S&D members met for the first time after the EP elections in Brussels at a meeting of Heads of Delegations from the 27 member states, in which the group is represented. During this meeting MEPs discussed the outcome of the elections and the on-going negotiations for the future president of the EU Commission.
Commenting on the meeting S&D Group president, Hannes Swoboda, said:
« Upon my proposal and approval by the 27 Heads of Delegations, our group has appointed Martin Schulz as spokesperson for negotiations about the future EU Commission president.
« While we insist that Jean Claude Juncker should be given the mandate to try to find a majority in the EU Parliament, it is clear that discussions about the future Commission president must first and foremost focus on content and not persons or posts.
« As pointed out in the recent World Social Protection Report published by the International Labour Organisation, harsh austerity measures imposed in Europe and around the world destroy the social model. Only 27% of the global population enjoys access to comprehensive social security and in the EU cuts in social protection have led to increased poverty now affecting 123 million people which represents 24 % of the population.
« Our group will only support a Commission president ready to take up the fight against austerity. The fight against unemployment, especially youth unemployment, must be a priority as well as action against the rise in poverty and social exclusion. Furthermore, the EU must lead in the fight against tax evasion and promote investment.
« Our infrastructure must be modernised and companies, especially SMEs, must be able to get money for their investments. Against this background we fully support the activities of the European Central Bank to increase the readiness of banks to lend money to private companies. »
Hannes Swoboda concluded by giving an outlook on the future leadership of the S&D Group:
« The S&D Group will vote on its future group president on 18 June 2014. Yesterday, Martin Schulz officially declared he would to apply for this post and will thus present himself for election on 18 June. »