Progressive European ministers discuss fundamental values in Europe

16/05/2017

GAC, 2017

European affairs ministers from the Party of European Socialists underlined the importance of European fundamental values and the need to protect democracy and fundamental rights in the EU in their meeting in Brussels on 16 May.

In the General Affairs Council, the PES ministers supported the European Commission's dialogue with Poland concerning the rule of law.

After the meeting, Ann Linde, Swedish minister for Europe and trade, said:

"It is our common responsibility to protect our credibility as a union of values. We are glad about this broad consensus in the Council today, and we welcome ministers' openness to continue the dialogue between Poland and the the Comission and come to solutions soon."

Ministers also discussed the results of the French presidential elections. They welcomed French voters' clear rejection of far-right nationalism and their vote for a strong, pro-European programme.

The chair of the PES group of European affairs ministers, Michael Roth, said:

"As socialists and progressives, we are of course open to all proposals and initiatives which strengthen the EU's capability to act on the global stage, which boost our economies and which promote social inclusion and solidarity among member states.

"We will proactively contribute to a positive agenda and prevent reverting to an internal market. The European Union is fundamentally about values, freedom, global responsibility and prosperity, and social stability for everyone -- not only for a few."

The meeting was also attended by Sandro Gozi, State Secretary for European Affairs of Italy; Bert Koenders, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Netherlands; Margarida Marques, State Secretary for European Affairs of Portugal; Ana Birchall, Minister for European Affairs of Romania; Ann Linde, Minister of EU Affairs and Trade for Sweden; Frans Timmermans, First Vice President of European Commission; Maria João Rodrigues, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament; Frazer Clarke, S&D Deputy Secretary General in the European Parliament; and Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General of the PES.