PES Presidency: progressives are mobilising for a recovery which addresses all aspects of the crisis

PES Presidency: progressives are mobilising for a recovery which addresses all aspects of the crisis

Representatives from PES member parties and organisations convened digitally to discuss Europe’s response to the pandemic and several draft PES papers on the economic, sustainability and health consequences of the coronavirus crisis.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said: 

“We are meeting as the PES Presidency for the first time since the COVID-19 crisis emerged, but this is only the latest in a long list of actions from the PES, our parties and our closest partners. We have mobilised since the beginning to tackle the various dimensions of the crisis: health, social, economic, democratic, and many other areas.

“Europe is still facing a health crisis, and we have only seen the beginning of the social and economic impact. The months and years ahead will show the fundamental political divisions between us and the right. We need to push for a strong recovery based on our values, making sure Europe avoids past mistakes. Europe needs a solid Recovery Fund to get us through the crisis, together. We are fighting for solidarity and cooperation, and against austerity and division. We are mobilising to make sure that socialists and social democrats are the ones providing a clear alternative. We have to take the lead.”

Ahead of Sunday’s presidential vote in Poland, the PES Presidency was joined by Robert Biedron, MEP and Polish presidential candidate for the left.

Sergei Stanishev said:

“The whole progressive family wishes success to Robert. He has fought an outstanding campaign against an incumbent who is using the current crisis and the power of government to skew the election. Robert wants a fairer Poland which is at the centre of Europe. This is the direction Poland needs to go in, under Robert’s leadership.”

The PES has criticised PiS’s handling of the Polish presidential election and called for it to be postponed until democracy can be assured.

The Presidency meeting also commended the important decisions that have been taken at the EU level to respond to the coronavirus crisis, particularly the work of progressive Commissioners, the S&D Group, and progressive governments and parties. They welcomed the activation of the general escape clause of the Stability and Growth Pact, the Commission proposal on SURE, the ‘Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative’ (CRII) of 37 billion EUR, the Eurogroup agreement on a 540 billion EUR package, and the European Parliament resolution adopted on 17 April. The meeting also welcomed the announcement of the Commissioner Recovery Plan.

As part of the discussion on the recovery, the Presidency exchanged on three draft PES policy papers focused on containing the COVID-19 shock and achieving recovery, the European Green Deal as a central pillar of the recovery, and the need to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality healthcare.

The meeting also discussed progressive plans for Europe Day 2020.