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PES leaders promise new industrialisation and social recovery

PES leadersLeaders of the member parties of the Party of European Socialists (PES) met in Brussels for the final time before the European Parliament elections today. At a preparatory meeting for the European Council Summit, they focused on the key challenge for the next five years - translating a fragile economic recovery into a full social recovery.

The Social Democratic leaders agreed that any signs of growth were not yet being felt by society as a whole, and that a recovery for a few is not acceptable to our political family.

"We cannot talk about an economic recovery when 27m Europeans are still unemployed" said PES President Sergei Stanishev. "Our citizens are still suffering terrible hardship and our political family will address the real concerns of real citizens in this election campaign."

This topic was one of the main points of discussion with PES Common Candidate Martin Schulz, who was also present at the meeting. Schulz thanked the leaders for their support in Rome, and welcomed Matteo Renzi to his first pre-Council gathering of PES leaders. Schulz also thanked his colleagues for the numerous invitations he has received to visit their countries as part of his campaign tour. He pledged to deliver a more social Europe with their support for his candidacy for Commission President.

Participants in the meeting also agreed that a strong signal must be given by the Council on a smart re-industrialisation policy for Europe. Progressive parties have worked hard to get this issue on the agenda, and will build on this platform after the European elections. Martin Schulz recalled the commitment in his Rome speech to creating a framework where new products are developed in European labs, manufactured in European factories by European workers, and shipped from European ports to the rest of the world.

The PES leaders also agreed on the importance of a strong and united European response to the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.

You can find photos from the meeting here.

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