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Progressives to push ‘With Courage. For Europe.’ at Berlin Conference


24 Jun 2021



The Socialists and Democrats’ leader, Iratxe García Pérez, will head to Berlin this weekend for a high-level, hybrid conference to set out a fairer and more sustainable path for Europe, together with social democratic Prime Ministers, European Commissioners and party leaders. On Friday 25, the S&D leader will participate in the PES Women’s workshop ‘#MakeHerCount for Democracy’ and the S&Ds’ co-hosted workshop ‘Child Union - a community that cares’.  In the evening, she will join German Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Spanish President of the Government Pedro Sánchez, SPD Co-leader Norbert Waler-Borjans, PES President Sergei Stanishev and other social democratic Commissioners and party leaders at the PES Leaders’ meeting. The next morning, Iratxe García will speak on the panel ‘For a Europe, that invests in the future’.

On Friday, 25 of June from 16:00 to 17:30, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies are co-hosting a workshop on the ‘Child Union - a community that cares’ featuring S&D MEP Brando Benifei, Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, Portuguese Minister for Labour Ana Mendes Godinho (tbc), and SPD MP Susann Rüthrich. A full programme is available here. You can follow the live stream on our website.

On Saturday, 26 June from 9:30 to 12:00, German Vice-Chancellor Olaf Scholz will be joined by Prime Minister of Portugal António Costa , Prime Minister of Sweden Stefan Löfven , EU Commission Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms Elisa Ferreira, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni, PES President Sergei Stanishev, SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans, EU Affairs Spokesperson of SPD and MEP Udo Bullmann, President of the Young European Socialists Alicia Homs MEP, Secretary of Partito Democratico Enrico Letta, PES Secretary General Achim Post, S&D MEP Katarina Barley, ETUC Deputy Secretary General Esther Lynch, and MSZP co-leader Ágnes Kunhalmi. A full programme is available here. You can follow the live stream on our website.

S&D leader Iratxe García said:

“Exceptional times require bold and innovative solutions. Together we have delivered a strong response to the crisis with the recovery programme. While the pandemic is still destroying lives and livelihoods, we must ensure the fast and smart deployment of the funds on the ground. Now, we are called upon to put Europe on the path towards a better future, by making the EU fairer, more sustainable and more responsive to people’s needs and hopes. It is time to invest in Europe, and for Europe to invest in our joint future. It is time to push with courage for Europe.

 Udo Bullmann, S&D MEP and EU Affairs Spokesperson of SPD, said:

“Social Democrats successfully turned the page to fight the pandemic. The German SPD with its new leadership and its candidate for Chancellor, Olaf Scholz, played a major role in setting up the most powerful recovery programme in Europe’s history. A strategy of mutual solidarity and reconstruction was born last summer, and will continue.  We invite Europe this week-end to join us in this common endeavour: to make Europe a leading force in achieving a sustainable world with a fair transition, more equality and social justice for all. With Social Democrats in the lead, nobody will left behind.”

Brando Benifei, S&D MEP and leading on the Child Union Workshop, said:

 “Our socialist family scored a huge victory when we managed to make the Child Guarantee a reality. Already before the pandemic hit families hard, one in four children was at risk of poverty or social exclusion. The Child Guarantee will ensure all children in Europe have access to quality education, healthy nutrition and medical care. But we are even more ambitious: we want to combat the root causes of child inequalities. Because the poor children of today are in danger of becoming the poor parents of tomorrow. Children growing up in poverty face a higher risk of unemployment, malnutrition, illness, homelessness, early school dropouts and social exclusion. We must break this vicious circle of poverty breeding poverty!

“Our call for a Child Union builds on three goals: Firstly, a rapid implementation of the Child Guarantee by EU countries on the ground; secondly, with the Next Generation EU, invest more and better into the next generation; thirdly, guaranteeing equal access to quality and inclusive early childhood education and care for all. Our objective is zero child poverty.”