PES calls for united, European, response to Rule of Law breaches

21/10/2021

Pictured from left: Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, and Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa at the PES European Council preparation meeting in Brussels

Pictured from left: Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin, and Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa at the PES European Council preparation meeting in Brussels

Right-wing governments cannot ignore the founding principles of the European Union, this was the conclusion today of a European Council pre-summit meeting of prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders from the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Meeting in Brussels, the PES political family discussed key issues ahead of the European Council meeting today. On the agenda: the Rule of Law, energy prices and coronavirus.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Our political family has always been clear that breaches of fundamental European standards cannot be accepted. What we have seen in Poland is very damaging. The European Commission must use all the tools at its disposal to ensure the independence of the judiciary and protect the Rule of Law in every Member State.

“The PES family stands with the Polish people and progressive movements in the country which want to defend a European community of values.”

Earlier this month, the PES expressed deep concerns about the Rule of Law in Poland.

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders reflected on the continuing pressure citizens and enterprises face as a consequence of rising energy prices. Spain and other progressive governments have already imposed fast measures to mitigate the negative impact.

To further address rising prices, the meeting welcomed the toolbox brought forward by the European Commission but urged Member States and the European institutions to go further in ensuring all citizens and enterprises have access to clean, affordable energy. The PES political family has consistently argued for an environmentally and socially sustainable model, where everyone benefits from a successful green transition. This approach is at the centre of the European Green Deal led by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans. A Just Transition will also be central to socialist and democratic efforts at the upcoming COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders welcomed the continued European coordination on COVID-19 and urged all Member States to remain vigilant to future risks. Europe must continue to promote vaccination, both nationally and internationally. Within the EU, the new Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority, HERA, will help strengthen supply-chain resilience. Its functioning must be fully transparent if citizens’ trust is to be maintained.

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders also thanked Prime Minister Stefan Löfven for his tenure in office. The European Council today will be the last he attends before he steps down as Leader of the Social Democrats next month.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“On behalf of the PES, I thank Stefan for his work and comradeship after nearly a decade as leader of the Social Democrats. He oversaw the Gothenburg Social Summit which adopted the European Pillar of Social Rights.  This was not just a success for our political family, it was a pivotal moment for the EU. Beginning as a welder, Stefan fashioned a path to a fairer Europe for all. He showed real leadership and the strength of building progressive coalitions. We thank him for his work and wish him well for the future.”

The meeting welcomed recent electoral successes for PES members in Germany, Norway, Portugal and Italy. Across Europe, the socialist and social democratic message of a fair and sustainable society is resonating with voters.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists
     
  • Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
  • Robert Abela, Prime Minister of Malta
  • António Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain
  • Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden
     
  • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Maroš Šefčovič, European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight
  • Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy
  • Elisa Ferreira, European Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms
     
  • Iratxe García Pérez, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, First Vice-President of the Party of European Socialists
     
  • Paul Magnette, Leader of PS Belgium
  • Manolis Christodoulakis, Secretary General of Kinima Allagis, Greece
     
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists


Video clips from the meeting are available on EbS here. Photographs from the meeting are available on the PES Flickr.