PES Presidency stands with Ukraine against Russian invasion

24/02/2022 - Representatives from member parties and organisations of the Party of European Socialists adopt statement on Ukraine and declarations on young people and older citizens

PES Presidency meeting by videoconference

PES Presidency meeting by videoconference

European socialists condemn Russia’s military attack against Ukraine and strongly support tough EU sanctions on Russia. This was the message of a statement adopted today by members of the Presidency of the Party of European Socialists.

The statement reads:

“The PES condemns in the gravest manner Russia’s unprovoked military attack against Ukraine and demands an immediate withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine. Russia must reverse its unlawful recognition of the non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine as independent entities and return immediately to the path of diplomacy and peaceful resolutions.

“The PES firmly supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The PES commends President Zelensky’s calls for de-escalation and a return to dialogue and diplomacy. We equally recognise the efforts to facilitate dialogue conducted by EU High Representative Josep Borrell, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and all European leaders who are tirelessly working on a diplomatic solution.

“We will continue to push the EU to mobilise its capacity and resources to support Ukraine in the short- and long-term. On this note, the PES reiterates its support for the emergency macro-financial assistance package of €1.2 billion pledged by European Commission President von der Leyen in January. The EU must support the people of Ukraine, including with humanitarian assistance to people in the country as well as potential refugees fleeing the conflict.

“The EU must respond to Russia’s aggression and provocations with tough sanctions. We welcome the initial EU response swiftly undertaken against the individuals and entities involved in the latest violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and remain confident that stronger measures will be put in place if necessary. We urge EU institutions to meet Russia’s large-scale, unprovoked attacks with tougher sanctions.

"Russia’s latest aggression demands a coherent and determined international reaction. The PES will continue working to ensure the EU has a clear and consistent position which results in severe economic repercussions for those responsible.”

Full PDF of the statement is available here.

Earlier this week, the PES condemned the unlawful recognition by the Russian president of the two breakaway Ukraine regions and PES Europe ministers expressed their solidarity with Ukraine.

Meeting by videoconference, Presidency members also held an exchange with Diederik Samsom, Head of Cabinet of Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, on the upcoming European Commission proposals on energy. With international conflict threatening EU gas imports, and citizens facing skyrocketing bills, it is more important than ever to accelerate the shift to renewable energy generation that Europe can depend on.

Thanks to the leadership of Executive Vice-President Timmermans, Europe is on track to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent. European socialists and social democrats have been the driving force behind the European Green Deal and will continue fighting for a sustainable future.

The PES Presidency also called for a fair future for every generation and adopted two declarations: European Year of Youth: High Time for Action! proposed by the Young European Socialists (YES) and 20th anniversary of the European Seniors Organisation: together for Europe’s senior citizens proposed by the European Seniors Organisation (ESO).

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“From employment, to living standards, wellbeing and so much more, the coronavirus crisis has deeply affected younger and older citizens. As we look ahead to a post-pandemic Europe, socialists and democrats will fight to empower these generations and rebuild their hope for the future. The PES proudly stands with our members the Young European Socialists and the European Seniors Organisation to achieve this.”

YES President Alicia Homs said:

“2022 is the European Year of Youth. But this must not be just branding. A real Year of Youth will put young citizens’ voices front and centre. It will deliver policies which actually matter for them. From banning unpaid internships, to guaranteeing free access to learning, to actions to support young people’s mental health, we European socialists are committed to delivering meaningful change. The next generation badly deserve it.”

This year – designated the Year of Youth by the European Commission – the PES will roll-out a campaign with YES and PES Activists to give voice to young Europeans and provide progressive answers to the challenges they face. It will focus on the priorities set out in the declaration agreed today.

ESO President Jos Bertrand said:

“ESO today joins with the PES and its members across the EU in restating our commitment to improving access to fundamental rights, living conditions and political participation of Europe’s senior citizens. By reinvigorating solidarity between the generations, our united societies can better tackle the challenges of the future.”

Presidency members took the opportunity to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of ESO and reflected on the important work it has undertaken in the last two decades.

Presidency members also reflected on the continuing wave of electoral successes for PES member parties. The meeting hailed the strong election result for Partido Socialista and António Costa in Portugal.

The meeting also discussed the PES Congress 2022, which will take place in Germany.