PES Presidency approves call for progressive revival of Europe

13/03/2017 - Martin Schulz, SPD leader and German chancellor candidate, attended the PES Presidency meeting today in Berlin where the future of the EU, upcoming national elections and referendums were on the agenda.

PES presidency meeting

Martin Schulz, SPD leader and German chancellor candidate, attended the PES Presidency meeting today in Berlin where the future of the EU, upcoming national elections and referendums were on the agenda.

The Presidency met to prepare for the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome later this month, and to discuss both upcoming national elections and the referendum in Turkey. The meeting was held in Berlin and was attended by Martin Schulz, leader of the SPD and Socialist candidate for Chancellor of Germany.

In a strong declaration, the presidency highlighted the success of the EU, calling it "one of the most successful historical achievements for promoting democracy, cohesion, diversity and equality".

But they also warned that Europe needs to be revived and reoriented to tackle today's challenges, including fighting populism and ensuring that globalisation does not lead to greater inequality.

PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

"For many Europeans, the EU has become the face of austerity, and it has become an easy target for scapegoating. So it must reinvent itself or face the risk of disintegration.

"The Party of European Socialists is determined that the EU should again play its role as the best tool to bring prosperity and equality for its 500 million citizens. We fight for a Europe that is fair, brings progress and protection, and helps citizens to face the challenges of this century.

"That’s why we want 25 March to mark a return to the social roots of the European Union."

The Presidency also agreed that the PES would provide all necessary support to member parties which are facing elections this year, including in the Netherlands, Bulgaria, France, Germany and Norway.

Presidency members from the PES Turkish associated member parties expressed their concern on Erdogan’s aggressive campaign for the upcoming referendum in Turkey. Both HDP and CHP are campaigning for a 'No' vote on turning Turkey into a presidential republic.

The Presidency includes representatives from all PES parties and organisations, and is responsible for the day-to-day management of the party. It meets every two to three months.