Sergei Stanishev gathered PES-affiliated heads of state and governments to coordinate positions ahead of European Council meeting due to take place later this evening.

Following the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean where hundreds of refugees lost their lives in an attempt to reach the Italian shores, European socialists demand urgent action from EU Member states. President of the French Republic Francois Hollande, Prime Ministers of Italy Matteo Renzi, of Malta Joseph Muscat and of Denmark Helle Thorning-Schmidt as well as European Parliament President Martin Schulz, EU HR/VP Federica Mogherini, among others, attended the meeting.

Earlier today PES adopted a declaration with concrete proposals for urgent measures. Sergei Stanishev explained that PES’ top priority is saving human lives and preventing further such tragedies. In his view the flow of refugees must be shared between EU Member states on the basis of solidarity and the EU should finally have a truly common migration policy.