Yesterday the European parliament voted an ambitious reform tackling the EU’s financial system. The Parliament voted on two joint reports, one on Parliament’s vision for the next multiannual financial framework (MFF) and another one calling for new means of raising genuine own resources for the EU budget, instead of relying on annual contributions from member states.
EU is facing new challenges and needs a European budget allowing to face them. SOLIDAR is advocating for a budget that will effectively address the rising inequalities in and between member states. The challenge of integration of migrants - based on human rights - needs also a substantial financial effort.
Antonio Costa, Portuguese Prime Minister, was a guest speaker at the Plenary session in Strasbourg on Wednesday 14th March. In his country, led by left-wing coalition he demonstrated that there is a feasible alternative to blind austerity. In his speech in the European Parliament he affirmed that if we ask Europe to do more, we also have to be ready to invest more in order to guarantee the sustainable development of the European project. He also pointed out how higher contributions by the member states are proving the commitment to our citizens.
In the light of upcoming European elections it is necessary to be ready to demonstrate the added value of the Union. To mobilize citizens and to rebuild their trust an action plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social rights is needed to present citizens a Union that delivers.
Civil society organizations will not cease their effort to advocate for social and territorial cohesion, for improvement of citizens wellbeing and to play watch-out role on the promises made by policymakers. Many times SOLIDAR repeated and warned about the fact that nationalist and Eurosceptic forces are increasing their influence through populism and utilizing the fears, which to what Costa stated “”what differentiates democratic politics from populism is that democratic politics do not feed on fear nor lives out of issues". The Portuguese government has proved that through responsible choices promoting social investment and sustainable growth an alternative is possible.
The recent Italian elections have been the latest sad example of gaining support through irresponsible promises and division of the population. Progressives need to consider how to stop them gaining even more influence in the next to be elected European Parliament.