“Make your voices heard” – PES Europe ministers urge citizens

21/09/2021

German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth at the PES GAC meeting today

German Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth at the PES GAC meeting today

Democracy thrives from meaningful dialogue between citizens and politicians; this is why the Conference on the Future of Europe is so important. It is time to make your voices heard, progressive Europe ministers urged citizens today.

Ministers from the PES family gathered in Brussels to coordinate ahead of today’s General Affairs Council meeting. On their agenda: the Conference on the Future of Europe and EU coordination on the response to the Covid19 pandemic.

Meeting Chair, German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth said:

“The Conference is an unprecedented opportunity for citizens. They can demonstrate that the proposals we defend – social inclusion, gender equality, defence of the rule of law, affordable health services – must be put at the top of the EU agenda.

“We hope to see an interesting exchange around recommendations from the recent citizens’ panels and citizens’ digital input. A democracy can only thrive if there is a permanent dialogue between the people and its political representatives. This is why this exercise is so important.

“Our progressive family has been very active in encouraging people to get involved. My message to young people, feminists, the LGBTI community, trade unions, civil society and others is to make your voices heard!”

The progressive family is encouraging people to share their ideas on the future of Europe through its multi-lingual online platform: www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu/it/futureofeurope. Earlier this year, PES President Sergei Stanishev and S&D President Iratxe Garcia jointly urged progressives to take part. Together with member parties, the S&D group, and progressive partners, the PES has also organised Conference events in Rome with the Partito Democratico, in Porto with the Portuguese Socialist Party (PS) and in Berlin with the SPD.

At today’s meeting, PES Europe ministers also welcomed continued EU coordination on the Covid19 pandemic, particularly the success of the Digital Covid Certificate this summer. The ministers stressed the need to maximise vaccination rates, within the EU and across the world. They urged all Member States to vaccinate young people and provide booster doses for the vulnerable, as winter approaches. Ministers also exchanged on the measures their governments are taking to make vaccines available to other parts of the world. They welcomed the European Commission’s plans to increase the number of doses it will donate to the developing world, to 450 million by 2022. The combined efforts of the EU in this area – referred to as ‘Team Europe’ – has proved highly successful.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Vincenzo Amendola, Undersecretary of State, delegated to European Affairs, Italy
  • Ana Paula Zacarias, Secretary of State for the European Union, Portugal
  • Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Malta
  • Juan González – Barba, Secretary of State for the European Union, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden
  • Pedro Marques MEP, S&D and PES Coordinator for the implementation of our progressive Commission Work Programme, S&D Group