Too many people across Europe are dissatisfied and disillusioned with the European Union and feel disempowered and left behind by its institutions and policies. A right-wing dominated EU has focused for too long on the interests of the elite, the super-rich and the big corporations. This has put the European project at risk. Europeans are struggling with decreasing living standards, declining purchasing power and the rise of precarious work, and are suffering hardships created by austerity policies, anxiety over people arriving to our shores and the impacts of climate change and environmental destruction.
We must work together and stand as one to face up to the global risks and challenges such as inequalities, an ageing population, climate change, migration and digitalization. Together, we can shape a Europe that is inclusive, open, just, sustainable and that works for the many and not just for the few.
A decisive change and transformation in political will, direction and policy are urgent. We, the progressives, are committed to make this change happen. Europe must have a heart that looks after its workers, its children, its youth, its elderly, the most vulnerable ones and all those who lack opportunities in life. Dignity and living wages for workers, quality education and a future for the youth, equal treatment for women and men, the protection of children, quality care and a decent retirement for the elderly, opportunities for those discriminated and inclusivity for those excluded. These must be the priorities of the European project.
The S&D Group strongly demands a concrete social agenda to strengthen the European Social Model.
· We reiterate our call for a Social Protocol to be annexed to the Treaties to ensure that fundamental social rights take precedence over economic freedoms. The European Pillar of Social Rights has created the momentum for this to happen and we cannot afford to miss this chance. But we need to make sure that the Pillar is translated into concrete legislative instruments and economic, fiscal and investment measures that reduce inequalities and ensure a fair distribution of wealth and profits.
· The deterioration of the quality of jobs all over Europe is unsustainable. Living wages, social protection, job security, education, occupational health and safety, dignity and empowerment as well as an adequate balance between work and private life must be ensured for all workers. In this context, we insist in our call for a directive on decent working conditions in all forms of employment and for wages that enable workers to meet their needs and those of their families. Every worker in the European Union should receive a living wage that not only provides for the mere necessities of basic food, shelter and clothing, but that is also sufficient to cover healthcare, education, transportation, recreation and some savings.
· A solid social Union will emerge only with the existence of strong trade unions, the participation of employees in company matters and a strengthening of collective agreements, as well as dialogue with the actors of the social economy. The quality of social dialogue must be boosted at all levels and action is needed to ensure the respect and the promotion of unionization and collective bargaining across the Union.
· In many Member States, social security and social protection systems have been severely undermined by austerity measures. High quality welfare systems and public services as well as social investments are extremely important if Europe wants to remain both fair and competitive. A social protection floor for all European citizens must be established. Universal access to public, solidarity-based pension systems, quality health care systems and minimum income schemes must also be granted to all. In order to protect mobile workers, a European social security number has to be established without delay to facilitate information exchange between national authorities, in order to provide people with a record of their entitlements and to prevent abuse;
· We are strongly committed to fighting all forms of discrimination and to defending fundamental rights for everyone. We need to close the gaps that affect women on employment and pay.
· As a result of the crisis and budget cuts on education, many young people suffer difficulties in accessing high quality education and in entering the labour market. Free access to quality public education, including tertiary education, is an important element in overcoming social inequalities and increasing the sustainability of economic and social systems. Internships should not be used as a replacement for jobs and interns should not be used as a cheap (or even unpaid) labour force. Therefore, decent minimum working conditions and proper remuneration must be ensured for interns and apprentices and unpaid internships must be prohibited.
· Fair, socially sustainable work and real employee participation in shaping working conditions are more important than ever in digital platforms and in any other sector. Workers must have democratic influence over the governance of work. The benefits of digitalization must be shared broadly and equitably and workers in the digital sector must enjoy the same rights and working conditions as those in other sectors. The EU must ensure that platform businesses comply with national and European legislation, clarify the employment status of platform-based workers and protect their working conditions as well as their right to organize and negotiate collective agreements;
· We need urgent and more decisive action to fight poverty. Therefore, the S&D Group will continue calling for a European Child Guarantee to ensure that every child at risk of poverty will have access to free health care, free education, free childcare, decent housing and adequate nutrition.
· The right to a free movement of citizens and workers is a core European value and a fundamental right of European citizens. It is also a pillar of the success of the Union’s single market. We are firmly committed to fight discrimination and the exploitation of workers as well as social dumping, such those who are posted. The principle of equal treatment for both intra-EU mobile workers and third-country nationals is fundamental in order to ensure both the non-discrimination and the integration of migrant workers, as well as fair competition. We expect the Commission to finally answer our call for a European Labour Authority to combat social dumping and the exploitation and abuse of workers, with powers to carry out controls and impose sanctions and penalties on non-compliant companies.
We actively engage with citizens of all ages and social backgrounds to understand and better respond to people’s concerns and propose a new, progressive vision of Europe. We, the European Socialists and Democrats will continue to represent the interests of the people and to fight for strong social standards in the EU.
We can progress with change, and only if we change our minds we can make a Social Europe. However, we can do that only if we are able to answer the how question. The Gothenburg Statement on Social Europe has answered to the what and the why questions, but we still need to answer to the most important one: How? How do we do a Social Europe? So far as a group we have not been able to speak and listen to ordinary people. The plan is great! But the structure is not easy to be understood in the whole EU. As Max Weber said: “Politics is made with the head, not with other parts of the body or soul”… but on the Brussels leg of Europe Together, on 19 October, the Mayor of Charleroi, Mr Paul Magnette said: “We [socialists and democrats] lost the elections but we have a soul.” Soul is not enough as Weber teaches us. We need a strong and smart head. We need to be able to talk to those in difficulties, to those that are not able to understand the complexities of the European Institutions and its policy making procedures. Therefore, we should question ourselves: Are we able to give voice to the voiceless? Those of us that participate in these events are lucky enough to have opportunities, but are we able to speak to unemployed people that struggle everyday for a piece of bread and to feed their children? Are we able to guarantee that the future of Europe is with a stronger European Union? If we show the way forward, if we explain how to achieve a Social Europe, then we will able to face the far-right populism, unfortunately in the rise in the whole EU. We need to go in the field, we need to be with the people, we need to ask them about their daily struggles and problems. We need to address the challenges of ordinary European citizens. This is the way forward for a Social Europe!
For many time right-wingers have taken the lead on the job rethoric stating it was a dilemma between having a job or not having a job. The reality is far more complex than that, nowadays many people have jobs but their working conditions are worse and beyond what’s both human and legally accepted. It’s our job as progressives to defend worker rights and make sure we promote a more prosper economy but also a more fair and safer economy for the worker
Social Europe would mean to achieve an common behavior and goal setting for all European citizens and future citizens. Which still means that we need to highlight and retain every countries individualistic charisma. It is very important to maintain this line between each countries own politics and European politics. It is healthy to keep an direct political decisions between the citizens and its own country in first place. Gradually in order to keep up with this pace of globalization we have to increase the Eu-politics direct affection and other influences. By working together and bringing up these big guidelines for countries and their municipalities, and most importantly guidelines that works in rural areas an not only the capitals and other big cities. Rather having personal growth as a goal rather than a growing wallet. Social Europe means to include everyone, and mostly to focus on those who are in need, and to bring up countries that really needs everyone’s collaboration in order to survive, without leaving successful areas unheard. It is all about finding the balance between benefits, greed, solidarity and generosity. Social Europe means putting together a big force and stand against China, USA and Russia mostly. Not to fight, or negotiate at our own benefits, but to show them how we want to live on this earth, in peace, as we teach our children. Social Europe is about representation. We should work close to media and to not let it be owed by the elite, people should have the right to hear the truth, and we have to work actively against any kind of corruption from the top of the hierarchy. It should be about representation inside of every governing body in our nations. It is about free trade and the expansion of Schengen areas in Europe. We should aim to make every country in Europe attractive and affordable to our citizens, it should not be a class question if you have the opportinuty to free education nor healthcare, we have to achieve this as an human right. Because right now, we are loosing so much creativity and possibilities as human beings living on this earth, the lack of free education and healthcare for example is a big treath and should be a priority in Europe. Social Europe should be more about the interests of the majority and not the minority. I am talking about the elite, creating this twenty four hour consumption society, setting our standards as workers, making us suffer. Making us consume as if we had unlimited resources, as if the ozone-layer do not need our support, as if our beautiful seas need more plastic in it, as if we lived in a planet we do not care about. Sustainable energy is definitely my field, and let me keep this short. To make Europe function in a way more sustainable way is close, and the truth is, we have all of the technology and knowledge that is needed. But we are not working active enough and I will not be the one telling our polar bear-fellows that their land are melting away in our greed and egoism. We have to put pressure on these big companies and manufacturers, who produces all of these plastic bags, pet-bottles, cars, foods, clothes and everything we can touch, eat or use. This is not an okay behavior, and EU need to take the power to at least ban these products that we use everyday, that is killing our ozone and our bodies and to control what we eat. Stop making it beneficial for the elite to go around these circumstances, this earth is as much as mine as theirs, and we should protect what we value as human beings in this earth. Honestly, if you want to know the truth I am tired of these discussions back and forth, issues regarding poverty, segregation, gender equality, unemployment, prostitution and sextrades, healthcare, education, war and so on.. Most of it comes down to behaviors, and how to change these standard and traditional way of thinking and acting, and to allow the modern reality to kick in. As my friend said: “Politicians are talking about integration, reduction of unemployment and criminality. But are shadowing the facts that segregation is a product of racism, and the ignorance of structurally building these apartments so tall, that it looks like they will fall down from the sky anytime. Putting people of color in all different kind of cages and expecting them to apply for jobs, where the employer only reads your foreign name on the application and then skips it. And now we are putting the demands on these same citizens, and also asking why hatred and racist parties have been growing?” And then you all ask why it is a big amount if people who are not voting in the EU-elections and national election in our own countries. You do not care enough for “everyday people”. Even myself, and those who represent justice and equality, have not enough experience of it, we are mostly wealthier people compared to the average, with mostly privileged backgrounds. Meaning, a lot of people are unheard. And we can not represent their voices without giving them the ability to speak. I can go on all day, but to keep it short. Europe should not be afraid of change or the youth, let the innovative minds create magic. We need to change our behavior and to not hide our real problems under our own feet. We have big challenges in Europe and we need to face them, then aim for bigger projects. And to set standards for the other continents to get inspired and eventually collaborate as a big force for once. Patience is not only the key, we have to know how to solve these issues in order to open the borders with the key. I hope my message was reached. I would love to come and discuss more about my concerns! Sincerely, A 20-year young but old firefighter named Kimiya Espahbodi, from Stockholm Sweden.
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.
We are closer to the next technological revolution, in few years all aspects of our lives can be totally transformed. More than ever is necessary to strengthen our syndicates and workers’ rights as we go through this. Also to be aware of the dangers, identify and implement better practice and preparation of consequences of artificial intelligence will have in people’s jobs. I belive Artificial intelligence can be the better thing for humanity only if we can think and implement a new progressive, humanist and strongly social economy before.
These proposals are fundamental to make the difference in people’s lives and recovery dignity of people that lost a lot with 2007 crisis and the neo-liberal agenda. I am totally aligned with those views! Together for a EU More Fair, More Equal and More Fraternal!
In many developed countries we can check that people have Education as the most important force of progress and innovation. And they are right! But as we know fight to have more competencies and education is not always easy and it can be expensive. Not just because of the fees, but in many times people go to study very far from home. And it can difficult a lot the life of families with less budget. When I talk to people of Government of Portugal about reduce the fees to 0, a dream of a lot of families, we came with a conclusion that to do it happen it takes a very large rise of taxes. So we need to think Together! Rise our ambicions when the matter is education is very important for all Europe but can be for people that want to come live or make business here too. Lets take it as debate to make High and Common Education as one of the top priorities in the EU Budget. For more equality of opportunities.
FOR AN EUROPEAN HOLIDAY! – We should encourage debate throughout all Europe to encourage member states to declare national holidays on the day they joined the European Union. As we know EU was a strongly help to the development and progress of all member states, but something for a lot of people this is not so evident yet. We need to remember the cize and importance of this achivement and why not in a day of celebration?
It’s a cliché, yes, but the most important thing the Europe must do is bring people closer to each other. Democracy is based on the idea that everyone has a vote, yet it really doesn’t seem that everyone’s voice is heard. This isn’t something that can be changed easily. Most of the people live their busy lives with barely any time to think about politics or what is happening outside or town, let alone country. The little information we get is from evening news and online headlines that are mostly wrapped in sensationalism and are presented in a dramatic way, pitching people, companies and governments against each other to make the story more intriguing and interesting. I’m our minds, the world becomes a hostile place and we assume the appropriate attitude towards anything outside our trusted, comfort zone. Yet we should not thrive to be hostile. We are at the point in humanity’s development where we need to realise that hostility can’t bring us any good. People need to become aware that their well being and well being of their descendants directly depends on the well being of someone on the other side of the world. Peace is the only way forward. But how to accomplish this? With technology allowing for instant communication between us and any place in the world we really should be using it much more. While Erasmus is a great way to get university students exposed to different cultures, we can do more. We could be exposing much younger students by connecting two classes from different countries from the start of their education and have them communicate via video conference on a regular basis with an adaptive and planned programe. 1st class students could be singing each other their countries popular children’s songs with teachers translating/explaining. They could be sending each other drawings of other town’s landmarks. Older students could be teaching each other some words in their languages. They could be congratulating each other holidays, even if it isn’t a holiday in their own country. The idea is to have the same class communicate during extended period of time, as long as possible and get them to make friends from across the continent even tho in most cases they can’t understand each other. This will facilitate precious cultural exchange and make younger generations aware that other country is not some imaginary land from from movies but an actual place with people that are just like them. The classes could even visit each other once! In general we need more examples of unity and working together to achieve something that benefits all. These stories should be promoted and people and companies that are working on projects with partners across the borders need to be rewarded Sharing of ideas and philosophies and putting them together always brings extraordinary results. People need more than phrases and political participation, they need to feel united! The only way for progressiveness to win is to make us care about someone far away. In that case not everything needs to benefit us directly, when we care about someone far away we will still be satisfied if they benefited from a new policy or a change.
Hi there! I think that education is key to foster social rights. It is about knowledge and attitudes. But let’s face it. We have a problem to solve: social rights in Europe and European identity = lack of awerness After years of working in my field, I’ve learned that great ideas come with good research. So, if we don’t know our problems, then we can’t find the right solution. If imagination doesn’t work, then we can’t see something before actually happens. Let’s change this! It is never too late to making sure that we provide know-how opportunities for all young people. We should start cultivate the imagination through a know-how initiative. I think that a good idea is to make a creative European digital project (illustrate/ animation/ video/ articles) which clarify what social rights means – including rights and responsibilities of citizens. Imagine a website that contains a lot of digital content about our social rights, how we can enjoy being European citizens and what opportunities do we have. The readers will find out in a catchy way more details about it. This is important because it will help us grow, develop and better understand the future we want to experience. The Europeans are not always aware of the rights. Through this digital project we can empower young people to know more about their social rights and use them more easily. That’s how we can ensure that they are a reality for all. Together we are more!
The recent financial and economic crisis has led to more economic exclusion: EU’s answer, mainly austerity measures, has proven to be unsuccessful in several occasions. This should be rectified: Europe needs a strong integrated market, but at the same time workers’ rights shouldn’t be put aside. Besides, the problems that newer generations face should be taken in account more seriously: in a globalized word, Europe offers highly specialized jobs, but it has not been able to create a system that provides the necessary education to everyone. High tuition fees exclude part of the population, creating – on the short, medium, and long run – economic exclusion. To conclude, the European Union and its members must implement new policies and promote reforms that can strengthen European workers’ rights. However, the peculiarities of the various member states should be respected: “one-size-fits-all” models are rarely successful.
• Assure decent working conditions in all forms of employment, guaranteeing every worker access to a core set of labour and social rights, which follow the principle of equal pay for equal work.
• Close the gender pay gap by 2% per year assuring equal treatment and non-discrimination throughout our Union. In addition, particular target measures are needed like quotas for women on company boards at European level. Companies to introduce multi-aged working teams.
• Establish a European Child Guarantee, which ensures that every child has access to free healthcare, free education, free childcare, decent housing and proper nutrition.
• Ensure the respect and the promotion of collective bargaining so that it reaches as many workers as possible across our Union.
• Assure the reconciliation of personal and work life.
• Fight income inequality, unemployment with a special focus on young people who are neither in employment nor education.
• Substantially scale up the funding of the EU Youth Guarantee to create better and better jobs.
• New key-factor like health must be better included in policy making, including occupational health.
• Prepare for a Social Progress Protocol to be incorporate in the Treaties, when possible, to change the overall balance between economic freedom and fundamentals social rights.
• Create a specific Social Fund for capacity building, in particular for Social Partners in Member States, where needed.
• Deliver a European Pillar of Social Rights to cope with the new trends in the labour market, guaranteeing decent working conditions and access to social protection.
To cope with demographic challenges and the impact of a growing digital economy, we must:
• Develop new ways to guarantee workers’ rights and representation, decent working conditions, fair competition and social protection in the “fourth industrial revolution”.
• Organise the portability of workers’ rights as they move around in the European digital labour market.
• Extend collective agreements to individuals engaged in new digital forms of work.
• Mitigate the risk of brain drain by investing in measures supporting circular migration, and ensuring mobility is not the result of inadequate employment opportunities or social protections.
• Invest in active ageing and enable people reaching pensionable age to have the option to continue working while being able to draw partially on their pension if they work less than full-time.
• Investing in equitable and quality education for all and everywhere in Europe must be an absolute top priority.
To ensure sustainable financing of social policies, we must:
• Provide public support for developing sectors with important employment potential.
• Combat tax evasion to ensure adequate level of public funds.
• Broaden the financial base of welfare systems by shifting towards new sources of tax revenue.
• Establish quality benchmarks for national unemployment insurance schemes.
• Enable the public employment service to have adequate capacity for direct contact with business.
• The EU must do more to unlock the potential of the Social Economy.
• Invest in green technology and in the environment.
• We need a sustainable EU Budget where all Member States should contribute a fair share.
• Link the financial economy to the real economy through the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax.
• Close tax loopholes in the 28 Member States and introduce a EU-wide Minimum Effective Corporate Tax Rate.
• To test the possibility to the introduction of a basic income scheme in the EU.
• Fight undeclared work!
Information, participation and civic dialogue about social rights is very important!
*** This is the statement approved and adopted at the TOGETHER event in Tallinn, Estonia on May 12, 2017. But the debate goes on! Share your ideas on how to build a Social Europe that benefits all.
Italy, as it is known, is having much more difficulties, than most other European countries, in emerging from the economic crisis. An unbridgeable-looking discrepancy opened up between the left wing and the subordinate working-class, who live in precarious conditions. At the moment, the existence of a concretely progressive force, which could at least offer some sort of social redemption, is called into question. The gap between the Italian center left and the younger generations seems even bigger. For the afore mentioned reasons, I am very impressed by the path taken up by Jeremy Corbyn, appreciated and supported by the younger generations because capable of conciliating innovation and tradition. I would like to create and be part of a group of people who could plan and propose social inclusion paths, capable of giving again hope to the new generations.
I am a male swedish highscool teacher, 35years of age, diagnosed with asperger’s syndrome and adhd as an adult. Since I has chose to be open about my diagnosis to reduce predujice and sometimes get support from society I have been subjected to discrimination numerous times from among others: Swedish authorities, Swedish schools and Swedish counties. The treatment of people with these conditions is a true modern human rights disaster! On the 1st of may 2017 for the first time In my life, I therefore chose to march with a sign saying “equal rights despite ADHD, Asperger’s” to press the importance of these issues! I marched together with my dear comrades in the beautiful and sunny city of Borås in Sweden! Shortly after the march, I showed papers from Swedish Social Security Authorities denying me a disability equal to 25% reduction of full time working ability. Authorities mock me for having Asperger’s syndrome and consider that the right job for me would be something within my areas of interests, where I have little or no contact with people, and all days are predictable and free of stress! Please let met get back to this pressing and very important issue once again when I have time! By this post I hope to inspire other young social democats around in Europe to work for human rights for people who have conditions like Asperger’s, ADHD and so son. I also hope to inspire other grassroot politicians like me who also might have neuropsyhicatric conditions like ADHD, Asperger’s syndrome, Dyslexia, Tourettes syndrome and so on to come foward and help in the struggle for equal rights! Regards Rikard Grossman-Nielsen
After the crisis, many Europeans have associated the idea of austerity with Europe, and therefore they have blamed the EU of the consequences of this policy. As a result, the EU can’t rely as they did before only in the economic benefits for member States. To demonstrate its strength, I consider that Europe must be the world leader in human rights, democracy, and even more important, social rights. We do not only guarantee our citizens a minimum, we take care of people who are in the worst conditions, we believe that social justice matters and that it is in our hands the power to make positive action for equality. Unemployed people, margined etnias, women, LGTBI+ citizens… Is there any place in the world better for them than Europe? I don’t think so. By giving a chance to this segments of society, we make ourselves unique, widening our work force and gaining a moral wealth that helps to build a better society for all
We can not have some countries where public higher education is free and others where it is not. Let’s Fight for a COMMON and FREE public higher education in all European Union ! There is an idea of making a common European budget in the coming future with even a european finance minister. Well, lets get on this idea without forget education. What do you think of create a tax to big companies totally directed to higher education? It is a great investment ! Contributes here and pick up the many future best prepared employes of the world ! #EuropeTogether!
Take decisive action to reduce alcohol related harm across the European Union Reason for amendment: Harms related to high levels of alcohol use are a heavy burden on public health, social welfare and economic productivity in the European Union. Europe is the heaviest alcohol consuming region in the world. High levels of alcohol consumtion inhibits upwards social convergence between European regions and EU member states and has significant negative effects on the quality of life in the EU. For example: • Between 5 and 9 million children in the EU live in families where alcohol is abused. • Alcohol is the third biggest cause of preventable death and disease in Europe, and is a risk factor for over 60 chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes and liver disease. It is also linked to obesity. Alcohol is the leading risk factor for ill-health and premature death for those aged 25 to 59, the core of Europe’s working age population. • The financial costs of alcohol-related harm are colossal – up to €155.8 billion a year, according to figures used by the European Commission • 60% of EU citizens surveyed in the RARHA SEAS study reported being harmed due to others’ drinking in the past 12 months. 20% reported serious harm such as being harmed physically, getting in a serious argument, being driven by a drunken driver or being involved in a traffic accident related to drunk driving. • There are large differences between EU member states when it comes to alcohol related harm. For example, reported serious harm was over 40% in Lithuania and around 10% in Sweden, Austria and Hungary. Example of concrete actions that can be taken: • Renewed EU alcohol strategy • Higher EU minimum excise duties on alcoholic beverages • Ban on alcohol commercials during hours of peak television viewing by minors • Stronger action on drink driving throughout the EU • Lower the levels of alcohol that can be transported between member states by private individuals without paying excise duty in the country of entry • Ensure that alcoholic beverages are not exempted from nutritional or content labelling
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).
Federal with more transparency and representation for each member state
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.
Making the EU trade policy more transparent and aimed at enhancing EU standards globally.
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.