Pittella with Swedish PM Löfven: Social Europe and shared responsibilities on migration top priorities for progressives
S&D Group president Gianni Pittella and the head of the S&D Group’s Swedish delegation, Marita Ulvskog, today held fruitful meetings in Stockholm with the Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Minister for employment, Ylva Johansson, and Minister for European affairs and trade, Ann Linde.
Following the meetings, S&D Group president Gianni Pittella said:
"Sweden is a true example to the rest of the EU for its commitment to solidarity, social rights and its balanced and constructive political approach.
"I was not surprised to agree thoroughly with Mr Löfven on the need for an overhaul of the Dublin system and the creation of a permanent EU wide relocation system, where all member states, including the Visegrad countries, take responsibility and show solidarity on the refugee question. The European Parliament and all responsible governments need to put forward concrete solutions that could finally unblock the current stalemate.
"On the UK, we agreed that the progressive family should not aim for a hard or soft Brexit, but for a fair Brexit. Negotiations should start only after the triggering of article 50 and that we should avoid dangerous attempts at bilateral agreements between the UK and individual member states. We also agreed that any step back from the four fundamental freedoms is out of the question. Europe is not a menu à la carte, where everybody can pick and choose as they please."
The head of the S&D Group’s Swedish delegation, Marita Ulvskog, said:
"On the social pillar, we call on the Commission to live up to its promises and work towards creating a truly ‘social Europe’. The Posting of Workers Directive is crucial for this. We are working to reach a fair compromise that ensures the principle of equal work for equal pay but also ensures the rights of the posted worker to access the whole European market. We cannot afford to lower standards in successful national systems like the Swedish one. This is not a confrontation between East and West, it is about reducing differences and narrowing the gap by improving social rights everywhere."