Forum Topics Started
First of all, the problem of immigration is important for the cohesion of the union. I am not only talking about the people coming to EU from third countries and looking for a better future and a quality of life they do not have. In this case, the answer of modern social democracy should be decisive. Integration and widening of human rights, especially in countries where their policies are more claustrophobic and anti-European. I speak much more about the internal migration of citizens within the union. While this is, in principle, productive and promotes the framework of a European citizen moving without borders in relation to the past. However, it creates strong imbalances and challenges for the equal development of EU members as important human capital is transferred from countries that need it to countries that already have it. This is where social democracy has to respond and support countries facing youth unemployment problems with mechanisms that re-cycle resources and projects with high added economic value especially to countries facing braindrain. Regarding the problem of refugees, the union has done a lot, but that does not mean that more cannot be done. As my country has become home to thousands of refugees from Syria, I can say that food and accommodation are not enough. If we really want to help these people and say that we belong to a union that respects people, we must first of all make these people equal members of the society where they can offer and create. This can only be done effectively with bottom-up projects involving both the union citizens and the refugees in order to produce the necessary osmosis.
In the winter of 431 BC, Pericles in Ancient Athens, gave a funeral oration to honor Athenians who fought with their lives against Sparta. This act was nothing more than a tribute to people who fought for the prevalence of a democracy, the world’s oldest one, and a progressive social system, as opposed to authoritarian Sparta. Today, different fights for more progressive systems have come back to the foreground as social rights – especially the welfare state – are confined inside economies that are struggling more anfd more for competitiveness. For me, personally, the top issues of a Social Europe are: – Labor relations – in particular, the unpaid internships for young people – is something that gives a breath to business but it shows to young people a union that does not reflect the values of solidarity. The recent campaign of S&D was the beginning, but much more regarding a coordinated policy action is needed. In the end, it is the best fight against populism by protecting the workers’ rights. – Τhe deterioration of the welfare state in the countries most affected by the crisis. Progressive Europe can not respond with coupons and programs for the unemployed people. There is a serious need for a solid social protection framework and at the same time more attention should be given to Europe’s working poor. – Youth issues, equal and quality of information and mobility opportunities often do not help to reduce gaps but end up as free opportunities without any quality results. If we want to invest in a united Europe, we must produce this idea among all young people. In conclusion, I sincerely believe that social democracy is the key to deepening democracy in Europe. But this has to be done within a dynamic framework that will allow especially bottom-up initiatives and will create a positive result of a common European identity, especially within small societies.
The modern social democratic agenda must point out a new political project against the empty political skirmishes that happen in Europe; a new political view that can restore the power of the progressive political thoughts in a globalized world. The social democtasy must fight against the same politicians who are perhaps for decades in the forefront and personal political power schemes who are willing to fight the ideas of all those who feel “outsiders” of the various closed and exclusive systems that keep the continent captive, for all of us who believe that Europe can change. What we need to recall to our collective political memory is that the level of progress that we have conquered is premised on the tenets of the open and inclusive society.