PES Presidency backs adoption of Nature Restoration Law

Pictured centre: PES President Stefan Löfven. Left: PES Secretary General Achim Post and right: PES Executive Vice-President Francisco André

Pictured centre: PES President Stefan Löfven. Left: PES Secretary General Achim Post and right: PES Executive Vice-President Francisco André

We will never abandon action to protect the environment – a prosperous, fair and sustainable future depends upon it, Europe’s socialist political family stated today.

Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, the Presidency of the Party of European Socialists (PES) adopted a declaration calling for the acceleration of the restoration and protection of the natural environment: A healthy planet is a precondition to a healthy society.

The Presidency – which is composed of the PES leadership and representatives of PES full member parties and organisations – is the highest day-to-day decision-making body of the party.

It strongly endorsed action – led in the European Commission by Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, and in the European Parliament by the S&D Group – to put biodiversity loss, climate change, food production and food security at the centre of the debate. This action is even more vital, following EPP attacks on key pillars of the European Green Deal.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“The PES family has been consistent in striving for progressive legislation that aims to improve people’s lives. This is contrary to conservative and neoliberal EU forces, who continue to undermine progress on climate legislation that protects the environment, while also flirting with far-right parties that deny climate change. Voters, and especially young voters, are seeing this shift and are very concerned.”

Prioritises in the declaration include: keeping global warming below 1.5°C, including by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and methane; a greater focus on sustainable food production and consumption; reducing the exploitation of the environment; protection of existing natural sites; action to restore the environment; pesticide reduction; stricter laws on microplastics; and the support for groups who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change and biodiversity loss.

Support for PSOE and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez ahead of elections

Ahead of the general elections in Spain next month, the PES Presidency expressed it full support for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) – a full member party of the PES – and Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez. Voters will decide the type of country they want to live in: a government focused on equality, sustainability and social justice with Prime Minister Sánchez, or a government reliant on a far-right which threatens rights, the ecological transition and a society that works for all in Spain.

PES Executive Vice-President Katarina Barley and PES Vice President Radmila Šekerinska

Preparations for the upcoming period

Members of the Presidency discussed the 2023 PES Congress, which will take place in the second half of this year. Preparations for the Congress are ongoing, including work on the Congress resolution. This activity takes places in cooperation with member parties and organisations, with engagement with civil society and trade unions, and building on positions adopted at the 2022 PES Congress in Berlin.

The PES Presidency further discussed the election of a PES ‘spitzenkandidaten’, which will take place through an open, transparent and democratic competitive process, as set out in the PES statutes.

The PES common candidate (spitzenkandidaten) and European elections manifesto will be endorsed at the PES Election Congress in early 2024.