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Progressive PMs praise PESCO solidarity, reject Tusk on migration


14 Dec 2017


Social Europe & Jobs

The advent of permanent structured cooperation in defence is a clear example of European solidarity, with countries voluntarily accepting both the responsibilities and the benefits of defence cooperation. This was the view of Party of European Socialists prime ministers at their coordination meeting ahead of the European Council today.

The assembled prime ministers jointly praised the work of Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign & Security Policy and a member of the socialist family, in securing the historic agreement.

Leaders also discussed migration, where they reiterated their solidarity with EU countries such as Italy and Greece which find themselves the first port of call for migrants crossing the Mediterranean, as well as expressing their support for solidarity in addressing the issue.

PES president Sergei Stanishev, chairing the meeting, said:

“We utterly reject Donald Tusk’s proposal to annul the responsibility-sharing agreement for managing migration flows. The reason the current system has not yet succeeded in addressing the problem is that it has not been fully and effectively implemented.

“Migration is a Europe-wide challenge, and as such it needs a coordinated Europe-wide solution, with solidarity and humanitarian values at its core. It would spell disaster if Europe were to retreat into numerous uncoordinated and conflicting national approaches.”

Today’s European Council meeting is also the first since all 28 EU countries jointly proclaimed the European pillar of social rights in Gothenburg in November – a historic step forward under the leadership of Swedish prime minister Stefan Löfven, which was warmly welcomed by PES leaders.

Mr Stanishev added:

“After many months of pressure from our political family, we have finally achieved universal agreement on the need to put social issues on the agenda. Now, socialists and democrats expect Europe’s leaders to commit to concrete action and put the social pillar into practice. As a first priority, we need action on decent wages for all, investment in lifelong education and to close the gender pay gap.

“The same moral applies to eurozone reform, where the European Commission’s new proposals contain many welcome elements for which we have campaigned. It falls to us to keep up the pressure, so that promises are converted into action, and to go even further in areas such as democratic accountability, upward convergence and a specific eurozone budget.”

Leaders especially welcomed the appointment of Portuguese finance minister Mário Centeno as president of the eurogroup.


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