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”.