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PES unites behind Timmermans as lead candidate for 2019 European elections


06 Nov 2018


Public Affairs
The 2019 European elections are not just any election. The future of the European Union hangs in the balance. In order to further strengthen our unity, Maroš Šefčovič has announced that he supports Frans Timmermans as the Common Candidate to lead the PES family into the 2019 European Parliament elections. This brings the full force of the PES behind one lead candidate, and allows us to kick-start our campaign.
In a letter sent to the PES President today, Maroš Šefčovič expressed his will to actively contribute to the PES 2019 campaign:
“As both politician and devoted sportsman, I understand the power of team spirit and shared goals. I therefore relate to the need to continue in the spirit of unity, create a united front and concentrate our energy on preparing a powerful political agenda that will bring optimism to the people around Europe. I wish Frans the best of luck in these demanding times. At the same time, I stand ready to work closely with him. As Europe's face and heart are at stake, I believe that everyone has to play their part. It is this combined potential that will make us stronger and capable of reaching the people from all walks of life and in every corner of Europe.”
PES President Sergei Stanishev said:
“I warmly welcome the decision of Maroš Šefčovič to endorse Frans Timmermans as the PES lead candidate. Maroš is a true team player. This signal of unity reflects the spirit of all the PES member parties, leaders, activists and supporters around Europe, and our desire to build together a stronger future for Europe. Maroš will play an important role in the upcoming 2019 election campaign beyond Slovakia, on the European front. He is a positive example of the work that the PES is doing – to stand up for the good of European citizens at the top tables in Brussels and to deliver progressive change for Europe, particularly in the area of sustainable economic modernisation and convergence.” 
The PES held an open process for nominations for its lead candidate and the debate among our member parties has allowed us to unite around a strong candidate who will represent all of our parties and all European citizens. Sergei Stanishev underlined the active role of all PES member parties who participated in the nominations procedure and the positive discussions and the fruitful dialogue that followed. Both nominees contributed to the process by presenting their visions and discussing a common political agenda with PES heads of government and leaders’ summit and with member party representatives at the PES presidency meeting last month. 
PES President Sergei Stanishev added:
“I would like to thank all the PES member parties and leaders for their contribution in the common candidate process and I am especially thankful to the Portuguese prime minister and leader of PS Portugal Antonio Costa who steered the dialogue.”
“As of today, the PES has a strong Common Candidate - Frans Timmermans. He represents a change of direction for Europe, and will put social justice, equality and sustainability at the heart of our electoral programme. Frans Timmermans is widely recognised as the leading defender of democracy and the rule of law in the European Union, and is known as a dedicated champion of equality, fairness and women’s rights. These founding principles of the EU need defending now more than ever. I am sure Frans is the person to lead the fightback against the harm that has been done to the EU and that he will spare no effort in bringing together the progressive forces in Europe in the name of a social, fair, just and democratic European Union.”
Notes for Editors
About the PES 
  • All 28 EU member states are represented by their progressive parties at the PES, which brings together 34 socialist, social democratic, labour and democratic parties as full members. Together with 12 associate parties and 12 observer parties from outside the EU, we fight for a better and more progressive Europe.
  • The current president of the PES is Sergei Stanishev.
  • The Socialists & Democrats Group is the parliamentary group of the PES.