Ahead of the European Parliament elections 2019, the S&D Group will hold an exchange with Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President European Commission, who has presented himself as PES Spitzenkandidat for European Commission President.
Frans Timmermans is now the sole PES candidate following the decision of European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič to withdraw from the race and unite the party behind one candidate.
The S&D Group will host an exchange with Frans Timmermans during an extraordinary S&D Group meeting tomorrow, 6 November 2018 from 16.15 - 19.00. This will be presided over by S&D Group president Udo Bullmann and will be organised jointly with S&D MEPs and its key partners, including the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, Solidar, trade union representatives and other civil society organisations.
Before the exchange, the S&D Group will organise a press point in front of the S&D Group room at 16.00. During this S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann, PES President Sergei Stanishev, First Vice-President European Commission Frans Timmermans, and Vice-President European Commission Maroš Šefčovič, will be available for questions from the press.
Commenting on the exchange, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann said:
“I thank Maroš Šefčovič for his commitment to a progressive Europe in his campaign and his decision to unite behind Frans Timmermans as our lead candidate. We look forward to an exchange tomorrow with Frans in our Group.
“These elections will be historic. People will have to make a choice. Between those who want to turn the clock, back to the dark ages in European history, and progressive forces who stand for a pro-European agenda, an open society, democracy, the respect for EU fundamental values and the rule of law.
“Peace, stability and solidarity, the cornerstones upon which the European Union has been built, are also the very foundations that are in danger. We must act now if we are to protect our democracies for the future.
“Yet, protection of the status quo is not enough. We need radical change in Europe. We fight for a better Europe based on a sustainable development model and a solidarity pact for all.
“Like previously in history, it is the moment for the progressive forces to stand up and lead the battle again for social justice and equality; to protect the European project and change it. Europe will survive and emerge stronger if our future is progressive. Our Union will be progressive or it will not be. Together we can win this fight!”
Note to the Editors:
The official confirmation of the Common Candidate will take place at the PES Congress on 6/7 December 2018 in Lisbon.
The S&D Group has a set of key priorities for change, which will be the basis for the discussion tomorrow. These include the following:
- A new economic model for a progressive Europe based on a fully-fledged implementation of the European Social Pillar; fair taxation and transformation of the Stability and Growth Pact towards more investment in Europe;
- Sufficient EU resources to build a fairer, better and cleaner future;
- Strong mechanisms at EU and global level to defend our democracies and fundamental rights;
- A progressive vision for a migration and asylum policy based on solidarity;
- A clear commitment to the EU as a strong and effective actor at the global level;
- A trade policy that benefits the many, not the few;
- A firm commitment to a partnership of trust between Africa and the EU;
- Concrete action to strengthen EU institutions and empower people through more direct involvement from civil society and the strengthening of Parliament’s role through the right of legislative initiative.