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More than 6,000 cities have signed up to go further than EU climate targets. The European Union must become the Global Leader in the fight against climate change and in the implementation of the CO2 neutrality agreement as soon as possible while helping provide free green energy, new environmentally-friendly jobs and setting clear a European Basic Income for every EU citizen and especially for those in great need and suffering now from poverty and only stand by leaders who will fight climate change. In doing so, the EU must end fossil fuel subsidies and start investing more in renewables, and in this way it will ellicit both the USA and China’s attention and active more thoughtful response on the economical market of renewables and therefore it would compete by maximizing the prices of tax carbon so people will consume less of it and at the same time lowering the prices of renewables so people will use more of it therefore also proactively fighting the Climate Change’s main side effects such as: air conditioning; droughts; hurricanes; food shortages; lost wages; water scarcity; heat waves; wildfires; national security; flooding; home insurance and many disaster reliefs that will cost all the EU member countries a total sum of estimated 50 trillion (€) euros that will surely cost the tax payers by year 2030 therefore obstructing the eurozone creating a new crisis and negatively impacting the adherent member countries economy as well as their prosperity too, while also causing many anxious exits of many powerful or rich in natural resources countries such as the current brexit one, and all mainly because of primal fear. Therefore the EU needs to phase out the basic coal burning protocol, abandon dangerous nuclear energy and diesel, while investing solely in renewable energy sources. The green and the more flexible proactive economy will create so many new jobs that will replace those lost by ceasing any useless polluting activities whatsoever and promoting The Green Solar Cities project that will work splendidly to create new and retrofit low energy buildings with more effective solar energy technologies. Today, the more rational green urban planning is more important than ever and we already have facts about european cities that are focused on utilizing various approaches to sustainable development, and such are the greenest cities: Reykjavi- Iceland; Vaxjo-Sweden; Freiburg-Germany; Salzburg-Austria; Copenhagen- Denmark; London (a sustainable metropolis) of Great Britain and so forth. We urgently need to tackle the confusing situation where many cities aim at a smart city development but lack clear policies that help them achieve that in practice. In Denmark there are similar policies, with an overall aim of being completely CO2 neutral by 2025 in the city of Copenhagen. However, there is still a lack of understanding concerning how solar energy, as the world’s number one energy source, can play a major role in this and how this can be combined with energy efficiency policies, the use of district heating, and the possible more feasible use of combined heat and power. More than 6,000 European cities have signed up to the Covenant of Mayors, a voluntary commitment to go faster and further than EU climate targets. Their climate action plans call for, on average, a 28% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020, 8% more than the EU’s 2020 target. Therefore if the EU still wants to be a Global Leader and provider of free green renewable energy and if we all as highly concerned citizens want to see this happening as sooner as possible on a European scale, it is essential that we upgrade the continent’s ageing grid infrastructure, ensure that countries open up borders, increase interconnection and trade electricity on a single market! So we must be capable of making rational and both environmentally-friendly and cost-effectively decisions at the right scale and the right speed as it is now or never our main opportunity for a major win-win situation, in terms of both saving our frail and limited fossil fuel codependent economy and our beloved planet, just by choosing the most natural process of both ensuring prosperity and nurturing our planet’s most rich, healthy and generous nature.

5 days, 21 hours ago in Energy Poverty

As a Member of European Parliament and VP of Socialists and Democrats, responsible for Communication, I strongly believe that our engagement with the citizens is of crucial importance. We need to communicate Europe better, change our rigid Brussels language, make our policies more tangible and make our citizens believe that what we do is changing their life for the better. And we can only do that if we actively engage with them. We have to start to listen to one another. Brussels is too often percieved as a closed circle of political elites and business lobbyists. We need to break with these practices where ever they exists in order to improve the image of “weak European policies and distant European parliamentarians”. I believe I belong to a generation of progressive, modern politicians that are close to young and “revolutionary” voices, but I also have respect for criticism and experience of those who have lived through crisis, poverty and despair. As a former journalist, I often say that politicans and journalists have something in common. People in both professions need to be experts on how to communicate with the public. They also need to have the knowledge and be able to deliver the content. So my question is: How to engage our citizens more actively in the European project and how to increase the participation in the election processes? First of all, by being someone that our people can trust. I don’t want to live in a Slovenia where I do not have any decent opportunities for an education or a job. I don’t want to live in a Europe where I have to be afraid of nationalism, intolerance, hate speech or xenophobia. I want a Europe for the people. Current discussions about the Spitzenkandidat and the transnational lists are important for engaging all Europeans in the discussions about the future of Europe. We find ourselves at the crossroad of what kind of integration we want. It is crucial we discuss this together. Perhaps it has never been as important as today that our citizens voice their opinion. For an alternative Europe, for a Europe that brings back trust and strength to our citizens. Chosing the Spitzenkandidat can be one of the tools to create a single European electorat which strengthens our European identity. The decision on transnational lists will demand more fine tuning, but it can also be a step in the right direction to give our citizens a truly European choice. Though one can not be so naïve that the election proceedures themselves will bring a greater number of voters to the polls. I believe that confidence is what really matters. The confidence that our chosen leaders will work with the people for the people’s interests and put citizens back in the heart of their politics. This is what I stand for. As someone who strongly believes that we need each other, I think we need to share and promote ideas that create a better life for everyone, a decent and dignified life with equal rights and equal opportunities, for a just and social Europe that promotes peace, stability, tolerance and openess. For a modern and strong European Union in which each and everyone will feel safe and be proud to say: ”I am a European!”

