Bertalan Tóth, leader of the parliamentary group of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP), answers to the questions of #ProgressiveEurope about the restrictions to academic freedom in Hungary. He argues that the recent amendments to the higher education act could reveal the government’s greed of power on the national and international stage.
Within the last few years, prison conditions in Greece have improved: alternative sentences were introduced in order to tackle the issue of overcrowding. And yet, some problems remain, such as a flawed reintegration process. According to Theodoros Papatheodorou, there is a need for more cooperation at the European level.
Özlem Özen, MP of the Socialist Party in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, answers to the questions of #ProgressiveEurope. She comments on prison conditions and on the lack of financial and human resources in the Belgian penal system. Besides, she calls for a better assistance of prisoners in the process of rehabilitation.
Some politicians’ economic policy ideas are a breeding ground for the next crisis. As chair of the G20, Germany must take a stand against this.
Nationalism and a technocratic understanding of integration have been hindering the European integration. Even though the way towards a better Europe today might be harder than ever, progressives need to continue striving for the political union. The President of the Partito Democratico group in the Italian Parliament, Ettore Rosato, explains, why active listening and humility will be key to win public support for the progressive agenda.
The conference provided a platform for interesting debates on a wide range of topics as well as an opportunity for social democrats and socialists in the national parliaments of the EU to strengthen their ties.
As the European Project seems to be more and more in need of evaluation and re-thinking, Bruno Le Roux, Thomas Oppermann and Ettore Rosato insist on the importance of reinforcing the democratic debate. The launch of the website “Progressive Europe” aims to contribute to the success of this dialogue and cooperation between the socialist and social democratic parliamentary groups in the European member states.
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…)