“United, we are ready to lead the progress our citizens need”

Head of Maltese delegation in the S&D describes Iratxe García Pérez's confirmation as Group leader as "a strong sign of continuity and unity to continue to address and be a strong voice for equality and social justice".

The leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, Iratxe García Pérez, has been unanimously re-elected President for the upcoming legislature. The S&D, of which the Maltese Labour Party is a member, is the second largest group in the European Parliament, with 136 seats.

The Spanish politician, hailing from the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE), has served as Member of the European Parliament since 2004, and has been leading the S&D parliamentary group since 2019.

“Social democrats are ready to take on the responsibility to provide the progress our citizens need. Pressing issues include those suffering from poverty, unemployment, lack of living wages, or affordable housing,” Iratxe García told the Press after her re-election.

“We must progress and we should do so by defending the principles and values of social democracy: integration, rule of law, and equality. And we must progress by building a social market economy; a social model that guarantees education, health care, and pensions. At the same time, it creates wealth while aspiring to achieve climate neutrality through the Green Deal.

“We are ready to combine economic growth with social cohesion – the only way to reduce inequality. Growth, innovation, and competitiveness will only make sense if we can give our workers decent jobs with rising wages, invest in public housing, and lift the EU population out of poverty and social exclusion.

“After every crisis, our Union emerges more integrated and united. In addition, we believe, now more than ever, that unity is strength, and that unity is worth fighting for to allow us to lead progress. Yes, social democrats are pro-European, and we will be even more so in the future.

“Above all, social democracy is a belief in change. The present and the future of our society can and must be fairer, more prosperous and more sustainable.

“Let us act with courage, enthusiasm and vision. Let us be proud of our achievements and let us show the solidarity necessary to progress in building a fairer Union.”

📺 Watch full press briefing here.

“A strong sign of continuity and unity”

Talking to The Journal in Brussels, the Head of the Maltese delegation in the S&D Group, Alex Agius Saliba, said: “As an S&D political family today we re-affirmed Iratxe as our group leader. This was a strong sign of continuity and unity within our political family to continue to address and be a strong voice for equality and social justice. We have many challenges ahead of us and I believe that, with the strong leadership of Iratxe, we can continue to fight on for a more social Europe which will address the ambitions and expectations of our citizens.”

Alex Agius Saliba

Agius Saliba, who will be serving a second mandate after garnering 63,899 votes in the 8th June European election – a record for the Labour Party – will also be seeking re-election as S&D Group Vice President. The parliamentary group will be voting to select its nine vice presidents on Wednesday in Brussels.

MEP Alex Agius Saliba, Head of the Maltese delegation in the S&D Group (1st left), together with Group President Iratxe García Pérez (middle) and the other outgoing Group Vice Presidents.

PES congratulates García Pérez

Meanwhile, the Party of European Socialists (PES) warmly congratulated Iratxe García Pérez on her re-election as president of the S&D and commended her continued drive to achieve a fairer and more sustainable Europe.

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