PARTY OF EUROPEAN SOCIALISTS
LISBON, 7-8 DECEMBER 2018
FAIR. FREE. SUSTAINABLE
The Progressive Europe We Want
The past decades have seen a rise in social and income inequality. This trend must stop. Wealth does not simply “trickle down” to all. In the context of rising inequalities, the PES fights for social progress and a better life for all Europeans.
In the past months the Progressive family has accomplished much: adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights, progress with the work on the new posting of workers directive, the attempt to establish the European definition of inequalities are just some of the important initiatives.
They need to be continued and built on. 2019 is when we want to ask citizens to give us a mandate to carry on that work, and create a social Europe.
We want to implement all 20 principles of the European pillar of social rights. We want the EU to become the front runner in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
To prevent further widening of the gaps between Member States, regions, cities, genders and individuals, the fight for equality must be the leading principle of EU policies.
Everyone in Europe must enjoy a decent income, good working conditions, access to quality healthcare, to life-long learning, and rights to a decent pension. In particular we want 2019 to mark the EU’s social turn!
The current economic model must be challenged.
The European Union has one of the world’s most developed economies, and is the most fair and equal region in the world. It is defined by a unique economic model that combines economic dynamism and social protection and that has brought prosperity, integration and cohesion. People can travel, work and study across the continent. They can do business and make transactions more easily than ever before. However, this model that has shaped our continent is under threat and must be further improved. The recent crisis revealed certain flaws which we want to fix in order to be able to protect everyone. In a context of multiple societal transformations involving globalisation, digitalisation, technological progress, climate change and energy transition, it remains our primary mission to ensure the fairness of such transformations, so that technological and economic progress translate into social progress too.
1. We want to move towards a new economic model that focuses on social progress, gender equality, respect for human rights and sustainable growth, and that has citizens’ wellbeing at its heart, in line with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This means creating quality jobs and prosperity with thriving small and medium sized enterprises, cooperatives, and a revived industrial policy, driven by leading research and innovation. It means achieving full gender equality and making use of women’s full potential particularly on the labour market and in leading positions. It means creating a healthy environment with a real strategy for green growth for a sustainable future for all. And it means creating more equal and fair societies with stronger, broader social protections and forward-looking social investment strategy.
Today, one of most important challenges that Europe has to face is the rise of inequality — the widening of the gap between the rich and poor in our societies and between our countries. Europe’s richest 1% own nearly a third of its wealth, while the bottom 40% own less than 1%. In 2015, almost 120 million people in Europe were facing poverty or social exclusion. That is almost one quarter of the entire EU population.
Progressives in Europe must lead a Just Transition that respects the natural limits of our planet. We need a long-term strategy with sufficient investment for the transition to zero-net emissions by 2050 and to fully work to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals. This is crucial if we want to try to ensure a halt to global warming and environmental pollution, to protect biodiversity and improving air quality and to improve the well-being of all citizens. Europe needs to deal with the challenges climate change is bringing to all parts of the population, such as droughts, sever snowstorms, floods, spread of new diseases.
The new generation of Europeans is growing up in an ever more globalized world. The youth of today faces a very different challenge to any generation before as the pace of change is faster than ever before and the prospects of a bright future are far less certain. Children and young people live in a society that is still recovering from the 2008 economic recession, that is shaped by the primacy of market forces, by the digital revolution, by deep-transitional change, by tremendous access to information, and by new ways to interact at work in their private lives, most importantly in politics. All these societal challenges open a wealth of possibilities for the progressive family to showcase our political project as worthy for the younger generations to invest in. We want to create a better future, with a better quality of life, a better-protected environment, and more possibilities for the democratic participation of young people. But if these societal and economic developments, are not acco mpanied by strong and public policies, they may call into question the equity of the social contract and pose risks and challenges for the younger generation.
A progressive, fair, egalitarian and prosperous society is not only one that is built upon a principle of intergenerational solidarity, and the protection and empowerment of its youth, but also one that recognises young people as a fundamental part of our economies.
Our belief in democracy has always been the driver for our political action. It has been our core motivation in our fight for universal suffrage. It has been our incentive as we strive for modern political systems that can fully represent, include and protect citizens. It has been the foundation on which we have been building Europe. Today, as democracy finds itself under attack, we want to reaffirm our commitment to protect our model of democracy.
2017 and 2018 were the years when women stood up globally and simultaneously and told the world that they have had enough: enough of being paid less than men for the same work; enough of not being free to decide about their own bodies; enough of being harassed and abused at work and beyond; enough of being made to stay at home and fulfil traditional roles.
It is indeed time to put an end to the persistent gap between women and men in terms of respecting human rights, access to opportunities and decision-making power. But women’s rights have also experienced a massive backlash from neo-conservative, fundamentalist religious and right-wing populist forces and, in many cases, the persistent lack of adequate public services obliges women to stay at home as carers. PES Women and the PES are thus determined to stand by all women in the continuing fight to secure women’s rights in the EU and beyond and to À ght all types of discrimination and stereotypes against young girls from an early age on.
Migration represents an opportunity as well as a challenge for the European Union, but opportunities cannot be effectively seized and challenges adequately faced unless the European Union is united in its approach. Root causes that are forcing people to leave their countries must be tackled, effective legal pathways need to be established and irregular migration needs to be addressed. The fight against human smuggling and trafficking should be reinforced and we must step up the efforts and investments in the integration of those refugees and other migrants who have the right to stay. Migration is a global issue that requires a multilateral and multilevel approach. We need to foster a positive vision on migration.
The PES is making a stand to govern migration and turn disorderly migration into orderly migration.
Few topics are as divisive today as migration. But when migration is well managed, we can make it work for all. As Socialists and Democrats we promote progressive policies on asylum and migration, which protect human lives, human rights and help those fleeing from violence and unbearable living conditions alike. We address the root causes pushing people to leave their home countries, such as violation of human rights, inequality, poverty, a lack of future perspectives, conflict and climate change. We support pathways for legal and managed migration, we address irregular migration and we firmly promote effective integration policies. Unilateralism and infiammatory rhetoric are not the answer to manage migration.
We are living in a very complex, multipolar, unpredictable world. Alliances are shifting and the parameters of international relations are strongly challenged by the rise of nationalism and protectionism policies. It is up to the European Union to play the role of a reliable, principles-oriented, credible and peaceful power, unconditionaly committed to the rules-based multilateral international order – especially to the UN, which is clear about its values and transparent in its action, cooperative and inclusive. We are indeed a community based on the rule of law and democracy, where fundamental human rights are respected more than anywhere else. Therefore, facing the necessity to influence for a better regulated order and based on its history and fundamental values, the European Union has a key role to play.
As Socialists and Democrats, we know which role we want the European Union to take in the world. Our overall challenge is to make European Union stronger and acting in line with