PES Europe ministers stand in full solidarity with Ukraine

PES Europe ministers stand in full solidarity with Ukraine

Progressive ministers met in Brussels, Belgium, this morning to exchange ahead of the EU General Affairs Council (GAC) later today. They expressed their full solidarity with Ukraine and condemned President Putin's decision to recognise the independence of the Ukrainian separatist regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, which runs counter to international law and the Minsk agreements.

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

“We are united as the European Union, standing in full solidarity with Ukraine. We condemn Russia's unilateral acts that violate Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The EU must respond to Russia’s aggression with tough sanctions on those responsible.

“It is deeply concerning that Russia has decided to break the Minsk agreements and send troops into Ukraine under the guise of “peacekeepers”. This is a very grave step and a worrying sign that Russia is not interested in pursuing peace. European socialists and democrats will stand united continue pushing for de-escalation achieved through dialogue and diplomacy.”

PES Europe ministers also discussed the rule of law in Europe, urging the EU to work to strengthen it and protect European values following the recent decision from the European Court of Justice. The rule of law makes the EU stronger, and the PES ministers expressed their full commitment to upholding democracy, human rights, and the independence of the judiciary in Europe.

Ahead of the Conference on the Future of Europe plenaries scheduled for next month, PES ministers also urged the French presidency to work to ensure the voices of EU citizens are heard. The potential of the Conference must be fully realised.

The meeting also took stock of EU efforts to prepare for future challenges. In the face of growing global instability – from strategic competition to security threats – socialists and democrats are pushing for an ambitious EU Strategic Compass. Furthermore, a key part of discussions was increasing Europe’s resilience to future crises. Both increased resilience and the Strategic Compass will be vital for European efforts to meet international challenges around cyber and hybrid threats, climate change and security, space, and emerging and disruptive technologies. Action to avert crises and emergencies – particularly in the areas of climate change, public health, security and potential socio-economic deterioration – must remain high on the EU agenda.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, meeting Chair, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden