Europe’s present status is an historic status buildup during the last decades. The diversity of its population and multiculturalism… that forms its Social and economic grain. If we ignore, deny or go against the grain of the society we should not be surprised if it backfires. The rise of populism in Europe is one of the sings of not facing the reality of our own society and it real problems. Resulting threatening our European values that the world has been proud of it and top human achievement.
The Progressives wish to create a Social Europe and will fight for it… But I am wondering how we will do it, the project is good in theory but its implementation is on the fence, we just need to look at the political orientation of the governments in Europe. The entire Europe is moving to the right wing, from the West to the East, the South slightly resisting. When I look at the French elections’ results, I still feel more sceptical. Admittedly, if Macron wins, it’s not the worst choice for Europe but it’s definitely not the best for a Social Europe. It is more than necessary for the Socialists to go back to their roots, to go on the streets, to go to the social outcast, to the workers… because today, we can definitely see that their votes go to people like Trump, Le Pen, Wilders, … I also think that it is important to reshape the “socialism” and to give its values back. Too many people became affiliated for self-interests or to gain power. Indeed, I don’t see socialism in the French government, I don’t see socialism in some S&D MEPs discourses…or votes, and I don’t see socialism in my hometown when I look at the Publifin scandal (Liège, Wallonia, Belgium).
Today it is virtually impossible to lead contra-cyclical economic policies even if we clearly need them. On the short term, we ask for investments in the future to be deducted from the deficit and debt calculations. Investing in higher education can have a positive impact on young people’s future. We need to develop new public services : to face the challenge of an ageing population as well as to respond to the need of refugees in terms of psychological support, housing, education, health. Likewise, investments in renewable energies and the reduction of energy consumption are not only good for jobs, they are a question of human survival. These ambitious projects have a cost, but it is much lower than the cost of austerity. If it was possible for Europe to afford the creation of social security systems and tremendous investments in infrastructures in the aftermath of WW2, it has to be possible to do the same now on the richest continent of the planet. On the longer run, treaties should be changed so that social rights and environmental standards take precedence over economic freedoms of capital.
TFEU. SECTION 2: AIDS GRANTED BY STATES Edit Article 107 Edit (ex Article 87 TEC) 1. Save as otherwise provided in the Treaties, any aid granted by a Member State or through State resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods shall, in so far as it affects trade between Member States, be incompatible with the internal market.
European Union governing bodies, core EU leaders and representatives at all levels, should be far ahead promoting, supporting, representing the interests of every european citizen and the interests of state members beyond EU borders, forming by this way a strong alliance that would promote the sense of belonging to the same family and the sense of sharing the same framework of principles and values. The acquis communautaire should be implemented in all forms and under any circumstances with no exemption by all member states.
European identity should be reinforced along with the existing national identity in order to create togetherness and build solidarity bonds among all Europeans . Staying together , be united means sharing all the positive and negative factors and promoting human rights without compromises. This is the Europe, this is the union we should be aiming at. Supporting each other, creating a homely feeling for all Europeans wherever they live, strengthening the feeling of belonging in the same family would positively expand the framework of european values and reinforce the feeling of security.
Being a cohesion actor so as to maintain European unity and peace. EU membership must bring more benefits than disadvantages to all concerned parties. Concrete policies to benefit all might include a compensation scheme for countries that have been struck by brain drain or extending 4G internet coverage to all citizens of the EU, including those who reside in the most disadvantaged or remote areas.
Too long we have talked about social Europe without it becoming a reality. Yet it is clear today that we need Europe to protect and enhance social standards in order to secure people’s belief in the European project. The revision of the posted workers’ directive will be the opportunity to stop social dumping and unfair practices and will benefit all European workers. Decent common standards in terms of minimum wage need to be established, either by law or collective bargaining to stop the race to the bottom. We advocate for the ban of 0-hour contracts and for employee status to be recognised more systematically in the shared economy. In the wake of digitalisation, we advocate for a working time reduction in the context of providing decent work for all.
Economic inequality and poverty are still one of the biggest problems of Europe. The EU policy lost sight of the social component which is very important for the majority of Europeans. The EU policy must be reformed by new social programmes, including the universal basic income which would entail paying everyone a monthly stipend. New social programmes must be concentrated on creating new jobs, high-quality public services and on reducing poverty. The universal basic income would offset dwindling work opportunities in the age of automation and reduce the poverty and economic inequality in Europe. It’s time to back to the ideas of solidarity and equality which are the part of the fundamental European values.
Civic values consist of team spirit, open and critical relation towards any social power or new idea. The negation of civic values is despotism, autocracy, centralism and, on other side of the problem, reluctance to accept group norms, selfish behaviour and non-participation and lack of social and group responsibility. Not understanding the crucial role of civic values toward social and economic development has been the main European error, leading to decadence and loss of cohesion. Maybe the most developed countries are those that benefit from central geographic position and a history that enhanced civic values. This inter-cultural and macro-cultural approach must be on debate, benefitting from Max Weber, Sidney and Verba, Putnam, Hofstede, Inglehart, Acemoglu and Robison, as others.
A reform of the Euro Area would bring the members of the common currency area back to the ideals of shared prosperity and solidarity underlying the Treaty of Rome. This would be to everyone’s interest, not just of those countries that are still suffering from the dramatic social consequences of the 2009 Euro crisis: a more prosperous Europe is going to be a more harmonious Union. The institutions of the Eurozone have to change, starting from the ECB’s mandate so that in its monetary policy takes into account not only stable inflation, but also full employment. In the presence of a common monetary policy, there is also the need for some forms of fiscal policy.
We must strongly support the institution of a real European Social Pillar. The EU policy has been guided by macroeconomics and lost sight of the social component for too long. All policies should be tested on their social impact, and aim to create jobs and reduce poverty. The Fund to the European Aid of the Most Deprived (FEAD) must be used more to compensate those who have economically suffered from Globalization.
Active promotion of the core European values through Member States’ educational systems. These include, but are not limited to, Openness, Inclusivity, Diversity, Democracy, Rule of Law and Human Rights. Should the EU wish to remain the most ambitious project of integration between peoples, it should promote the creation of physical spaces to stimulate dialogue between people. The Court of Justice of the European Union, as the ultimate enforcer and implementer of EU Law, should keep these values to the highest standards when delivering its decisions.
Expanding the Erasmus + study programs to 16-year-old students and providing guidance to the relevant actors on how to get all the grants and programs they can currently benefit from. There is still too much disparity between countries and their national systems whereby in some (i.e. The Netherlands) all students who go on Erasmus are granted the scholarship and countries (i.e. Italy) where the lack of funds is the reason most students do not join the program. To ensure the future and success of the Generation Erasmus, we first need to make sure that all the youth has the chance to be part of it.