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PES Finance Ministers call for the Economic and Monetary Union to be a platform for solidarity

The Party of European Socialists Finance Ministers met today in Brussels prior to the ECOFIN Council. The Ministers discussed the recent Commission communication on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union, which integrates several PES proposals but still has room for improvement in particular when addressing democratic legitimacy and the social dimension. They also had the chance to exchange on the December Climate Change Conference in Paris and expressed their support to a solid financing framework to support its goals.

Lithuanian Finance Minister Rimantas Sadzius and chair of the network said: ‘The deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union is of crucial importance for the future of the Union. The Commission proposals are a step in the right direction, for a more integrate and coordinated eurozone. This is a very positive development. We strongly believe that the EMU’s primary aim should be to promote social and economic convergence and limit inequalities among Member States. Implementing a holistic approach is the first step into the right direction. Yet our discussion will continue, as the Union still faces many economic and social challenges. The EMU must become a platform of solidarity that aims at tackling them in a coordinated and socially just way.’

Commenting on the Commissions communication on deepening the EMU, PES President Sergei Stanishev stated: ‘I welcome the Commission’s efforts to move forward with proposals on the deepening of the Economic and Monetary Union. Now more than ever we can identify the necessity to emerge from crises with common solutions. We need to develop the means to strengthen our responsiveness to all crises: economic, social and humanitarian. We can only do that if we strengthen our Union’s foundations. Our first priority is ensuring the wellbeing and prosperity of the Union's citizens and economies. In order to achieve this aim, we must put special emphasis on the social dimension of the Economic and Monetary Union. We cannot move forward as a Union without strong social standards. Safeguarding our European Social Model is crucial and should go hand in hand with achieving sustainable economic development.’

The Party of European Socialists is following closely the developments with regards to deepening the Economic and Monetary Union, a High Level Working Group consisting of Member Party representatives, the S&D Group and FEPS will be meeting regularly and be adopting a common position paper on a ‘Fair New Deal for Europe’.

The meeting was also attended by French Finance Minister Michel Sapin, Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Maltese Finance Minister Edward Scicluna, Swedish Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Slovakian State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Ivan Lesay, Swedish State Secretary at the Ministry of Finance Karolina Ekholm, European Commissioner for Economic Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, Vice President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Maria Joao Rodrigues, PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet.

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