Article on the 60th anniversary since the Rome Treaty
A Social Europe is the proposal of progressive forces
The 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome is an opportunity to ponder on the institutional and political challenges the EU is facing nowadays. This is an ongoing process that departs from Rome and keeps up with the massive participation of European citizens that for many years have been striving to make their voice heard.
The Left and the progressive forces have to develop a certain political strategy and acknowledge the concerns of the citizens. National and trans-national initiatives should be further elaborated and address crucial dilemmas as we are called to provide convincing answers to the European electorate, boosting social and regional cohesion, protecting human rights, working on growth policies. If we cannot stand firm to our cause, we will simply be left into the dissolving powers of the far-right and conservative movements that vie for the return of nationalism and political elites, support the notion of “fortress Europe”, favour a group of decision-makers that moves fast when it comes to deal with vested interests and slows down when it comes to secure collective demands and issues that touch on broader social groups.
In the context of the EU Council and the European Parliament, the Greek government and the SYRIZA party are developing a social agenda, focusing on the transformation and reform of the EU policy model and empowering the welfare state, sustainable growth and democratic accountability.
At the same time, there are proposals on the harmonization of fiscal and social policies in EU27, the mutualisation of public debt, the full respect of collective bargaining, the creation of the necessary legal context that can tackle tax evasion more efficiently, the prompt implementation of the relocation program and policies for better including refugees into local societies.
Furthermore, the Greek government and the SYRIZA party are also advocating for a more decisive role of the European Parliament in EU affairs, the democratic control and transparency of the Eurogroup and the ESM. These policies are part of a wider political agenda that reflects the ideological context of the Left, focusing also on the decrease of sky-rocketed unemployment and extreme poverty.
Needless to say that we have to acknowledge the limit of our power, but also the current circumstances and political balances in Europe. To promote and further elaborate our goals, we need to create synergies with the Socialists and the Greens, foster an open dialogue with the unions and above all, we need to communicate with the citizens and make them understand that political mobilization is the most effective way to achieve more.
Authors: SYRIZA MEPs Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Kostadinka Kuneva, Stelios Kouloglou, Kostas Chrysogonos.