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S&Ds kick off election campaign at PES congress in Lisbon


Social Europe & Jobs
The president of the Group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, Udo Bullmann, will participate in the PES Congress in Lisbon on 7-8 December together with a strong delegation of S&D MEPs. Hundreds of delegates from the PES member parties across Europe will gather in Lisbon to debate key issues ahead of the 2019 European elections and to acclaim the PES Common Candidate Frans Timmermans. 
Ahead of the Congress, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann said:  
“This week, Lisbon will become the epicentre of progressive thought and feeling for the battle for a better Europe. We are looking forward to the PES Congress that will mark the kick-off of the Progressives’ campaign ahead of the European elections and the endorsement of our lead candidate Frans Timmermans. There is no doubt that we are facing big challenges. However, we are convinced that we can live up to these challenges because we offer what Europe needs most: an agenda for profound change in European citizens’ everyday lives. 
“The S&D Group will bring to Lisbon a concrete roadmap of how to build a Europe that works for the many, not just the few. Our societies need to adapt to globalisation, climate change, the digital revolution, and many other developments at the same time. To make these transformations work for everyone, we need a radically new approach: One that understands that the digital revolution can lead to less, not more, social and territorial inequalities. One that shows that you can advance the greening of the economy and improve the quality of jobs at the same time. In our report prepared by the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality, which we will present at the Congress, we lay out concrete proposals for these transformations. 
“The fight against inequalities goes hand in hand with the fight against right-wing populists and nationalists. We need to stand up against those who want to undermine our dearest values of freedom and democracy. It is up to us Socialists and Democrats - given that Conservatives who associate with authoritarian leaders like Viktor Orbán are no longer reliable partners in this battle. If we overcome social frictions, people will be less susceptible to the fear and hatred spread by our enemies. 
“Frans Timmermans has proven to be a real fighter for our goals and values. I am convinced that with him as our lead candidate, we have the best chance to rise to the challenges ahead of us.”
Udo Bullmann and the other members of the S&D delegation will be available for interviews at the PES congress. Requests for Udo Bullmann can be directed to Angelika Pentsi (president’s spokesperson), all other requests to Utta Tuttlies (Head of Department, Spokesperson S&D Group).


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