Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

The PES Plan for a New Social Europe

by nanne Mon Dec 18th, 2006 at 09:05:30 PM EST

The PES, a coalition of the mainstream European socialist, social-democratic and labour parties had its big biannual congress last november 7th and 8th in Porto. Howard Dean was there, as were Ségolène Royal, Romano Prodi, Jacques Delors and a load of other luminaries.
Didn't hear anything about it? That's because the press wasn't reporting.

Thanks to the miracles of the internets, however, we can still access the main documents that were discussed and agreed upon. Here's the link.

The PES congress has been blogged by Jon Worth, who was attending as a PES activist. As Jon has noted earlier, the PES is starting to sign some signals of party cohesion, suspending the Slovak SMER for joining a coalition with a far-right party, and now adopting a number of more and less detailed common policies at its congress. Considering that few parties were running a really European campaign in the last elections, more party cohesion in the main parties is a good thing (regardless of the party).

So what are the common policies?

The main resolution adopted by the PES congress was a 10 point plan for a 'New Social Europe'.

'New Social Europe': 10 principles for our common future (.pdf)

To give a brief peak, here's a list of the 10 principles:

  1. Rights and duties for all - the essence of cohesion
  2. Full employment - the basis for the future
  3. Investing in people - we take the high road
  4. Inclusive societies - nobody left behind
  5. Universal child care
  6. Equal rights for women and men
  7. Social dialogue - we cannot do without
  8. Making diversity and integration our strength
  9. Sustainable societies - tackling climate change
  10. An active Europe for people

Explanations and specifications of how Europe should act on these according to the PES can be found in the document. Overall the level of detail is not very high, but you can get plenty of it in the report drawn up by the PES president Rasmussen and Delors. In that report, and in line with an earlier strategy, it is proposed that the countries of Europe boost their economic growth by simultaneously increasing the investment in education, labour market policies, R&D, child-care and 'other Lisbon Strategy priorities'.

In another resolution on energy policy, the PES calls for tackling climate change and energy policy "in a integrated way" and says that sustainable energy requires "a third industrial revolution". The resolution skirts some of the big issues (reduction of demand doesn't figure big outside of the energy efficiency context), but overall it seems promising.

Of course, these are all merely texts with ideas in them. It will be interesting to see how a more cohesive PES will put them into practice on the European and the national levels.

These things can also be used to exercise pressure...
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Mon Dec 18th, 2006 at 09:07:46 PM EST
Thanks for the reference.....

very much

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Tue Dec 19th, 2006 at 12:06:55 PM EST
The Alternative Economic Policy for Europe folks just published EuroMemorandum 2006 (German version). Also available in English, Spanish, and Hungarian.

A democratic economic policy framework for a sustainable social Europe - Proposals for alternatives to neo-liberal transformation
  • Macroeconomic policies for sustainable growth and full employment
  • Shorter working time, better protection - A progressive reform of the working time directive
  • Binding programs and more resources - Anti-poverty initiatives
  • Social minimum standards, minimum wages and solidaristic wage coordination
  • Efficiency and sufficiency: Policies for energy safety and sustainability
  • Financial stability and social progress - A re-orientation of financial market policies
  • A more equitable and development-friendly trade policy
by TGeraghty on Wed Dec 20th, 2006 at 12:48:19 AM EST
Thanks for the link. I haven't read the full document and I'm likely not to agree with all of it (the statement in the introduction that the 'neoliberal' services directive has passed virtually unchanged kind of ticked me off given that even its supporters admitted that the country of origin principle was the lynchpin of the legislation and the socialist group stated that they had gotten 90% of what they wanted), but there seem to be interesting suggestions.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Dec 20th, 2006 at 11:25:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Go to: [ European Tribune Homepage : Top of page : Top of comments ]