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.
Anna Ascani, Member of the Italian Parliament, highlights the rise of populism in Europe, which is embodied in Italy by the Five Star Movement (M5S). To fight against “retromania” and reconcile citizens with politics, she suggests a strengthening of political proposals by European progressives.
In the context of increasing populism, important developments are required in order to guarantee the future of Europe. To win back the trust of its citizens, the EU needs an agenda which addresses their concerns, in particular regarding employment, security and integration.
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.
“Towards a Progressive Europe” – this remains the objective of the conference, especially in currently tumultuous times in Europe and the world. After successfully strengthening ties at the conferences in Rome and Paris, the chairmen and chairwomen of the social democratic and socialist parliamentary groups of the national parliaments come together in Berlin for this year’s first gathering.
On 16 February 2017, the SPD Bundestag will host the conference “60 Years in the Making: Europe as a Social Community.” The conference will provide a platform for an exchange on a stronger, fairer and more social Europe.
While inflows of refugees went through the Hungarian border in late Summer 2015 before the right-wing and conservative Government built a fence on the southern border, the parliamentary group of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) formulated a year later a proposal with far-reaching demands addressed to the Government for a change in the current migration policy.
Within a compact overview, Vice-President of the Socialist Group at the Assembleia da República João Paulo Correia depicts the point of departure of the current Portuguese Government and points out the main objectives for 2017. The ambitious budget proposal aims to combine financial consolidation, growth and employment enhancing policies and improvements in pensions and social security.
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.