Nicolas Schmit pledges to fight for people, democracy and the planet

PES Common Candidate Nicolas Schmit speaks on stage at the PES Election Congress in Rome, Italy

PES Common Candidate Nicolas Schmit speaks on stage at the PES Election Congress in Rome, Italy

Europe must be a force to improve people’s lives, defend democracy, and lead the fight against the climate emergency – this is the socialist mission at the European elections, Nicolas Schmit said today as he was elected as the PES Common Candidate for President of the European Commission.

Nicolas Schmit – the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, and a former minister and diplomat – was elected by delegates at the Election Congress in Rome.

More than 1500 participants – activists, young people, leaders, European Commissioners and heads of state and government – applauded Nicolas Schmit’s election speech at the Election Congress, held under the motto The Europe we want: social, democratic, sustainable.

Combating the cost-of-living crisis through stronger social rights, standing against a democratic crisis by committing no socialist cooperation with the far-right, and addressing the climate crisis with a Green Social Deal – these issues, and more, were in focus. The Common Candidate pledged to work to create more opportunities for young people, stand for women and minorities and against threats to democracy, and ensure that Europe fights for a more just world.

Speaking at the Election Congress, PES Common Candidate Nicolas Schmit said:

“We have a clear programme for action with our manifesto and we have, across all our member states, many, many, committed candidates ready to fight for our ideas in this campaign.

“As your common candidate, you will find me fully engaged on your side. We have a project of hope, progress, justice and shared prosperity.

“I am ready to lead our political family to defend our ideas, to talk to citizens, workers, farmers, to listen to their concerns. To practise a strong dialogue and to present our strong social democratic project.”

Watch the speech in full.

Common Candidate Nicolas Schmit delivered the speech to a packed Election Congress, with the participation of delegates, activists and many high-level PES figures including: PES President Stefan Löfven, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Denmark Mette Frederiksen, Prime Minister of Romania Marcel Ciolacu, European Commissioners Paolo Gentiloni, Jutta Urpilainen, and Elisa Ferreira, President of the S&D Group Iratxe Garcia, party leaders of the PES member parties and many others.

PES President Stefan Löfven said: 

“The name of Nicolas Schmit is synonymous with social rights and better jobs. His dedication to social-democratic solutions for the people is clear and longstanding. He has a strong track record and our party is stronger for the energy and commitment he dedicates to making Europe better, for the good of all.”  

The Election Congress voted by acclamation to endorse Nicolas Schmit as Common Candidate. Delegates also voted to adopt the PES manifesto for the European elections.

PES Common Candidate Nicolas Schmit (centre). Behind, pictured from left: S&D President Iratxe García, Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz, PES President Stefan Löfven, PD leader Elly Schlein, Mayor of Rome Roberto Gualtieri, and PES Vice President Kati Piri.

Nicolas Schmit is now the official Common Candidate (or ‘Spitzenkandidat’) presented by Europe’s socialist family for President of the European Commission. Under the Spitzenkandidat system, European political parties each present a joint candidate (or candidates) to lead their Europe-wide campaign for the European elections. The political party which secures the most support in the new European parliament presents its candidate as the next President of the European Commission.

Photographs from the event are available on Flickr.