PES will hold new President to promise of a more sustainable, equal, and just Europe

16/07/2019

Image: Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen

Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen. Image: Belga.

It is now time to begin working for a more sustainable, more equal, and more just Europe, the PES said today as it pledged to hold the new Commission President to the commitments she outlined before her appointment.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The new Commission President has been very clear over the last few days in committing to key elements of our programme for a more sustainable, equal, and just Europe. This includes the full implementation of the Social Pillar, a permanent Youth Guarantee, the introduction of the Child Guarantee, and the creation of a Just Transition Fund. It is now time to show these were not empty words for the hearings, but the beginning of constructive reform for the European Union. The future of our continent is at stake and must not be jeopardised by empty promises.”

Following her endorsement by the European Parliament, the PES will work constructively with Ursula von der Leyen to deliver the progressive change which millions of European citizens voted for in May. We expect progress to be forthcoming. We will closely monitor the work of the Commission to ensure the new President lives up to her promises. Where the programme does not go far enough, we will continue to push for a more radical approach.

The priorities for the progressive political family were set out last week in a letter from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the parliamentary group of the PES. Writing to von der Leyen, the letter outlined progressive priorities for the next mandate – defending the EU’s values; a sustainable Europe; implementing the social pillar; overcoming austerity; a well-funded European search and rescue programme along with a proper European asylum package; and, more gender equality.

The PES expects the next Commission to make progress on our political family’s priorities. The new Commission President, in reply to the S&D Group letter, committed to an action plan for the implementation of the Social Pillar, which will include a minimum wage for all workers, a Youth Guarantee as a permanent instrument to fight youth unemployment, and the establishment of a Child Guarantee to tackle poverty and social exclusion. She also committed to a Just Transition Fund to support regions and people as our continent becomes more sustainable. These proposals – a progressive stamp on the next Commission programme – originate from our political family and are key planks in the fight for a fair, free and sustainable Europe.

The new President of the European Commission will have to deliver and respect her commitments, or a sustainable and fair future for Europe will be endangered. We will continue fighting to take forward this progressive agenda in close cooperation with European Commissioners from our political family, progressive prime ministers, PES member parties, the S&D Group in the European Parliament, the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, and all PES member organisations and partners.