The refugee inflow concerns not just Italy but the whole EU. This is what PES President Sergei Stanishev stated opening a PES conference in Rome entitled ‘Progressive answers to Europe’s challenges in the Mediterranean: A new foreign, security and development policy for the Middle East and North Africa’.

The event was hosted by the ruling PES-member party Partito Democratico of Italy. Among the socialist leaders who attended were Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Gianni Pitella, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Niels Annen, Member of the German Bundestag and foreign policy spokesman of the SPD parliamentary group, Kenneth Forslund, Chair of the Committee of Foreign Affairs in the Swedish Parliament, Sakharov prize winner Dr. Denis Mukwege, Laurens Jolles, UNHCR Regional Representative for Southern Europe, as well as representatives of the governments of France and Malta.

Sergei Stanishev expressed his support for the European Commission’s proposals on ‘A European agenda on migration’.

‘As PES we are firm in our belief that human life is a top priority and immediate aid should be provided to refugees to prevent further tragedies such as the ones in the Mediterranean. We also need to support refugees and displaced persons who fled to countries outside of the EU. We need a coordinated migration policy and solidarity between Member States. We should fight human traffic channels and aim to put an end to conflicts and political instability in countries of origin by supporting economic development in those countries’, Stanishev added.