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Socialist leaders call for more Progressives in EU Top Jobs

The Presidents of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D) today called on the European Council to fairly divide the EU’s top jobs.

Sergei Stanishev said: “The EPP and the PES received a near-equal share of the popular vote in May’s European elections. In fact the PES secured more votes overall than the EPP. This result must be reflected in the EU’s new leadership & direction. The people of Europe are tired of the conservative policies that have caused economic stagnation and social injustice across our continent. They want the new leaders of the EU to reflect the change in direction they have voted for”.

Gianni Pittella added: “Europe has asked for change. We need to find a new path which harnesses the global economy to the benefit of all our citizens, not just the few. Inequality is rising and we need strong social policies to fight this in Europe and around the world. The EU must invest in growth at home, and fight for higher standards from our trading partners abroad. The Socialist family wants to make Europe more competitive - not by lowering our own standards but by exporting them around the world. Let us aim for once for the highest common denominator. A global level playing field is good for Europe and good for its people”.

Pittella and Stanishev also called for more women in the EU top jobs: “We believe that gender balance is just as important as political balance. If women are not adequately represented in the European Commission, then we won't vote for it in the European Parliament. Furthermore, we believe that women must also be well represented in the most senior roles”.

The European Council will meet on 30 August in Brussels and is expected to select candidates for the three remaining ‘top jobs’: President of the European Council, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and President of the Euro Summits. The EPP has already secured the post of European Commission President. The PES expects the Heads of State and Government to now secure the necessary balance in order for progressive forces to play an active and central role in giving a new shape to the EU.

The PES has ten Heads of State or Government sitting in the European Council, and is in coalition Government in an additional nine Member States. It was the only party in the political centre to increase its share of the vote in the 2014 European Parliament elections, and secured the largest number of votes of any political family in Europe.

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