9:30 - 11:00

PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) fringe meeting “Progressives go the extra mile for Social Europe!”

What lies ahead for Social Europe, after the current Commission’s term of office comes to a close next year? Will we witness an expansion of Social Europe or a regrettable weakening?

Under the topic “Champions of progress – Progressives go the extra mile for Social Europe!” the Party of European Socialists Group (PES Group) in the European Committee of the Regions will host, together with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), a high-level political debate in Málaga, Spain this Friday 10th November.

Organised alongside the Congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES), which will set out its priorities for the 2024 European elections, the event aims at making a strong call for Social Europe to be the top priority of the future Commission and for the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights to be fully implemented.

Key speakers include the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, and Spain’s Minister of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migrations, José Luis Escrivá

PES Group President Christophe Rouillon said: “Bringing about a genuine Social Agenda in Europe isn’t an aspiration, it’s a necessity. As socialists, we want to showcase that our political family is the torchbearer of progress and stands for a Europe where no one in our cities, villages and regions is left behind. As progressive regional and local leaders, we are already going the extra mile for a strong social Europe in which all workers get a decent wage, every family can afford a home and no child grows up in poverty. During the next European term of office, we need a firm commitment from the European Union too, to fully implement the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Together, let’s make Europe a champion of social progress!”

FEPS President Maria João Rodrigues underlined: “The European Pillar of Social Rights, under progressive leadership, brought a new dimension to Social Europe based on stronger European citizenship. Until now, this European Social Pillar started to be implemented through important legislative instruments bringing about new rules on minimum wage, gender equality and working conditions. For the next phase, the Pillar also needs to apply on European public goods, on health, education, social housing, digital access, and social protection against different risks, building on a stronger budgetary capacity and new sources of taxation.”

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit stated: “Europeans want more social justice. They want robust national protection systems and a strong social Europe. They want to earn a decent living in good quality jobs. They want their children to have good opportunities and live healthy lives. In this mandate, the Commission has been systematically turning the principles of the Pillar of Social Rights into real action, and we will continue to do so, making sure we bring everyone along during these times of huge shifts in our economy and society.”

The event is kicking off the PES Group’s campaign Go the extra mile for #SocialEurope, which intends to showcase how progressive local and regional leaders are already championing social progress in their cities and regions, both through their inspiring vision and their actions.


Welcome message

  • Maria João Rodrigues, President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

Opening message

  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights 

Moderator: Maria Telles de Freitas, Political Advisor,  PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions

Session I – Ahead of the curve: Progressives steering Social Europe towards the next chapter

Progressive Round Robin Debate moderated by Santina Bertulessi, Deputy Head of Cabinet, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights 

  • Team 1: László Andor, FEPS Secretary General  & Lina Gálvez Muñoz, S&D MEP 
  • Team 2Andrea Fernandez, Spanish MP and Secretary of Equality for PSOE (TBC) & Kata Tüttő, Vice President of the PES Group in the CoR, Deputy Mayor of Budapest 
  • Team 3: Laura de Bonfils, Secretary General of the Social Platform & Evin Incir, S&D MEP 


Reactions from participants, round of voting & call to action

  • Enric López Jurado, President of the Young European Socialists (YES) 

Session II – High level talk: Towards more social Europe: the political vision for the next mandate 

  • José Luis Escrivá, Minister of Inclusion, Social Security, and Migrations, Spain 
  • Tiago Antunes, Secretary of State for European Affairs, Spain

Moderator: David Rinaldi, Director of Studies & Policy at FEPS 


  • Christophe Rouillon, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions