Socialist heads of government: EUCO must keep the European dream alive for all aspiring countries

23/06/2022 - Enlargement, energy, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on PES meeting agenda

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders at the PES European Council Preparation Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Enlargement, energy, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were on the PES meeting agenda.

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders at the PES European Council Preparation Meeting in Brussels, Belgium. Enlargement, energy, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine were on the PES meeting agenda.

Socialist heads of government have urged the European Council to send a clear signal today to all countries aspiring to join the European Union: a European future is possible, and we will support you to achieve it.

The pre-summit meeting of the Party of European Socialists (PES) called on the European Council to support EU candidate status for Ukraine and Moldova.

PES leaders were confident that this would provide a credible anchor to the European aspirations of these countries and their people in a profoundly changed geopolitical context, whilst also serving to encourage governments to further advance reforms necessary for the EU accession process.

Socialist members of the European Council also reiterated their call to find solutions to the outstanding issues regarding North Macedonia and Albania so EU accession negotiations with both countries can start without further delay.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“EU leaders must deliver a message of hope today. Those countries working for EU membership deserve a clear signal that the Union is also committed to them, and will support them towards a European future. The PES supports candidate status for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

“The road to accession is a long and complicated one. Different countries are at different stages, and it is important that each one has cause for hope today, including North Macedonia and Albania. We must ensure that this process remains credible, proceeding carefully based on progress achieved, working to overcome challenges together.”

Heads of government, European Commissioners, leaders, and other high-level members of the PES family met in Brussels to coordinate on the agenda for today’s European Council meeting.

Socialists again expressed their full solidarity with Ukraine and condemned Russia’s brutal invasion of the country. The PES demands that Russia must immediately withdraw its troops and respect internationally recognised borders. Indiscriminate attacks on civilians must stop and those responsible for such atrocities and other war crimes must be held accountable. Europe must continue to provide support for Ukraine, including humanitarian aid, and work to end the war.

Prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders also urged Europe to act on energy. With unity and determination, the EU must continue to phase out Russian fossil fuels in favour of other suppliers, boost renewable generation, and work to ensure affordable energy prices for citizens. The EU must swiftly implement the European Green Deal - created by European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans - for the benefit of citizens and the planet alike.

PES member parties lead seven EU governments – Germany, Spain, Sweden, Portugal, Denmark, Finland and Malta – representing over 36% of EU population, and are part of the governing coalition in a further six Member States – Italy, Romania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Luxembourg. Nine European Commissioners are part of the PES family.

The PES is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, having been founded in 1992. The milestone will be marked at the upcoming PES Congress, which will be hosted with support from the governing German SPD - a PES full member party – in Berlin on 14-15 October.

The meeting further discussed the Conference on the Future of Europe and urged an effective follow-up on its outcomes. The Conference has been a unique democratic opportunity and must yield results.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President of the Party of European Socialists
     
  • Olaf Scholz, Chancellor of Germany
  • Magdalena Andersson, Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Sanna Marin, Prime Minister of Finland
     
  • Tanja Fajon, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Leader of Socialni demokrati, Slovenia
     
  • Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal
  • Josep Borrell, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission 
  • Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission
  • Paolo Gentiloni, European Commissioner for Economy
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights
     
  • Enrico Letta, Secretary of the Democratic Party, Italy
  • Marcel Ciolacu, Leader of Partidul Social Democrat, Romania
     
  • Alexis Tsipras, Leader of Syriza, Greece (observer)