PES GAC: A successful recovery means looking beyond short-term measures

25/05/2020

GAC videoconference

Members of the PES GAC meeting by videoconference

A fairer and more sustainable Europe will be the hallmark of a successful recovery, PES Europe ministers said today as they met by videoconference ahead of tomorrow’s GAC Council.

Meeting Chair and German Minister of State for Europe, Michael Roth, said:

“Our cities and regions are seeing a return to life. Services, shops and schools are step by step reopening. Economic activity is restarting. But this is certainly not back to business as usual.

“We are at a delicate moment. We must act to offer support and certainty, whilst also looking ahead to the Europe we want. This means progressing the recovery with a green, digital and social transition.

“Our immediate priorities must be to invest in treatment against the virus and to offer financial assistance to Member States and economic sectors which have been hit hardest, particularly transport, tourism, hospitality and culture. This rightfully calls for a significant financial package, one which must be used to bring us closer to our environmental, social, digital and democratic goals. We want these goals to be the cornerstones of an ambitious European recovery plan, for which Germany and France have tabled an initiative.”

Ministers exchanged views on the progress achieved in the coordination of recovery measures in the context of the COVID-19 crisis and discussed how coronavirus support can move the Union towards a fairer and more sustainable future.

The meeting strongly welcomed the efforts of progressives in the Commission to implement temporary support for workers through SURE. The ministers discussed how this valuable tool could be made permanent, so support is always available if needed.

The meeting also discussed the Commission’s planned Annual Report on the Rule of Law. Michael Roth added:

“We are looking forward to receiving information from the Commission on its Annual Report on the Rule of Law in the Union. This crisis has further exposed authoritarian tendencies among the governments of some Member States. This must be challenged. We cannot allow the Rule of Law to be weakened.”

The meeting was attended by:

  • Michael Roth, Chair, Minister of State for Europe, Germany
  • Vincenzo Amendola, Minister of European Affairs, Italy
  • Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds, Malta
  • Juan González-Barba, State Secretary for European Affairs, Spain
  • Hans Dahlgren, Minister of EU Affairs, Sweden
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General, PES