PES Presidency: “Portugal and Spain – 30 years of accession to the European Union: A new impulse for convergence in Spain and Portugal”

PES Presidency: “Portugal and Spain – 30 years of accession to the European  Union: A new impulse for convergence in Spain and Portugal”
The PES Presidency warmly welcomes the determination of our sister parties in Portugal and Spain to engage in a path of progressive and fair reforms, as outlined in the document titled “Portugal and Spain – 30 years of accession to the European Union: A New Impulse for Convergence in Spain and Portugal”, that was put forward by the Portuguese Partido Socialista (PS), and the Spanish Partido Socialista Obrero Español (PSOE).This document has been prepared by our two sister parties in the run up to their national elections. It identifies some core elements of the national programmes that they want to implement when in power. These priorities take into account their respective national contexts to address their specific issues with targeted responses for Spain and Portugal.

1.   Objectives

In the context of the financial and sovereign debt crisis, important asymmetries in Europe were highlighted, in particular in the Eurozone. This imbalance of the Eurozone reduces the potential growth and causes a decline of the cohesion indicators in Europe and undermines the stability of the single currency.The New Impulse for Convergence aims to identify and overcome obstacles to competitiveness in the economies of Portugal and Spain introducing innovative mechanisms to support and monitor these reform programs.

2.   Methodology

The specific programs for Spain and Portugal presented by our sister parties seek to respond to the challenge of relaunching economic growth while maintaining the objective of public finance consolidation (gradual reduction of budgetary deficit on a medium term goal considering the results of the reforms, and a sustainable deleveraging of the economy both in the perspective of public and private debts) and correcting the imbalances of competitiveness between the Eurozone countries (with a perspective to consolidate the single currency through the real convergence of economies).These specific programs must be complemented by the necessary progressive reforms in the Eurozone Governance and the European Fund for Strategic Investments.In each specific program, Spain and Portugal identify the objectives to fulfil and the obstacles of competitiveness to be eliminated. These voluntary and tailor made reform programs with national ownership, are subject to an agreement with the European institutions with clear quantitative and qualitative targets with  a 3  to 5 year horizon, supported, on a step by step approach, by all available European financial means.

3.   Funding to support progressive reforms

These financial means include different instruments, such as Structural and Cohesion Funds and other resources from the EU’s Budget 2014/2020, the EFSI, available funding mechanisms offered notably by the European Investment Bank, leveraged by additional resources allocated to these programs, indexed to the achievement of the agreed results, and also the use of the liquidity created by the European Central Bank’s strategy and the European Stability Mechanism.This document comes to reaffirm once again that our two sister parties and our political family as a whole have a clear commitment to a path of responsible, sustainable, and progressive change. The change that the PS, PSOE, and all our other parties can bring is the change that can deliver a better life for all Europeans.We want Europe to move away from the austerity-only approach. We want to work for a better future by investing in people. By modernising the state. By promoting a greener future, supporting innovation, improving infrastructures, and supporting our SMEs and the real economy. We want to work together on our common commitments, in full respect of national specificities.The PS and PSOE are historic pillars of our political family. With their initiative they reaffirm that they are at the forefront of our collective fight for a more progressive and fairer Europe. We want to express our strongest support for the two parties in their upcoming elections.