If you are young in Europe today, I imagine that the future can seem uncertain. You may have a short-term contract at work. You may feel that you have no real prospect of joining the housing market. And I bet you feel frustrated at the seeming lack of action by European politicians on major issues, like combatting climate change, fighting tax havens and ensuring fair and proper working conditions. All issues that impact heavily on your future. So, come, 2019 and another European election. Why should you care? Well, to me at least, being part of the EU means basically two things: 1) that we share a set of fundamental values, and 2) that we face a host of common challenges together. But how we translate those values into actual policies and what solutions we decide upon are not a given. They are a political decision, made by a majority. In the last European elections, young people as a demographic had a low turnout. However, when asked, a majority had a favourable opinion of the EU. The opposite was, broadly speaking, true of those above the age of 55, a pattern repeated in the Brexit-vote. So, make sure important decisions aren’t taken without making your voice and your vote count! Obviously, the ballot box is not the only way to gain influence in a democracy. You can engage in grassroots movements; debate your friends and family; write your local MEP a letter – you name it! But the fact remains that power is in numbers. Elected officials represent their constituency and, all being said, vote accordingly. I think this shows quite clearly both in the composition and the voting patterns of the current European Parliament. The young people of Europe deserve and need a stronger voice! If you’re a young person living in the EU today, it is crucial that you make your voice heard at the next election. At the same time, I’m sure that we, the elected members of the European Parliament, aren’t without our faults and blind spots. So, let’s use the power of this platform to pinpoint the issues and the solutions, that should be at the centre of European politics, but aren’t at the moment. Let’s show exactly what a progressive majority can achieve for Europe. If you feel there’s a topic we aren’t addressing properly, by all means, let us know! And let’s work together, to make sure, that we as a political family can make your voice heard in the 2019 European elections!

For more than 150 years, socialists and democrats in Europe have been fighting for democracy, freedom, equality, peace and justice. We are a big movement with millions of members and a proud history. With the S&D Group, we have a strong, active voice in the European Parliament. Among many other victories, we have been able to win the fight for a European youth guarantee and more sustainable investments in the EU. With its new sustainable development strategy, the Group is giving fresh impetus to the development of innovative progressive policies that strive to turn globalisation into an engine of social, economic, and environmental progress. Engaging with our constituents as part of the Progressive Society initiative is a key strand of our work in this respect. With FEPS we have an innovative think tank with a valuable network all over Europe. It enables us to discuss and develop our common vision for a stronger and more social Europe by collecting and building on the knowledge of social democratic researchers and think tanks all over Europe. We are lucky to have such a unique organization in our family. The PES is a major political force in Europe and defines and adopts common policies for all member parties. It shapes progressive European policies and makes Europe work for its people. Our daily work would not be possible without the PES. We have to further strengthen it. Many members of the national parties are committed Europeans who wait for an opportunity to become more active on a European level. The PES should think about becoming actual members party that gives all its activists the opportunity to take part in its political work. Introducing double-memberships in the PES and the PES member parties could be a way to achieve this goal.

Every five years, there is an european debate on how to increase turnout in european elections, which have historically low participation. A lot has been done, many students in europe learn about the EU in school which is vital for them to understand this organization and know how to participate; also the spitzenkandidaten process gives more transparency to the whole election process. However there is a lot to be done; european elections still have a low participation, european citizens feel distant and national politicians continue to neglect these elections. One of the errors in adressing this problem is exactly the overfocus on the european elections. Make no mistake, participation in the european election is vital for our institutions, but we can’t expect a high turnout if we have only the debate about democratic participation from 5 to 5 years. Democracy shoulnd’t be a quinquennial voting event. European institutions should make na effort to promote democratic participation in the dailylife of european citizens. If so, the interest about european matters will increase, european election turnout will be higher! The idea of citizen’s conventions is interesting. I think it would be important to bring together national policy makers, european leaders to discuss the future of Europe with ordinary citizens. Some fear that these public debates will give euroscpetics a platform to preach the gospel against an United Europe. That’s indeed a risk. But if it’s there is a need to discuss why the european union makes sense it is better to do so in these popular conventions than let fake news accounts in social media to the job. Another important idea would be EU participatory budgets – A process in which citizens decide where to spend part of the public budget. This would make civil society discuss and engage much more with the EU. In my city, Lisbon, participatory budgets were such sucess in terms of civic engagement that the national government is doing 2 nationwide participatory budgets, one just for young people and other for everyone. A special attention needs to be paid to disenfranchised and marginalized communities like city suburbs or rural areas. These communities normally don’t vote in european elections and if they do that, they vote for candidates that blame the EU for state of their lives. The EU needs to work with national governments to improve it’s presence and representation in these areas. Social media ads are very important but it’s more effective to contact directly with ordinary people, make them know about the advantages of the EU and why they should participate in the european democracy. If it’s done, i have no doubt people would be more willing to turnout and participate in the european decision making.

