda for the European Council meeting later today.

On vaccines, socialists urged the EU to embrace a strategic role in the global vaccine rollout by using excess doses to support vaccinations for people in need.

The meeting also urged EU Member States to continue working together on a progressive and balanced approach to asylum and migration. The EU must be ready to take action to prevent loss of life as the summer approaches. The PES hopes to see progress through the New Pact on Migration and Asylum put forward by European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

On external relations, the meeting welcomed the continued efforts of High Representative Josep Borrell to strengthen the EU’s external action. The meeting expressed hope that relations with Turkey will continue to show signs of improvement. Human Rights in Turkey remain a major concern and the PES, in full solidarity with our associated parties and civil society, will continue to follow developments in the country very closely. The meeting also voiced concerns about Russia and its domestic and foreign policy. The PES urged the EU to act as one in the face of hostilities and to work to open a dialogue with Russia where possible.

Photographs from the event are available on the PES Flickr. Video clips are available through EbS.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists
     
  • António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
     
  • 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
  • Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms
  • Ylva Johansson, European Commissioner for Home Affairs
     
  • Iratxe Garcia Perez, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament
     
  • Paul Magnette, Leader of PS Belgium
  • Fofi Gennimata, Leader of PASOK Greece
     
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists
     
  • Alexis Tsipras, Leader of Syriza Greece (Observer)