Gianni Pittella: "The S&Ds will not accept any backward steps on investment, flexibility and serious action for a socially just Europe"
Ahead of the final decision on the European Commission president next week and following a bilateral meeting between S&D Group President Gianni Pittella and Jean-Claude Juncker in Brussels yesterday, Gianni Pittella stated:
"Europe desperately needs growth, investment to boost the economy and tackle unemployment, and more social guarantees.
"We made it clear to Jean-Claude Juncker that the S&D Group will not accept any backward steps and will stand by its red lines.
"We welcome Juncker's commitments on investment and growth, highlighted as a priority, but we still demand an intelligent implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact making the best use of the built-in flexibility.
"We also asked for a more effective execution of the youth guarantee at a national level, including extending its funding. In addition, we want to see the scope of the guarantee broadened to cover all young people up to the age of 30.
"Concerning the social dimension in Europe, we underlined the need to tackle social dumping, in particular by reviewing the posting of workers directive and relaunching the debate on maternity leave directive.
"Mr Juncker confirmed he will propose a member of the S&D family as the candidate to be the next Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner.
"Mr Juncker is also expected to give more details on a comprehensive EU legal migration policy, exploring possible ways for the EU to take responsibility for the first examination of asylum/international protection claims and – what is more – develop a mechanism for the resettlement and relocation of asylum seekers coming to the EU.
"Further negotiations will take place on Monday, when we expect Mr Juncker to give us more specific proposals on these fundamental issues.
"The final decision on whether the S&Ds can support his candidacy has yet to be taken. We will discuss this within the group and decide together."