Pittella: EU cannot just be the guardian of fiscal discipline and lack any principles on refugee crisis

European flag with SCHENGEN written in it

Following the summit held today in Paris among the European progressive leaders, the president of the S&D group, Gianni Pittella, stressed the importance of regularly  having such frank and constructive discussions.

S&D group president Gianni Pittella said: 

We Socialists and Democrats are first and foremost a community of values and principles. The progressive family offers a unique and maybe the last chance for saving Europe from the political and moral decline. 

However, in order to save Europe from populist movements, we cannot compromise with our values. Our family cannot remain silent on the migration crisis, while other important leaders express themselves by words and actions, in line with Orban's position, disregarding the need for European solidarity and responsibility. 

Infringement procedures should be foreseen against those Member States that do not comply with the decisions adopted on the refugees relocation system. Schengen must be defended. Europe cannot come across as relentless only when it comes to fiscal discipline and unacceptably careless when fundamental principles such as solidarity are at stake. 

The EU must urgently address the social and economic challenges. The revival of the European economy cannot only rely on ECB monetary policy. Blind austerity must be abandoned. Against the backdrop of anemic growth and high unemployment, we need a full use of flexibility that could permit new public investments. The  Commission's Juncker Plan has been a positive step but we need to do more, stronger and faster in order to achieve our climate change goals. We call on the Commission to finalize the Banking Union by setting up a European deposits guarantee scheme.

There is no alternative to that. If we do not act now, populist movements will - putting in danger the whole European Union.