Congress of Social Democrats: Scholz promotes expansion of the EU to up to 36 states

At the Congress of European Social Democrats, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz campaigned for a reform of the European Union in order to prepare it for the admission of new members.

Congress of Social Democrats: Scholz promotes expansion of the EU to up to 36 states

At the Congress of European Social Democrats, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz campaigned for a reform of the European Union in order to prepare it for the admission of new members. In front of almost 300 delegates from the Party of European Socialists (PES) on Saturday, he campaigned for the gradual abolition of the principle of unanimity for decisions in foreign policy, but also in other areas such as tax policy. "I know that we still have a lot of convincing to do," said the SPD politician. "But I also say clearly: If a geopolitical Europe is our goal, then majority decisions are a gain and not a loss of sovereignty."

The EU has its word on the candidate countries, which include several Balkan countries, but also Ukraine and Moldova. "A united European Union of 27, 30, 36 states with then more than 500 million free and equal citizens can bring its weight to bear even more in this world," emphasized the Chancellor. The concerns of the smaller member states in particular should not be overlooked. "In the future too, every country must be heard with its concerns, anything else would be a betrayal of the European idea."

Greater military independence

Scholz advocated greater autonomy, including military independence, for the EU. He called for a coordinated procurement of arms and equipment, an EU rapid reaction force by 2025 and a real EU headquarters for the European armed forces. "We must confidently advance joint European defense efforts."

Scholz also called on the EU member states to settle conflicts in finance and migration policy. Migration must be designed with foresight. This also means reducing irregular migration and at the same time enabling legal migration and the influx of skilled workers from abroad.

The PES has 33 European parties. Already on Friday evening, the congress had elected former Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven as its new chairman. 255 of 262 delegates voted for the 65-year-old, who replaces the Bulgarian Sergey Stanishev after eleven years. There were seven abstentions and no dissenting votes.

Strongest group in the EU Parliament as a goal

At the congress, Löfven, Scholz and SPD leader Lars Klingbeil stated that the election goal for the 2024 European elections was for the Social Democrats to become the strongest group in the EU Parliament again. The conservative European People's Party is currently the strongest party in the European Parliament - ahead of the Social Democrats and Socialists.

In a resolution, the Congress advocated, among other things, continued support for Ukraine, including military support, and further sanctions against Russia. "The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine is not only an attack on Ukraine's sovereignty, but also on the European peace order and European values," the resolution said.

The congress ended in the afternoon with a declaration of solidarity with the women protesting against oppression by the state apparatus in Iran.

Program of the PES Congress

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