Europe’s Social Democrats for relaxing national state aid rules

Europe's Social Democrats for relaxing national state aid rules

SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil

The heads of government of Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway and Finland, among others, are expected to attend the meeting in Berlin.

(Photo: Reuters)

Berlin According to the will of the European Social Democrats, the EU states should be given more financial leeway in order to be able to help their citizens in the energy crisis. To this end, the regulations for national state aid should be relaxed, according to a draft for the final declaration of the PES Congress available to the Reuters news agency SPD is hosting in Berlin at the weekend.

At the same time, the parties from the European countries that belong to the PES are in favor of “a gradual transition to qualified majority decisions in certain areas of common foreign policy”.

The PES parties also call for the containment of speculation on the energy markets fastest possible skimming off of random winnings in 2022 and support them Introduction of price caps in the energy sector. The promotion of employment through the so-called European Sure program is to be further developed. The social importance of the EU in protecting the population from financial overload is underlined.

In the statement, the PES parties pledged their continued support for the Ukraine and on the sanctions against Russia. “We will continue to advocate for tough sanctions until Russian forces fully withdraw from Ukraine and a just peace is restored,” it said.

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In addition, the parties emphasize the importance of a European air defense system for Germany and 13 other European countries on Thursday Nato-States with a memorandum of understanding plans were launched. By 2025, “a real European headquarters”, a rapid reaction force and a separate council of EU defense ministers are to be set up.

Concerns about far-right parties

The PES have also expressed concern about the rise of extreme right-wing parties in a number of EU countries and accuse the Christian Democrats and conservative parties of helping them into government positions, as in Sweden or Italy. “This is a political and historical mistake that can undermine democracy,” it said.

“A determined, coordinated and solidary European response is essential to contain the spread of the crisis,” write SPD leader Lars KlingbeilSpain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin in a guest article for and European media.

At the same time, they formulate the goal that the EU should not only become independent of Russian energy imports. “In terms of energy policy, a sovereign Europe is independent of energy imports from dictatorships and autocracies,” says the guest article. To do this, renewable energies, grids and storage capacities would have to be expanded throughout Europe.

>> Read here: The EU wants to skim off the profits of oil and gas companies

The heads of government of Spain, Portugal, Sweden, Norway and Finland, among others, are expected to attend the meeting in Berlin. PES politicians are currently involved in 13 of the 27 EU governments.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz is to give a keynote speech on European policy on Saturday. A new PES President will also be elected at the Congress. This is to be former Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven.

More: The crisis offers the chance to design an alternative economic policy

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