Abela and Grech in Brussels, meet PES and EPP counterparts ahead of Council

Socialist leaders call for united, European, response to Rule of Law breaches

Malta PM Robert Abela at the PES summit ahead of the European Council
Malta PM Robert Abela at the PES summit ahead of the European Council

Robert Abela attened a European Council pre-summit meeting of prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders from the Party of European Socialists (PES) in Brussels, that discussed the rule of law, energy prices and coronavirus.

The focus was on a recent resolution from the European Parliament, where in a resolution adopted on Thursday with 502 votes for, 153 against, and 16 abstentions, MEPs emphasised that the Polish Constitutional Tribunal lacks legal validity and independence, and is unqualified to interpret the country’s constitution.

Following Tuesday’s heated plenary debate with the Polish prime minister and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, MEPs “deeply deplored” the decision of 7 October 2021 “as an attack on the European community of values and laws as a whole”.

“Our political family has always been clear that breaches of fundamental European standards cannot be accepted,” said PES President Sergei Stanishev. “Right-wing governments cannot ignore the founding principles of the European Union.”

“What we have seen in Poland is very damaging. The European Commission must use all the tools at its disposal to ensure the independence of the judiciary and protect the rule of law in every member state

“The PES family stands with the Polish people and progressive movements in the country which want to defend a European community of values.”

The PES also reflected on the continuing pressure citizens and enterprises face as a consequence of rising energy prices. Spain and other progressive governments have already imposed fast measures to mitigate the negative impact. Malta is also expected to soften the blow of high energy and fuel prices next year with a whopping €195.5 million, equivalent to 1.4% of the country’s GDP.

The meeting welcomed recent electoral successes for PES members in Germany, Norway, Portugal and Italy. Across Europe, the socialist and social democratic message of a fair and sustainable society is resonating with voters.

Bernard Grech at the EPP summit
Bernard Grech at the EPP summit

EPP meeting

PN leader Bernard Grech met European leaders from the European Popular Party on Thursday in his first in-person meeting with the group.

Those present for the EPP meeting included European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, EPP president and former European Council president Donald Tusk, the chairman of the EPP, Manfred Weber and outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel. 

The Nationalist Party said Grech urged European leaders to achieve fair distribution of migrants in the Mediterranean. He also urged European unity in the support given to families and businesses to help them recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.   

Grech is accompanied by PN general secretary Michael Piccinino, International Secretary Roselyn Borg Knight and Roberta Metsola, vice president of the European Parliament.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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