Summer is over. The global heating continues and the Amazon forests are burning. The temperature doesn’t matter for European affairs though - the summer break magics cools down the excitement around the European institutions, no matter what.
Yet there is someone who’s agenda is burning - the designated Commission President who receives the suggestions of the member state governments for the nomination to the next European Commission college. Due to political situations like the Italian one the process might take longer than expected, however, the litmus test remains the portfolios and their distribution. Will the promises made to the Social-democrats and the Greens in the EP be kept and translated into political goals reaching further than the usual neo-liberal agenda? Or were they only meant to get the President her majority?
After all that has happened over the last 11 years, the ones who designed supported and implemented the policies that caused the crisis in 2008 are still speaking up to propose the same rhetoric and the same neo-liberal agenda. We are going through a slow downturn of conjuncture and the reaction is still the famous growth paradigm: liberalizing the labor market, reducing public spending and privatise public goods. Déjà vu, and not for good. Will this be the leading principle for the new Commission President and her team or will she build upon the progress made under the Juncker Commission for the social dimension of the EU?
Waiting for the portfolios distribution among the Commissioners-to-be, La Rentrée is always good to rehearse the essentials. Here are the priorities that SOLIDAR asks the Commission to pursue:
the European Pillar of Social Rights to be made tangible for citizens and its implementation binding for Member States
adoption and adaptation of the 2030 agenda as the guiding light for the European mandate ahead, in all its fundamental dimensions for sustainability: social, ecological, economic and political
unmistakable protection of the democratic rule of law across the EU
strong commitment of the EU for social and public investment
tax justice - Make it real!
implementation of the Civil Dialogue, involving in meaningful manners citizens and their organisations in the decision-making process.
We are back. Where are you and where are your proposals for progressive policy change? Giving up the Spitzenkandidat principle was disappointing, giving up the small progress made into a more sustainable Europe would only benefit those inside and outside the EU who work against the EU because they hate the project. Time to choose.