In our interview with Thomas Oppermann, the Chairman of the SPD Parliamentary Group talks about the cause of and ways to deal with populism. He calls for the development of a debate culture in Germany and for a state which looks after the interests of its citizens. This involves looking at social inequalities and insecurity, the crisis of democracy, boundaries and exclusion, and at positive developments.
Valérie Rabault was re-elected MP of the French Socialist Party in 2017. She answers to the questions of #ProgressiveEurope about the prospects of the Socialist Party. She also comments on the first actions of the new presidential majority, led by Emmanuel Macron and his party “La République en Marche”.
Domagoj Hajduković represents the Croatian Social Democratic Party in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Here, he tells #ProgressiveEurope about his priorities during the next sitting of the Assembly at the end of June and how he wants to improve the safety of asylum seekers.
The Presidents of European socialist and social-democratic parliamentary groups gathered during a second meeting on invitation of Bruno Le Roux, President of the French Socialist, ecological and republican group. At this occasion, the new platform #ProgressiveEurope has been officially launched. This platform will let more interaction between European Progressives and with the greater public.
We want a Europe of democracy. We believe that Europe needs more cooperation, coordination, and more communication among national parliamentarians, thus allowing them to give more policy impulses on the European level. It is fundamental to strengthen the role of national parliaments in the EU and the role of the European Parliament, with the principle of subsidiarity remaining the guideline for parliamentary cooperation.
Therefore, social democratic and socialist parliamentary groups of the EU member states launched the online communication platform “Progressive Europe” under the auspices of the groups’ presidents. The Platform is meant to push forward debates and connect national and European members of parliament amongst each other. Also, it will document the regular conferences taking place among the presidents, as well as the regular conferences of the parliamentarians responsible for budgetary affairs and finances. All activities are closely linked to the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament.
As progressives, we strive for creating more life opportunities for the European citizens. It is our objective to empower all Europeans to have a good life quality and fully participate in their societies. While we fight for progressive policies on national level, we know that in order to reach our political goals we also need a social Europe, an EU close to its citizens, and a solid European economy. It is our common responsibility to promote the European Union as an advocate of social fairness, growth, integration, and democracy.
Today, there is a need for decisive actions to bring back economic growth, quality jobs, inclusive societies and security. The crisis and its devastating consequences are still a bitter reality for many Europeans. The ongoing economic difficulties, high (youth-) unemployment, the rise of the far right, the growth of populism and nationalism, the weakening of solidarity, and the horrible terrorist attacks are all extremely worrying developments that must be taken very seriously. They occur at a point of time when Europe faces an influx of refugees from war-torn and deprived regions of the world on an unprecedented scale.
All these challenges cannot be met by a single country alone, but only in collaboration of the EU member states. In this process, the close coordination of national parliaments is ever more important. This platform is supposed to contribute to this endeavour.
At the same time, it is a strong signal for European unity and a European spirit.
Paris, September 2016
Shortly before the referendum on Great Britain’s European Union membership, the chairmen of the SPD’s parliamentary group in the Bundestag and the “groupe socialiste, écologiste et républicain” in the French National Assembly joined together to present their propositions in light of the current EU crisis. With regard to the possibility of a “Brexit”, Thomas Oppermann and Bruno Le Roux support the Member States’ rapprochement and a closer cooperation with the objective of implementing new reforms, in particular between France and Germany.
For the first time ever, we, the National parliamentary group chairpersons of the Progressive parties of the European Union, have met in Rome, to express our commitment to progressive changes in our countries and in Europe and to strengthen cooperation and communication between the various social democratic group leaders in the national parliaments. This is an Italian Democratic Party’s initiative in cooperation with the German Social Democratic Party, which immediately has been joined by the Groups of the PES of Austria, France, Sweden, Hungary and Luxembourg. (more…)