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PES prime ministers discuss Spitzenkandidat and long-term EU budget


23 Feb 2018


Euro & Finance
Public Affairs

Prime ministers and European Commissioners from Europe’s progressive family today restated their determination that the next President of the European Commission must not be appointed behind closed doors, but must instead be the candidate able to command majority support in the European Parliament following the 2019 elections.
Meeting today at the PES headquarters, the leaders committed to building a coalition of progressive forces in Parliament in support of a progressive candidate.
PES president Sergei Stanishev, chairing the meeting, said:

      “The Party of European Socialists is committed to the Spitzenkandidat process that we created, and we stand fully behind the decision we reiterated in Lisbon last year to select our candidate in an open, democratic and transparent way.
      “We believe it is crucial for European democracy that the next president of the European Commission should not be appointed behind closed doors, but must reflect the votes of citizens across Europe in the 2019 elections. Following the elections, we will build a majority coalition in Parliament to achieve this.”

Leaders also discussed the long-term budget for the European Union (MFF). Mr Stanishev added:

“Planning the long-term budget is one of the most important tasks to help tackle the challenges faced by Europe. The multiannual financial framework must be ambitious in order deliver the European public goods which citizens are rightly demanding.
“This means not only finding new sources of funding such as own resources, but also fighting for an ambitious budget with the right structure and priorities, so that money is spent wisely, in ways that benefit all our countries and regions, and build solidarity and cohesion.
“And the MFF must be finalised before the European elections in 2019.”

The meeting took place shortly before today’s informal European summit.
In attendance were:

  • Sergei Stanishev, president of PES
  • Paolo Gentiloni, prime minister of Italy
  • Stefan Löfven, prime minister of Sweden
  • Joseph Muscat, prime minister of Malta
  • Alexis Tsipras, prime minister of Greece (observer)
  • Udo Bullman MEP, acting president of the S&D group
  • Federica Mogherini, EU high representative for foreign & security policy
  • Frans Timmermans, first vice-president of the European Commission

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, president of the European Committee of the Regions


Notes for editors

  • 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 13 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.



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