PES Europe ministers: EUCO must set path to a truly strategic Union

PES Europe ministers: EUCO must set path to a truly strategic Union

The EU’s reaction to the war in Ukraine, the conflict’s economic and social impacts in Europe, and the Strategic Compass were on the agenda as socialists and democrats met in Brussels.

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

“Putin’s shameless invasion of a sovereign country has no place in the 21st century. The attacks on civilians, the bombing of homes, hospitals, and schools, all expose the brutality of Putin’s battle plan. All violations of international laws must be fully investigated and punished by the international courts. Socialists and social democrats stand firmly with Ukraine and its people. We will continue to support their self-defence and work for peace by exerting maximum diplomatic pressure and sanctions on Putin.

“This new reality requires our Union to act more strategically. That is the task for the EUCO.

“An ambitious and comprehensive Strategic Compass will ensure a Union that is both open to the world and ready to respond effectively to challenges and threats, like the invasion of Ukraine. As EU leaders agreed in Versailles, it is more important than ever for the EU to become stronger and more capable in the field of security and defence.

“Europe must make full use of progressive proposals like the CARE instrument and REPowerEU to support member states to tame the economic and social impact of this war. We must act to ensure refugees have healthcare, education, housing and employment, and address high energy and commodity prices for citizens.”

Ministers welcomed the strategic proposals already put forward by progressive European Commissioners, specifically REPowerEU from Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans and the Cohesion Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE) instrument from Commissioners Elisa Ferreira and Nicolas Schmit.

The meeting also exchanged on the pandemic, the lessons of the last two years, and developments in two important international areas: vaccine solidarity and the International Treaty on Pandemics.

Looking to the work ahead for the Conference on the Future of Europe, the meeting encouraged the Conference to come forward with final proposals that reflect the progressive priorities of the national and European citizens' panels, the contributions collected through the multilingual digital platform and the debates of the plenary conference and the working groups. In the shadow of the Ukraine crisis, the meeting noted that the Conference is a reminder of the value of participatory democracy and fundamental rights.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Chair, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for the European Union, Portugal
  • Pascual Navarro, Secretary of State for the European Union, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden
  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D Vice-President, and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, S&D Group
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES