PES Europe ministers: EUCO must send a message of hope, commitment, and solidarity

21/06/2022

Meeting Chair and Finish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Tytti Tuppurainen (L), and PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet.

Meeting Chair and Finish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Tytti Tuppurainen (L), and PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet.

EU leaders must deliver a message of hope, commitment, and solidarity ahead of the European Council meeting on 23-24 June, where they will be invited to discuss the war in Ukraine, enlargement, economic uncertainty, and the demands of the participants in the Conference on the Future of Europe.

On the agenda for Europe ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES): preparations for the upcoming European Council; country specific recommendations under the European Semester; and, next steps for the Conference on the Future of Europe. 

Chair of the PES Europe Ministers network, Finnish Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Tytti Tuppurainen, said:

“It will be very important for this European Council to send a positive message, internationally and to citizens here in Europe.

“The EU continues to show its solidarity with Ukraine. It is right that a European future remains open for all our neighbours who are committed to that path. Accession is a long and complicated process, but cooperation for peace, prosperity and security will always be supported by the PES family.

“The European Council must also send a message of reassurance here at home. Citizens are facing many challenges, from shrinking incomes to rising bills for energy and food. The EU must support its citizens. Maintaining fiscal flexibility, coupled with investment in a green and digital future; that is the right approach.”

Ministers also exchanged views on the key themes that emerged from the Conference on the Future of Europe and its subsequent follow-up. The Conference on the Future of Europe has been at the centre of PES ministerial and network meetings, and the PES - together with the S&D Group in the European Parliament – convened several progressive caucuses to coordinate socialist and democratic input into the Conference. It is crucial that progressive change results from this democratic exercise, in line with participants’ priorities.

Ministers welcomed Tanja Fajon to the meeting for the first time. Earlier this month, the former MEP and Chair of the PES Democracy Network, and current leader of PES member party SD Slovenia, was appointed Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Slovenian government. In April, outgoing prime minister Janez Janša suffered a crushing defeat after voters rejected his populist right-wing programme at the general election.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Tytti Tuppurainen, Chair, Minister for European Affairs and Ownership Steering, Finland
  • Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President European Commission, European Commission
  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State for the European Union, Portugal
  • Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Marko Štucin, State Secretary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Slovenia
  • Pascual Navarro, Secretary of State for the European Union, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister for European Affairs, Sweden
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES