Since the world is changing and we are facing new challenges, the mankind including the European Union cannot afford to insist on the status quo, we cannot afford to be conservative. Climate change is getting a more and more serious issue and we have to step up and find solutions, we have to exceed the status quo and be progressive to find a way for a socially and environmentally responsible future.
To solve social issues, we cannot tear ourselves away from the masses of the people. Social problems can be solved efficiently when the impact is as direct as it is possible and solves the everyday problems of the people. Many companies expect their employees to sell their souls to them and to give up their personal life, many employees are exploited at the workplaces. Many employees cannot maintain a balance between job and private life, since employers force them to work overtime and this distructive attitude results a huge drop of the population in a number of EU countries. People cannot maintain a balance between job and private life, they have no time for family, for friends, to do sports, to have a rest, to relax, to regenerate themselves, to have a healthy life. They are expected to concentrate on their jobs only and we have to step up against corporate exploitation. We have to show and prove that democratic socialists fight and defeat exploitation to carve out social justice. This is what democratic socialists/social democrats have been doing in the entire history as well and we have to follow this path for a socially responsible future.
The European Labour Authority is a great initiation. We have to find a way to connect it with the everyday life of the employees to practically step up for the interests and rights of the workers. We have to find a direct way to support the employees and to protect them against corporate exploitation. All the big companies already have customer services that people can contact to complain if they have issues. The European Labour Authority could also have local customer services that employees could contact if their employers break the labour laws. With these customer services, we could directly protect the interests and the rights of the employees on a daily basis. Those companies that break the labour laws and do not respect the rights of the workers, do not respect the rights of labour unions, have to be punished seriously and the punishments have to be communicated to show example. Organizing these customer services would be crucial, since the majority of the employees does not have a labour union where they could turn to when their rights are disrespected and workers without labour unions also need a channel where they can raise their voice. The rights of the labour unions should also be extended. We have to support every initiation and practice that steps up for the interests and the rights of the workers.
No EU member country should receive any financial support from the common financial pools of the EU that does not join the European Labour Authority. No EU member country should receive any financial support that does not respect the labour rights, that disrespects the rights of the employees and labour unions. Respecting employees and their rights has to be an ultimate criteria to have an excess to the EU financial pools and to join the EU itself as well. The Copenhagen criteria could be extended, only those countries should join the EU that respect the rights of the employees and the labour unions. The European Labour Authority has to set up common labour standards that all the EU member countries would have to meet and apply, just like countries wanting to join the EU.
I endorse the Workplace Democracy Act of Bernie Sanders and the thriving and rising American democratic socialists. Employees deserve their seats and representation on company boards and a fair share of the profit they generate. This model should be compulsory in the EU. People spend a large part of their lives in their workaplaces, it means there is no democratic system without having democratic frames at the workplaces. Employees deserve to have a veto right, no corporate decision should be made in the EU that goes against the interests of the workers. Employees deserve to be involved and they deserve a forum where they can present their issues to the companies’ leaderships, where they can raise and represent the voice. Providing bonuses to the employees at the end of each financial year should also be compulsory. This way, employees would get a share of the profit of their own workplaces, they would become shareholders, literally, owners of their own companies. This collective ownership of the workplaces would make democratic socialism come true, the employees would become the owners of their own firms through an absolutely democratic (and absolutely well-deserved) way.
Overtimes are also huge problems at the workplaces. This issue ruins the balance between professional life and private life (that generates a number of further social issues). Overtimes have to be limited at the workplaces. They have to be limited by law in the EU and it has to be guaranteed in the everyday life as well. I parsonally have found out a solution for this issue, the red access card project. My proposal is: every employer should provide a red access card to the employees that would register the time they enter and leave their workplace day by day. The customer services or the local offices of the European Labour Authority could monitor the registered data. This way, every single minute of overtime could be charged and got paid by the employers to the employees. We could step up against corporate exploitation this way to support the balance between job and private life of the workers. Maximum 8 hours per day should be the ultimate amount of work EU-wide. Overtimes have to be limited and when overtime happens, it has to be paid. Working overtime not being paid is literally slavery and we have to put an end to corporate greed.
Stepping up and solving the every problems of the people is very important. To support more high-level projects, politics has to make efforts to cooperate with civil organizations that represent specific issues and solutions in connection with a wide variety of areas of life. This social partnership has to be an ultimate practice, the social goals, topics, targets, visions, projects, ideas, notions, programmes, issues of the civil organizations have to be embraced and represented by left-wing parties and representatives to elevate these projects to the level of the politics, bring them into the level of legislation and make them come true. Successful projects as the results of the social partnership between civil organizations and left-wing parties (and S&D itself) have to be communicated and highlighted, since many civil organizations keep distance from politics and they have to be convinced to trust progressive, leftist politics that is open for new ideas and ready to represent and elevate them to the highest level of decision making. Civil organizations have to be convinced that they cannot reach their aims by isolating themselves from politics, but by the practice of social partnership, since their social goals can get a representation in the legislation this way. S&D has to involve these civil initiations that represent different areas and issues of the life, through them, these areas can be involved by having a representation.
Rising American democratic socialists’ Green New Deal project can be applied by the EU as well. Fossil energy resources will not last forever so we have to support renewables. The Spanish democratic socialist government already has a superb solar energy project, these kind of projects have to be applied and communicated as great examples and practices.
The EU has to financially support two areas very heavily: the social and the environmentalist projects. Unfortunately a lots of money is wasted due to the corruption of right-wing governments and the EU has to care of its own financial sources much more. It is surreal that the EU is loading these governments with an enormous amount of money and does not investigate and control where the money flows and where these financial resources end. Corrupted right-wing governments eat up the financial supports of the EU, they waste the money that hard-working employees all around the EU had worked out with all their diligence and efforts, and corrupted right-wing governments simply waste these financial resources. The path of the financial supports should be investigated and governments wasting these resources should be punished as well. Instead of letting these resources wasted, social and environmentalist projects should be funded, for a socially and environmentally responsible future.