Progressives set out vision for fair and sustainable cities

16/03/2021

Progressive political leaders from all levels of government – local to European – tonight made the case for more progressive and sustainable cities.

With three in four Europeans living in or around cities, from global metropolises to smaller centres of regional development, now is the time to transform Europe’s urban spaces into drivers for Europe’s priorities - the European Green Deal, implementation of the Social Pillar, the digital transition and more - the leaders said.

Opening the event, PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“This coronavirus crisis has revealed with a new strength and sharpness many of the problems which the PES has been pointing out. The inequalities in welfare, the social injustices, the environmental challenges and many more. Now is the time to think of the future.

“Every city has its own story, its own achievements, in the fight for social progress. At the same time, many of our cities face the same challenges: the housing crisis, inequalities, the environment. It is time to share our experiences and develop a common, progressive, social democratic, policy to tackle all these issues.

“We can change our cities together. With clear social democratic policies, using the new opportunity that the recovery plan and the European Green Deal offer. The PES will be backing every progressive and positive effort to change our lives, for a better, fairer and more social future. For citizens, for Europe.”

The hybrid event – Leading the way for progressive and sustainable cities – was streamed live on Facebook, with speakers appearing from the studio in Brussels or connecting to the event by Zoom.

The event can be watched again here.

Sergei Stanishev introduced the livestream, which featured contributions from European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, Mayor of Charleroi and leader of Parti Socialiste (Belgium) Paul Magnette, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Iratxe García Pérez, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Mayor of Coulaines Christophe Rouillon, Chair of the PES Environment, Climate Change and Energy Network Javi López MEP, Mayor of The City of Brussels Philippe Close, Mayor of Malmö Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Seville Juan Espadas, Vice President of the PES Group in the COR and Deputy Mayor of Budapest Kata Tüttő, and Mayor of Budapest Gergely Karácsony

PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet moderated the discussion with Maria Freitas, Senior Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies.