The re-launch of the Progressive Society Initiative
At the instigation of Iratxe Garcia Perez (S&D Group President) and Eric Andrieu (S&D Group Vice-President), Progressive Society will now re-launch its work in this new parliamentary term in order to offer renewed support for the S&D Group’s parliamentary work and to reinforce the Group’s political impact on and influence over future European policy-making and progressive political thinking.
This has now become ever more important due the Covid-19 crisis, which exacerbates all the challenges that Progressive Society’s first report already addressed, highlighting more strongly its central call for a new sustainable model of development. The new focus of the initiative will be to draw the lessons from the current crisis and from the prevailing political agenda to develop an even more comprehensive and forward-looking strategy for change, embedded in the vision of sustainable well-being for all.
This new strategy will build on the initiative’s first report on Sustainable Equality, on the new political situation deriving from the ongoing European Green Deal and other EU initiatives in the economic and social fields, on the multiple challenges of the digital transition, on the implications and consequences of the Covid-19 crisis, on the need to build new transformative resilience, and on the most recent evidence regarding climate change and inequalities. Drawing all this together it will formulate a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for medium- and long-term action.
The new policy report, to be released by June 2021, will be submitted to the S&D Group by the initiative’s re-composed and gender-balanced Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE), co-chaired by the former Danish Prime Minister and former President of the Party of European Socialists Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and by Spanish Deputy-Prime Minister Teresa Ribera.
Prior to the final report, the ICSE and the S&D Group will engage in extensive talks with a wide range of stakeholders including NGOs and trade unions, in particular at the start of 2021 (including through a public conference in February).
Progressive Society initiative: a brief history
Since its inception in 2018, the Progressive Society initiative, with the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE) at its core, has been assisting the S&D Group in getting to grips with the failures and continuous crises produced by today’s prevailing model of development. To this end, the initiative developed a progressive vision of a new model of society based on the idea of sustainable equality and sustainable well-being for all. By presenting the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality 2019-2024 with 110 concrete policy proposals ahead of the last European elections, the initiative and its first Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE) broke ground for the development of a new transformative policy agenda that responds to the social and environmental emergencies humanity is faced with today.
This has allowed our group to take a leading position as the only group in the European Parliament spearheading the development of a concrete roadmap for a new European model of development and acting as a political driving force.
Based on the work carried out and in close collaboration with our wider political family, the S&D Group has already been able to secure significant political achievements since the elections. In particular, the commitments from the new European Commission for a radical shift in the EU’s political priorities. The proposal for a European Green Deal, the Commission’s commitment to an ambitious social agenda to address rising inequalities and the envisaged reform of the European Semester to integrate the priorities of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs) are a few examples of the changes in EU policy that could thus be achieved. The re-launch in 2020 will start a new chapter in the Progressive Society's work.