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European socialists: EUCO must offer hope to those in need


10 Feb 2023


Global Europe


PES heads of government, European Commissioners and leaders at the PES European Council Preparation Meeting, Brussels, Belgium

The European socialist family will continue working for those facing war, for those fleeing conflict, for those in need of humanitarian assistance. We stand for quality jobs in Europe, and a sustainable world. This was the message from the Party of European Socialists (PES) today.

Early this morning, PES President Stefan Löfven welcomed progressives heads of government, European Commissioners and party leaders to the PES European Council Preparation Meeting in Brussels, Belgium.

Ahead of the visit to Brussels of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the PES family reiterated their full support for Ukraine. The meeting also discussed support for green industry, the need to ensure a humane and effective asylum and migration system, and support to Türkiye and Syria following the devastating earthquakes.

PES President Stefan Löfven said:

“We must show that we, the European Union, are a community that helps those in need, that improves life for people. As the PES, we want the European Council to send a clear message today that no one is being left behind. That means creating jobs for Europe’s green future, it means humane migration and asylum, and it means a strong Europe on the world stage.”

The meeting expressed shock and sadness at the humanitarian disaster in Türkiye and Syria following the earthquakes that hit the area earlier this week. It commended the bravery of those fighting to save lives and called for the international community to urgently make resources available to bolster the humanitarian response.

PES President Stefan Löfven (right) and PES Secretary General Achim Post


Ahead of discussions on the Green Deal Industrial Plan at the European Council, PES heads of government, European Commissioners and party leaders reaffirmed the PES family’s commitment to a net-zero European economy built on world-leading green European industry. Sustainability, fairness, flexibility, sovereignty, solidarity, and conditionality – these are the values that must inspire EU efforts to strengthen our continent’s green industrial fabric, ensuring social inclusion and territorial cohesion. The meeting welcomed the leadership of European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, whose efforts continue to bring Europe closer to its net-zero ambitions.

Social democrats support a predictable and reliable common EU asylum and migration management system based on solidarity and a fair sharing of responsibility. Heads of government, European Commissioners and party leaders today expressed their support for the work of European Commissioner Ylva Johansson and urged member states to move forward with the Pact on Asylum and Migration, put forward by the Commissioner in 2020.

Heads of government, European Commissioners and party leaders discussed upcoming items on the progressive agenda. Following an exchange with Partito Democratico leader Enrico Letta, the PES expresses its full support to PD presidential candidates for the Lazio and Lombardia regions, Alessio D’Amato and Pierfrancesco Majorino. Elections will take place on 12 and 13 February.

Building on the exchange at the Preparation Meeting this morning, the PES Presidency – which brings together the PES leadership and representatives of PES member parties and organisations – will meet later today to further discuss topics on the European Council agenda.

Free-to-use high quality photographs from the meeting are available on the PES Flickr.

The meeting was attended by:

  • PES President Stefan Löfven
  • German Chancellor Olaf Scholz
  • Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sánchez
  • Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa
  • Prime Minister of Malta Robert Abela
  • European Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans
  • European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič
  • European Commissioner Ylva Johansson
  • European Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni
  • S&D Group President Iratxe García
  • PS Belgium leader Paul Magnette
  • Vooruit Belgium leader Conner Rousseau
  • PASOK Greece leader Nikos Androulakis
  • PD Italy leader Enrico Letta
  • PvdA Netherlands leader Attje Kuiken
  • SAP Sweden leader Magdalena Andersson
  • European Parliament Vice-President and PES Executive Vice-President Katarina Barley
  • MEP and PES Vice-President Victor Negrescu
  • PES Vice-President Radmila Šekerinska
  • Belgian minister and PES Treasurer Caroline Gennez
  • PES Secretary General Achim Post
  • PES Executive Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck
  • PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet
  • Syriza Greece leader Alexis Tsipras (observer)