PES Europe ministers: unity must steer EUCO agenda

PES Europe ministers

Pictured centre: Tytti Tuppurainen, Meeting Chair and Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, at the PES GAC meeting in Brussels today

No member state and no industry can be left behind in the drive for green growth – this was the message from Europe ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES) family.

Ministers from Finland, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain gathered early this morning at the headquarters of the PES to exchange ahead of the EU General Affairs Council later today. On the agenda, the Green Deal Industrial Plan, the Pact on Migration and Asylum, support for Ukraine, and other progressive priorities for the Swedish Presidency of the Council of the EU.

Tytti Tuppurainen, Finnish Minister of European Affairs and Ownership Steering and meeting Chair, said:

“Unity must be the common thread that runs through the Special European Council this week. Green growth will strengthen Europe’s economy, but it must be delivered in a way that works for all. Europe needs immediate action to reinforce our green industrial fabric based on the principles of sustainability, sovereignty, flexibility, fairness, solidarity and conditionality to ensure social and territorial inclusion. The creation of quality jobs and the investment in clean technology, renewable energies and the decarbonisation of the industry and the production of equipment necessary for the net-zero transition are crucial.

“However, we must preserve the integrity of the Single Market and avoid its fragmentation at all costs. We need to find ways to ease the situation: existing EU funds could be used in a more flexible manner to promote the EU’s competitiveness, resilience and green transition.

“When it comes to the topic of migration, responsibility and mandatory solidarity must be injected into migration and integration, if we find agreement on the Pact on Migration and Asylum. The EU must live up to its values. The right to apply for asylum in the EU is in the core of our shared values, the respect of human rights. It is important that the European Council continues to work closely together to address this issue.

“And Ukraine can prevail, as long as we continue to come together to provide much-needed support.”

Pictured from right: PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet, and Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering Tytti Tuppurainen

Progressive ministers were meeting in the PES GAC for the first time this year.

They held an exchange on strengthening the EU’s economic, industrial and technological sectors to achieve net-zero, as well as ways to improve Europe’s strategic autonomy. A sustainable future – achieved through the European Green Deal spearheaded by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans – is a central demand for the PES.

Pictured from right: Portuguese Secretary of State for the European Union Tiago Antunes, Spanish Secretary of State for the European Union Pascual Navarro, and Slovenian State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Marko Štucin

Ministers commended European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, for her work on the Pact on Migration and Asylum and articulated the determination of the PES family to secure the adoption of all dossiers before the end of the current mandate.

The meeting reaffirmed the commitment of progressives to do everything – in lock-step with Europe’s allies – to support Ukraine in its defence against this ruthless and illegal invasion of its territory by Russia.

PES Europe Ministers expressed concern over today’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. As the death toll continues to rise, we send our heartfelt condolences to the people of Turkey and Syria and to everyone affected by the horrible earthquake that has killed thousands and left many without homes in freezing temperatures. The EU must mobilise its resources to help everyone in need. Helping save human lives is our absolute priority.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Meeting Chair and Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State for the European Union, Portugal
  • Marko Štucin, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Pascual Navarro, Secretary of State for the European Union, Spain
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES