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PES leaders show their ‘unity against fear’ at Madrid event

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The meeting unveils an eight-point plan to end extremism in Europe.

Prime Ministers, European Commissioners and party leaders of the Party of European Socialists (PES) gathered today in Madrid. The meeting, hosted by the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), approved a common declaration against violence and extremism titled “United Against Fear”. In the document, PES leaders agree on a comprehensive eight-point plan to strengthen the freedom and security of citizens as well as to actively promote dialogue and inclusive policies.

PES President Sergei Stanishev described the declaration as an “essential agreement to better coordinate in our fight against extremism. Terrorist attacks like the ones in Paris and Copenhagen are a direct hit to democracy, a hit felt by every one of us, but this violence is as futile as it is senseless. Our societies will not give in to fear, nor to hatred or violence.

The PES family’s answer to this threat is, and always will be, more democracy, more dialogue and a society where everyone feels safe and included. This is the Europe that is worth fighting for”.

In the afternoon, the PES family showed its support to the victims of terrorism in a public event in El Retiro Park. The commemorative ceremony was held in the Forest of Remembrance, a memorial garden for the 191 victims of the Atocha Station bombing in 2004.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “Madrid yesterday, Paris and Copenhagen today. One common struggle, that of the fight against terrorism; one mobilisation, that of the European Social Democrats”.

PSOE leader Pedro Sánchez expressed the importance for the "European social democracy to join forces against terrorism. Our unity makes us stronger and more effective against those who want to destroy our coexistence and end our freedoms through violence and fear. Today in Madrid, we Social Democrats will show again our commitment to the freedom and security of citizens”.

Amongst other things, in the common declaration, PES leaders agree to:

-Foster an intensified dialogue and promote a Europe where everyone has their place irrespective of race, religion, origin, gender and sexual orientation

- Enforce a common approach towards fighting against terrorism at its ideological roots and a position on how to suppress any financial support

- Work together to promote education, discuss integration, and inclusive policies, and include civil society organizations in this process

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