Socialists to hold major summit on economy in December

[Parti socialiste/Flickr]

François Hollande

French President François Hollande announced a major summit of Europe’s Socialists, to take place before this year’s final European Council meeting on 18 December.  EURACTIV France reports.

Hollande made his announcement in Paris yesterday (23 October), during a pre-summit meeting of centre-left heads of state and government which he hosted. Unlike at similar events held in the past, German SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel was not present.

Instead, Germany was represented by Martin Schulz, and Italy by four lawmakers, including President of the European Parliament’s S&D group, Gianni Pittella, and the High Representative of the EU, Federica Mogherini.

Also among those present were the Austrian Chancellor, the Prime Ministers of Denmark, Malta and the Czech Republic, the Luxembourgish and Dutch Ministers for Foreign Affairs, the Slovak Secretary of State for European Affairs, and Frans Timmermans, first Vice-President of the European Commission.

Hollande said that the social democrats would need financial reassurance, mentioning Jean-Claude Juncker’s €300-billion investment plan. “We now need to see the content, the financing, the projects and the agenda. We will continue to work together to implement it as quickly as possible,” the head of state said.

The French President invited the centre-left leaders for another pre-summit meeting in Paris this year’s final European Council meeting on 18 December. Juncker told the European Parliament on 22 October that he would present details of his €300 billion plan for investment to bolster growth and jobs at the December summit.

“The new commission should organise its agenda around the growth objective. This will be first with the Juncker 300 billion plan. But we will need to identify the details of this plan. Financing sources would be needed to be found. Projects will need to be found. An agenda for the plan would need to be found,” Hollande said.

He added that the Paris pre-summit meeting should be held with “even more participants” and aim at “enriching its content and its implementation”. 

The European Commission's proposals for 2030 are:

  • to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels, binding at a national level, and not achievable only throught carbon trading;
  • to use carbon trading in order to meet new international climate commitments;
  • to raise the proportion of renewables in Europe's energy mix to 27%, a binding objective across the Union but not at the national level;
  • to introduce non-binding recommendations on shale gas that may become binding in 2015;
  • to establish a stability reserve for the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) with the capacity to release or withdraw up to 100 million carbon credits;
  • and to implement the directive on fuel quality by 2020, imposing a 6% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from combustible fuels in the EU.

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