Martin Schulz: "Our future must be built on a strong European programme for change"
During the meeting of the Socialists and Democrats Group in Brussels today, the 191 S&D MEPs elected their new Bureau and put forward their programme for change ahead of the EU Summit that starts tomorrow. Yesterday evening the Group also endorsed Martin Schulz as their candidate for president of the European Parliament.
Martin Schulz, S&D Group president, said:
"We have one central demand for any candidate for EU Commission president: the new Commission must be committed to policies which improve the daily lives of those who have suffered most from recession and austerity, and above all the unemployed and the underprivileged in our societies.
"The European Parliament elections have shown widespread dissatisfaction with the way that the EU has been run by the outgoing leadership. Many different factors have emerged, but the common thread across Europe is the need for change."
He called for a fundamental change of policy in the future:
"To win our support, any candidate for EU Commission president will have to make a real commitment to promoting investment, sustainable growth and decent jobs, and to tackling poverty and inequality. Furthermore, the candidate must commit to safeguarding freedom of movement while putting an end to social dumping; strengthening respect for fundamental rights; reinforcing territorial cohesion policies; and establishing an effective common immigration and asylum policy. Finally, they must also commit to making the EU more democratic, transparent and accountable to citizens.
"Our Group has always questioned the way that the Stability and Growth Pact has been designed and implemented. The new EU Commission must develop a strategy to eliminate these shortfalls and the existing rules must be implemented in such a way as to stimulate public investment and support stronger sustainable growth and job creation.
"We also expect the presidential candidate to commit to the appointment of a gender-balanced Commission."
The full text of the S&D programme for change can be read here.
S&D Group endorses S&D candidate for EP president and vote for new Bureau:
Yesterday evening the S&D Members endorsed Group president Martin Schulz as their candidate for president of the European Parliament, to stand for election in Strasbourg next week.
Today, the S&D Group has elected eleven of its MEPs to serve on the Group's new Bureau. The S&D Group's Bureau co-ordinates its political activity and is made up of the president, nine vice-presidents and the treasurer. The new Bureau has a clear gender balance and reflects European diversity with members coming from the south, north, east and west of Europe, as well as from both small and larger countries.
The full list of the new S&D Bureau members:
Victor Boştinaru (RO),
Tanja Fajon (SI),
Isabelle Thomas (FR),
Enrique Guerrero (ES),
Marju Lauristin (EE),
Jörg Leichtfried (AT),
Gianni Pittella (IT),
Maria João Rodrigues (PT),
Kathleen Van Brempt (BE),
Péter Niedermüller (HU)