PES: meaningful change must follow Conference on the Future of Europe
To simply disregard the proposals made by the participants in the Conference on the Future of Europe would be a huge misstep for the European Union. Progressives must now lead the follow-up process of the Conference. This was the conclusion as European socialists and democrats met to discuss the next steps for the Conference on the Future of Europe.
Meeting in the Democracy Network of the Party of European Socialists, representatives of PES member parties and organisations gathered to discuss how progressives can lead this process.
The Conference on the Future of Europe has been a priority for socialists and democrats – a joint PES-S&D Progressive Caucus was convened several times during the Conference to encourage and develop progressive input.
Acting Network Chair, PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet said:
“This is a question of the success of European democracy. Many citizens took part in the Conference on the Future of Europe and we cannot ignore their hopes and dreams about how Europe can improve their lives.
“The Conference concluded with some very ambitious and constructive proposals. The citizens participating in the Conference want a more effective Europe that faces future challenges with unity and solidarity. Socialists and democrats are behind this vision. That’s why, the progressive family caucus endorsed their own set of conclusions which highlights the progressive narrative on the Future of Europe, based on the citizens’ recommendations.
“There are many areas where change can be implemented under the treaties as they exist now. But there are also areas where progress will require treaty change. This would be a big step, but it must remain on the table if we are to deliver meaningful change.”
Yonnec Polet extraordinarily chaired the Network following the appointment of outgoing Chair, Tanja Fajon, as Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister in the new Slovenian government.
Yonnec Polet added:
“On behalf of the Network, I would like to thank Tanja for the excellent work she has done chairing these meetings over the years. Her drive and passion for defending fundamental rights has been an inspiration to us all. These values, paired with her invincible determination, helped kick one of Europe’s most populist governments out of power. I wish her every success in her new government role.”
In light of continuing concerns about respect for fundamental rights in Europe, the Network also exchanged on the state of play of the Rule of Law in the EU.