PES Council 2016: Grassroots Involvement and a Strong Social Resolution
03/12/2016 - The 2016 Council of the Party of European Socialists has ended with a resounding declaration of pan-European unity.
Flanked by social democrat prime ministers and party leaders across Europe and by hundreds of activists and supporters, PES president Sergei Stanishev declared a common determination to act to fix Europe.
And assembled delegates from the national member parties endorsed a strong resolution committing to the fight for specific measures on jobs, social protection, youth rights, the economy and security.
More than 500 delegates and activists – including more than 200 young campaigners from every EU country – played a full role in the PES Council proceedings, in workshops and on the floor of the conference hall. The event was co-hosted by the Czech party CSSD and prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka.
Sergei Stanishev said:
“In the midst of a Europe that seems increasingly fragmented and fragile, we stand together here in Prague to send the strongest of possible messages: we are united, and we are determined.
“We are the only European political party with the confidence to put prime ministers and activists in the same room and let the sparks fly.
“The result has been a vigorous and invigorating debate – and an outcome that commits us to strong and urgent action.”
The assembled PES Council also expressed its full support and solidarity with all progressive political parties in Europe currently facing elections and referendums. Prime Minister Sobotka said:
“We stand alongside by our friends in Austria, Italy, FYR Macedonia and Romania, and we wish them every success.”
- For us, the EU means prosperity, solidarity, and rights. It means equality and hope.
- Neither basic economic freedoms nor competition rules take precedence over fundamental social rights. In the event of conflict, fundamental social rights must have priority.
- We call for the establishment of a European social protection floor that guarantees universal access to quality health services, including sexual and reproductive health rights and basic income security, with minimum wages guaranteeing a basic decent income for all citizens.
- For us, non-discrimination is a core principle to guarantee all EU citizens equal access to social security and social services.
- We call for 20 billion EUR to be made available for the Youth Guarantee until 2020. The PES sees young people as a fundamental asset for our societies, for our democracies, and for the economic recovery of Europe. We, the progressive family, are at the forefront of the battle.
- It is now time to establish a reinforced, long-term European investment strategy, and to allow more flexibility in the Stability and Growth Pact.
- No more lives must be lost at sea on the dangerous journey that leads to Europe. Much more needs to be done to prevent these deaths. Europe must live up to its humanitarian and legal duty to save lives and help those in need of international protection.
- The economic empowerment of women is a central priority.
- We strive to make Europe a continent where everyone’s security is guaranteed, and all fundamental freedoms and rights are fully respected. These two priorities must go hand in hand.
- We have great concerns about the arrest of the co-chairs of the HDP in Turkey, as well as the detention of several HDP members, journalists and human right activists. We call on the Turkish government to return to a credible political process and political dialogue, essential for the country’s democracy and stability in the region.
- In these challenging times, we are convinced that only a strong EU with a shared vision and common action in the fields of foreign, security and defence policies can play fully its role for a fair, peaceful, prosperous and rules-based world.
- This change must be a just transition, offering new opportunities for workers in high-carbon, resource-intensive jobs in the decarbonised, circular economy of the future.