PES and SPD discuss international cooperation at Berlin conference

PES and SPD discuss international cooperation at Berlin conference

The leader of the German social democrats, Martin Schulz, and PES president Sergei Stanishev both spoke at the event. The opening address was given by Achim Post, secretary general of the PES, addressing the international challenges faced by progressives.

The international conference comes only a few days after the PES Council in Lisbon, Portugal. Both events have a strong focus on renewing Europe in a progressive direction.
PES president Sergei Stanishev said:

“Europe has to change, and it falls to our political family to lead this change. Here, hosted by the SPD, as in Portugal last weekend, we are leading the charge to renew Europe.”

The conference’s goal is to promote common action by European social, democrat and labour parties, and to strengthen cooperation between progressives from Europe and their partners from all over the world. Representatives from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and South America also attended the panels and the debates in Berlin.

Speaking on the international outlook of the SPD, Martin Schulz said:

“Globalisation needs rules which must go beyond the national level. We have to internationalise our strategies. The Progressive Alliance and the PES are key elements in this fight.”

Maria João Rodrigues MEP, president of the FEPS think-tank, added:

“We need to invent a social welfare system for the 21st century. We need to build up an agenda which is European and international. Europe needs social democrats now!”

The PES delegation at the conference was led by Sergei Stanishev, and included secretary general Achim Post and deputy secretaries general Marije Laffeber and Giacomo Filibeck.

The conference will be followed tomorrow by the SPD’s own congress.