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PES statement on Europe Day: EU recovery must go hand in hand with solidarity


09 May 2011


Social Europe & Jobs

Europe Day on 9 May marks the anniversary of the Schuman declaration in 1950, the first step in building the EU. In order to reconcile Europe after World War II, Germany and France’s key resources were shared. 61 years later what is the state of play? A severe crisis is sweeping Europe and its current conservative leadership is unable to respond in a strong and decisive way. When Greece was first attacked by speculators early 2010, conservatives dominating EU institutions watched passively as the play unfolded. When they finally decided to act, they showed the world an absence of solidarity among member states and opened the door to further speculative attacks.

PES President, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen stated that; “The reason we celebrate Europe day is because 50 plus years ago people had the courage of their convictions. They had the strength to rise above short term populism and to maintain a steely focus on the long term interests. The European Union today needs to rediscover this resolve. The progressive values of the PES can provide just such a boost. Our way would see a strong Union. Based on a solidarity that regains and renews its self confidence, we can change direction and we can reconnect to the hopes of millions of Europeans ”.

PES Secretary General Philip Cordery added “We celebrate Europe day at the end of a spring of revolutions. European citizens are looking south and drawing inspiration from these new heroes of democracy. The bravery of ordinary citizens to stand and fight for their cherished principles should galvanize progressives everywhere. In the EU, let us use these events of the Arab spring as a reminder of our own commitment to the democratic values of solidarity, transparency and inclusiveness." 


For further information please contact Brian Synnott on +32 474 98 96 75 (

The PES brings together 33 socialist, social democratic, labour and progressive parties in the European Union and Norway, a parliamentary group in the European Parliament (184 MEPs) and in the Committee of the Regions (247 members) - plus observer and associate parties and organizations from all over Europe. ECOSY and PES Women are respectively the Youth and the Women's organizations of the PES.