PES Europe ministers: the far-right threatens the foundations of the European project

PES Europe ministers: the far-right threatens the foundations of the European project

From left to right: Fernando Mariano Sampedro Marcos, Marko Štucin, Tiago Antunes

A resurgent far-right risks the future unity of the European project, Europe ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES) warned today.

Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, to coordinate ahead of today’s General Affairs Council (GAC), ministers exchanged on extremism, the Rule of Law, and democracy in Europe.

Meeting Chair, Portuguese Secretary of State for European Affairs, Tiago Antunes, said:

“We are alarmed by the effects of the continued rise of the far-right. Clear signals in Germany, Italy and elsewhere underline the level of extremism and are highly worrying for the future unity of the European project. We cannot allow Europe to revisit, even for a fraction of a second, the worst chapters of our common history.

In June millions of Europeans will vote across our Union and the outcome of these elections is crucial. But the fate of a country or a continent is not just decided during election time. It is also decided in the everyday battles, in the stands we take now. We are focused today and always on fighting hate and intolerance and defending the Rule of Law and democracy.

We continue to denounce the normalisation of the far right, the ideological rapprochement of parties from the traditionally pro-EU mainstream right, and all forms of cooperation with parties and movements that undermine our democracy.”

Ahead of today’s GAC discussion on the Rule of Law in the European Union, the meeting underlined that there can be no room for compromise on this fundamental value. Clear violations must not go unpunished and penalties for violations must never be lifted for political expediency: fundamental values must be protected.

Ministers also greeted the new Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU and congratulated the Spanish Government on the progress it achieved under its Presidency. Democracy and Rule of Law, competitiveness, a just green transition, a social Europe, migration, and the promotion of a global Europe – these are strong progressive prioritises for the extremely important months to come.

The meeting further exchanged on the European Commission’s Defence of Democracy Package and efforts to better protect our democratic processes from malicious foreign actors. Transparency and accountability must be strengthened and safeguarded as part of a strong democratic system. We must ensure that civil society continues to play their vital role in democracy. Protecting civil society means protecting democracy.

Participants list

  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Portugal
  • Marko Štucin, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Slovenia
  • Fernando Mariano Sampedro Marcos, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Spain