Dear Socialists & Democrats Group representatives, I know you have good intentions at heart and at the very core of your fundamentally socially righteous beliefs although I do not believe building a very expensive secured board paid in excruciatingly slow rates by the EU member’s countries administration committees is truly the best business endeavour for making the European Union even socio-economically great again, and amidst ever growing Euroskepticism in the world we need to show another image of Europe with actual equal opportunities and economic situation for all in the Euro zone and to solve the migration chain problems with enabling terrorists to come in our countries and attack us as we need more feasible and highly efficient migration screening system backed on both sociologists and psychologists main expertise, while succeeding to adopt and to promote a holistic approach to migration which covers all of the interlinked necessary elements of a European integration Project, from the ethical facts of solidarity and sharing responsibility fairly between countries, to the more pragmatical security needs of tackling criminal traffickers and smugglers, and also to enhance the role of Frontex and EASO (the European Asylum Support Office) and I strongly suggest that the appointed and highly certified team of the S&D group should hire an interdisciplinary group of forensic psychologists, sociologists and even immigration border specialists to work together for creating, testing, statistically & scientifically validating and implementing a highly efficient and great quite accurate screening test or inventory designed to improve the standard selection process regarding the natural flow of immigrants, especially exposing the possible sociopaths and psychopaths, or simply said the terrorists, many of them which are quite statistically representative in terms of numbers showcasing their horrors under the siege of Radical Islamism, a fanatical and distorted version of healthy fundamentalist Islamism because even in Turkey known for its monopol of muslim religion for example, these terroristic organization killed and slaughtered thousands of muslims while obliging them to recite from their holy book Quran by heart with the guns pointed to their chest and many other horrible, sadistic and quite inhumane things indeed just because there isn’t a great psychological screening system regarding the immigration process or some possibly obscure and organized group being run by some probably highly corrupted organized group of oligarchs which also ruined those top G7 countries of the world both socioculturally and economically from 2008 until now, possibly a new order quite influential hidden group who is still financing and helping them with ammunition, strategy plans and military equipment as well to create this world wide hysteria and to provoke this circus and bread type of mass media frenzy sociopolitical phenomenon, yet this is just a plausible hypothesis still unproven empirically speaking although logically sound! We need the best and most accurate highly efficient Psychological Screening System actively involved in the ongoing quite problematic migration process !!! Furthermore we also imperiously need to develop safe lawful access routes into the EU for asylum seekers and refugees, to invest more careful and strategical thinking in writing the business plans for further international funds and to spend well the bugdet ensured for migration and to bring a consistent approach to our migration, visa, international development and foreign affairs policies towards non-EU countries while making sure to bring a consistent approach to our migration, visa, international development and foreign affairs policies towards non-EU countries !!! Migrants are not a random sample from a home country’s population as many of them are representatives for the elite of that country regarding the social phenomenon of “brain drain” or the human capital flight as today we get highly educated and skilled professionals from both EU and non-EU countries as migration is truly a choice! Moreover the current policy needs to take into account both temporary and permanent migration as quotas increase a migrant cohort’s skill upon arrival and cohort’s decrease a migrant cohort’s skill measured years later and this causes temporary migration to decrease and permanent migration to increase therefore revealing the natural socio-professional mechanism to increase cohort’s skills upon arrival and also observing the constant decrease cohort’s skilled when measured years later thus needing a more effective immigration selection screening system proactively strengthened by sociocultural protection and acclimatization! Last but not least we should strive together to organize the world wide and most internationally acclaimed Progressive European Union Solidarity Award with the Progressive non-EU Organization Solidarity Award category to help many world wide civil societies play an incredibly important role regarding the EU cohesion role, to boost both EU and non-Eu governments social involvement and to quickly and effectively solve the refugee crisis on a global scale! 🙂

2 weeks, 3 days ago in Migration

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