First of all I would like to thank all who took part in the European elections between 22 and 25 May. To our voters: thanks for your support and for your trust. Our representatives will do their utmost during these 5 years to work towards a new Europe.
I would also like to thank all our member parties, their candidates, our 30.000 activists and the PES team for their dedication and energy. And last, but not least a special thanks to our common candidate Martin Schulz. He has been campaigning tireless throughout Europe to promote and defend our social democratic beliefs, our values and our agenda. As a true European! The PES campaign has been the most visible campaign of all European political parties thanks to you.
These elections have been historic. For the first time we were able to build a stronger European campaign with our member parties in the lead. For the first time 4 other European political parties followed our initiative, to campaign around a common candidate. This is an important step towards more democracy in Europe. This also was the first election since the European Parliament was first elected in 1979 in which the trend of an ever lower participation of voters has been reversed.
Although some of our member parties have lost seats and some have won, altogether we were able to stabilise as a European political family. Unlike the conservatives, liberals and greens who all had to face considerable losses. However, fact remains that although the EPP is weakened, the EPP won and we became second.
I would like to put the spotlight on the PD in Italy. This member party achieved a historical victory. 40% of the Italian voters supported PD, a result that hadn’t been achieved by any party since the 1950’s. Of course, I was very happy of the results obtained by PSD Romania, the Maltese Labour Party, the PS in Portugal, by our Swedish member party SAP and by the one obtained by SPD in Germany.
During the weeks to come Brussels will be engaged in the negotiations on the new commission and the roles in the European Parliament. It will be for us of utmost importance to ensure that the negotiations for changing EU policies will follow our defining text, the PES Manifesto, and our common policies. I believe that the only possible commission president – for the sake of European democracy – will be one of the common candidates.
Most important is that we are – after these elections – in a strong position to continue our fight for a Europe with more jobs, more growth and more democracy. Let’s continue this fight together.