PES Presidency eyes social turn for Europe at Porto Summit

22/04/2021 - Porto Social Summit, Conference on the Future of Europe, Berlin conference, new Climate Law, and Turkey on Presidency agenda

PES Presidency meeting by videoconference

PES Presidency meeting by videoconference

Socialists and democrats have led the fight for Social Europe. The Porto Summit must build on this work and put social rights back at the top of the EU agenda, member parties and organisations of the Party of European Socialists said today.

The PES Presidency met by videoconference to hold a strategic discussion on the upcoming Porto Social Summit, Conference on the Future of Europe and other progressive priorities.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“There are a number of milestone events on the horizon for the EU in the coming months. These are not just for show, they are opportunities to refocus the EU on what matters for citizens.

“Thanks to the Porto Summit, organised by António Costa and PS Portugal, social issues are back at the top of the EU agenda. We have been pushing for this since the first discussions on the Pillar at the Gothenburg Summit, hosted by Stefan Löfven. This achievement is built on the valuable work of Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, of our MEPs, notably PES Social Europe Network Chair Agnes Jongerius, and our Ministers.

“Porto must send a strong message, endorsed by all prime ministers and heads of state, that social rights are fundamental to the EU, to its policies and its future.”

The Presidency discussed ongoing coordination - with the PES, S&D Group, Commission, Portuguese presidency, member parties and others - to make the summit a success.

Yesterday, as part of the socialist political family’s build-up to Porto, the S&D held a livestream: 2030 Porto Agenda for sustainable wellbeing. A declaration setting out aspirations for the summit was signed by PES President Sergei Stanishev, S&D leader Iratxe Garcia and other progressives.

The Presidency also exchanged on the upcoming Conference on the Future of Europe – another important moment for the EU. The meeting received an update on the PES, S&D Group and Partito Democratico event – Our Europe - Our Future – which will take place on 3 May 2021. Building on the progressive digital platform hosted by the S&D, the event will launch the progressive perspective on the Conference on the Future of Europe.

The meeting also welcomed the agreement, reached yesterday, on the new Climate Law. Thanks to Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, the EU is now firmly on course for climate neutrality with an ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2050. The PES has already strongly welcomed the agreement.

The Presidency also held an exchange on the high-level PES conference, organised in cooperation with SPD Germany, that will take place in Berlin on 25-26 June 2021.

The Presidency discussed the continued troubling situation in Turkey. The Presidency reiterated its support for all the members of the democratic opposition who have been wrongfully accused as part of the so-called Kobani trial. In total, 108 people will stand trial, including the detained former Co-Chairs of HDP Figen Yüksekdag and Selahattin Demirtas. PES representatives will attend the protests in front of the court in Ankara on 26 April 2021 and the PES is discussing further joint action. Socialists and democrats, across Europe and beyond, stand in solidarity with the democratic opposition in Turkey.