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Europe’s Day: defending democracy

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On Europe’s Day (9 May) the PES celebrates the 65th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which laid the bases to what was to become the European Union and the longest period of peace and prosperity in our history.

PES President Sergei Stanishev stated: “At this particular time in Europe, peace and democracy must remain our top priorities if we want to honour the founding values behind the European ideal. These values of human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are also the principles that guide our work at the PES. Unfortunately, in recent times we have seen the rise of populist, nationalist and extremist movements in Europe that challenge what our founding fathers worked so hard to achieve. Populists are trying to question the essence of the European idea. Our answer is reinforced cooperation and an even stronger integration inside Europe. The PES priority is the unconditional commitment to defend our democracy, preserve peace and protect and promote fundamental human rights. We believe and work for a safe and economically strong Europe where every woman and man will find better jobs, social security and a dignified life.

PES Secretary General Achim Post added: “The European Union is a wonderful construction that took us decades of joint hard work to achieve. But we cannot take what we have now for granted; Democracy itself is at stake as poverty and social exclusion become more evident all over Europe. The PES is fighting for a fairer EU - a Europe where everyone is given a chance. It is only by working together, reinforcing cooperation and renewing our commitment to our common values of peace, democracy and solidarity that we will make the European ideal prosper and progress.

The PES will hold its Congress in Budapest on 12-13 June. One of the key Congress messages will be “United for Democracy”, with PES Leaders addressing current challenges facing democracy in the EU.

As the European institutions celebrate the 9 May, the PES will be present at the European Parliament Open Day. On Saturday 9 May we invite you to visit our stand at the European Parliament in Brussels and to learn more about our work.

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