PES leaders agreed to focus on EU social agenda after Brexit
The leaders of the Party of European Socialists discussed new ways forward for Europe after the Brexit vote and how to bring the EU back on the path of social justice. The meeting of the PES leaders took place in Bratislava ahead of the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state and government of the EU. The PES meeting was hosted by the Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico.
PES President Sergei Stanishev said: “We all regret the Brexit vote, but I am glad that the future of the EU is now officially on the agenda, so we can shape it based on our social democratic values. Let’s not give in to the conservatives’ agenda. We must offer the Europeans jobs, opportunities, stability and certainty”.
The PES leaders agreed that economic growth and boosting employment and economic well-being are an absolute priority and that quick, tangible steps are necessary to recover the citizens’ confidence. They discussed Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven’s initiative to host a conference on the project of a social pillar for the EU. At this meeting in Bratislava, a series of high level meetings of the PES family have been planned for the next couple of months.
Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern and the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat all encouraged the aim of having more meetings with a practical outcome.
Sergei Stanishev said: “This is a wake-up call, a call to end the ‘austerity only’ policy and our political family is determined to take the lead. Europe needs to go back to its social democratic roots and we are the only ones who can make that happen”.
The leaders supported to explore ways of deeper cooperation on security, a field where the European scale can offer real results to citizens.
Sergei Stanishev, briefed the leaders on the current development of the European Youth Plan launched by the PES, which aims at supporting the young against the effects of the austerity policies of the last years.
List of participants:
- Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia
- Sergei Stanishev, PES President
- Matteo Renzi, Prime Minister of Italy
- Christian Kern, Chancellor of Austria
- Bohuslav Sobotka, Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
- Antóonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
- Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
- Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden
- Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament
- Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the EC, Commissioner for Energy Union
- Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy
- Fofi Gennimata, President of PASOK (Greece)
- Marian Lupu, President of PDM (Moldova)