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PES Finance and Social ministers joint declaration: Five Guidelines for a Fair, Social and Sustainable Europe

Nicolas Schmit, Jutta Urpilaainen & Yonnec Polet

Nicolas Schmit, Jutta Urpilaainen & Yonnec Polet

PES Ministers of Social Affairs and Employment gathered today with PES Economics and Finance ministers in a first-of-its-kind meeting in Luxemburg. This joint meeting is a major example of the long-term commitment of the PES to ensure that social policy and economic policy are both weighed – and formulated – together.

The ministers agreed a joint declaration that emphasises that economic sustainability and social justice must go hand in hand, and identifies five guidelines for a fair, social and sustainable Europe:

  • Achieving sustainable and jobs-rich growth
  • Reducing youth unemployment
  • Strengthening the social dimension of the EMU
  • Creating a well regulated financial system
  • Achieving sustainable budgets

PES President Sergei Stanishev stated that; "for too long, conservatives have tried to sell a story to European citizens: that they need to choose between economic stability and social fairness. That it's either the one or the other. But this story has proven to be just fiction. We, European Socialists and Social Democrats, promote an economic model that brings both fiscal stability and social justice, growth, and jobs. For us this is a matter of fairness, but also of long-term economic sustainability. I strongly welcome and support the joint declaration of our PES ministers as a landmark in that respect".

Nicolas Schmit, Social Affairs Minister of Luxemburg and chair of the PES network of Social and Employment Ministers emphasized that; "as European Socialists and Social Democrats we put social fairness at the heart of our policies. Not only because this is morally right and we want to defend the European social model for the wellbeing of our citizens. But also because we are convinced that social fairness is the only way to build a prosperous and sustainable future for our children. Our efforts as PES social ministers to bring the social dimension back into the heart of the EU policy does not go against economic rationality but, on the contrary, it promotes it. Our common declaration with the five guidelines is crucial in that we confirm that our political proposal is a progressive, sustainable, and fair way out of the crisis".

Jutta Urpilaainen, Finance Minister of Finland and chair of the PES Economic and Financial network added that; "our economic policies must be geared towards supporting and promoting social standards. It is true that without economic stability, we cannot sustain our social model. But it is equally true that this social model is a clear condition of economic stability. These are facts that we all accept in our PES family, and this is why we have been fighting for more fiscal fairness, for the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax, or the curbing of unbridled market speculation. I think that today’s declaration is very encouraging, and reaffirms that our political family has the tools and the political will to lead Europe of the crisis".

The full text of the joint declaration of the PES Social and Employment Affairs ministers and the PES Economics and Financial Affairs ministers can be found here in English and here in German.

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