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.
A year after the creation of the “En marche !” movement, the wave of “walkers” lead by Emmanuel Macron conquered the Élysée Palace and the National Assembly. The LREM MPs are in favour of a social liberalism that goes beyond classical political divides. Olivier Faure, president of the parliamentary group Nouvelle Gauche, analyses their strategy and the recent transformations of the French political landscape.
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”.
The hard-won agreement over joint bank monitoring was mistrusted from the moment it was put into force. The set of rules laid out is porous due to the many exceptions it allows. A commentary piece by Carsten Schneider.
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.