PES heads of state and Government say EU summit fight is about jobs and real solidarity, not picking off countries one by one




The European Council summit meeting today “should have as its aim objective to create more and better jobs”, said Party of European Socialists’ (PES) President, Sergei Stanishev. He added “instead, we see yet more attempts to dilute the sense of shared economic and social standards and decision-making”.

On the table is the idea of individual contractual arrangements between the European Commission and respective Member States. This approach, which would be similar to working practices imposed on countries that received an EU bail-out, would allow the Commission to impose predetermined targets, country by country. The approach would be a significant dilution of the EU ‘Community-method’, which is based on collective decision-making.

Speaking at the PES Preparatory meeting for Heads of State and Governments ahead of the summit, Stanishev stated that; “The PES Member Parties are committed to ensuring that there is still a strong sense of shared responsibility for the economic well-being of the European Union. The success of any approach must be measured first and foremost in increased employment. We should be very wary of introducing a bilateral approach between the Commission and individual member states. Let us remember that such ‘singling out’ of countries in difficultly, has thus far stalled the EU economic recovery”.

Mr. Stanishev added that; “Our political family will fight hard to ensure that there is a strong solidarity mechanism to balance any economic obligations. This balance is what citizens are looking to us to ensure. When countries are isolated and forced to adhere to conditions that are harsher than their neighbours, it is the people who have to deal with the economic fallout. Such an approach will only increase frustration”.

PES leaders have also expressed serious concerns that the ‘Social Scoreboard’ - a mechanism by which any agreements should be assessed on social policy implications – has been seriously downgraded.