S&D Group meeting in Spain calls for citizens to take action for the European elections

The leader of the Spanish delegation to the S&D Group, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, warned against rising populism and xenophobia

The Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament, led by their president Hannes Swoboda, called on European citizens to go out and vote in the upcoming European elections and make a real change in the direction of the EU.

The S&D Group is meeting in Málaga this week, holding meetings with Spanish socialist leaders, engaging in fact-finding missions and discussing the challenges facing the EU ahead of the European elections. 

S&D leaders also took part in a live debate with 500 citizens who yesterday evening attended the ‘Relaunching Europe’ event focusing on youth employment and training.

S&D Group president Hannes Swoboda said:

"Spain cannot change everything alone. No country can get out of the crisis by itself. We have come to show our solidarity with Spain and all countries hit by the crisis and to renew our demands for more European policies to address European challenges - especially youth unemployment. Youth unemployment is a reality which touches millions of young Europeans. 

"Creating jobs through investing in education, training and infrastructure must be our main priority, not just endless summits where European prime ministers meet and agree nothing new. The S&D Group has long led this fight - which is beginning to bear fruit - we must not now give in to complacency but increase our work for a Europe of employment and a strong, socially just Europe.

"Our work in the European Parliament has brought changes to regulation in the financial markets and to the credit given by the ECB (European Central Bank), and we have put pressure on the European Commission to give European countries more room for manoeuvre, while being fiscally responsible."

The leader of the Spanish delegation to the S&D Group, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, warned against rising populism and xenophobia: 

"We need a strong progressive majority in the European Parliament. The rise of populism, xenophobia and the extreme right in Europe is part of the collateral damage caused by the dominance of the right-wing, whose management of the financial crisis has been a disaster. The approach they have imposed has divided citizens and undermined the European project. This is why we want a strong and progressive relaunch for Europe."

The president of the Andalucía region, Susana Díaz, inaugurated the session on Monday.

On Tuesday the S&D heads of delegation discussed the future of the EU with former Spanish prime minister Felipe González, and several meetings took place with high-level Spanish leaders like the PSOE’s secretary of organisation Óscar López and former ministers Trinidad Jiménez, Antonio Camacho and Valeriano Gómez.