Visit of La Ligue de l’Enseignement to SOLIDAR : Articulating progressive solutions to unprecedented crises
What are the solutions to the environmental, social and democratic crises? Which alliances and campaigns progressive movements should put in motion in the context of the 2024 European elections? These questions guided the visit of SOLIDAR’s member organisation La Ligue de l’Enseignement, one of France’s largest organisations in non-formal education, to the SOLIDAR network in Brussels, on 11 and 12 May 2023.
This visit was a timely opportunity to exchange views on the many challenges facing Europe, and to mobilise and articulate progressive solutions to them. In this context, SOLIDAR and the leadership of La Ligue de l’Enseignement held a panel discussion with Pierre Larrouturou, Member of the European Parliament from the Socialist and Democrat Group (S&D). Europe is facing unprecedented times: the Russian aggression in Ukraine marks the return of a devastating and unprovoked war on European soil. High energy prices, combined with rising inflation, plunged more and more citizens into precarious situations, struggling to pay their bills and to live a decent life. On top of this, the climate emergency accelerated, with the multiplication of fires, draughts and floodings across Europe and the world. According to M. Larrouturou, this requires urgent political measures that would build peace through “dialogue, cooperation, climate action, social justice and democracy”. In this sense, he advocates for financial and economic measures such as a tax on financial transactions, ambitious funding to renovate our buildings and make them energy efficient, and fight austerity and precarity measures. In a nutshell, he stressed that social justice is the only way to prevent the repetition of economic crises.
SOLIDAR presented its definition of a socially Just Transition as a new social contract to tackle these challenges at the European level. For SOLIDAR, a Just Transition promotes ambitious climate policies while advancing social justice in Europe and worldwide. In this sense, the European Green Deal proposed by the Commission in 2019 is a step in the right direction to ensure a carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. However, it is still missing a systematic inclusion of strong social standards such as the criteria laid out in the European Pillar of Social Rights. This was an occasion to present the work of SOLIDAR on Just Transition, and especially in the framework of the European Alliance for Just Transition, an alliance of more than 30 European stakeholders working together for a socially just transition of our economies. Progressive civil society organisations play a crucial role in fostering alliances across the board to make sure that climate justice and social justice are addressed jointly. Moreover, a strong social and civil dialogue will in turn build a high energy democracy, including citizens and building trust in public life and democratic institutions.
SOLIDAR would like to thank La Ligue de l’Enseignement for this fruitful and timely visit, and is looking forward future collaboration on these important topics.