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