In a letter addressed to the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, the S&D Group President Udo Bullmann and vice-president Maria João Rodrigues called on the European Commission to bring to reality the promises made in order to regain the trust of the EU citizens.
Ahead of the debate in the European Parliament, which will follow the presentation of the 2019 Commission Work Programme, S&D Group president Udo Bullmann and vice-president Maria João Rodrigues stated:
“The message we want to send today is clear: this is the last chance for the Juncker Commission to deliver on the decisions already made. We are six months ahead of the 2019 European elections and time is running out. European citizens need to see that the EU is taking robust and concrete solutions to their problems.
“We count on the Commission to help us push the Council on ongoing files. We need courage to overcome the existing blockages on key strategic files. It is time to have real capacity to decide that it is crucial to move to majority voting in areas of taxation and social policy as already proposed by the European Commission. Fairness and integrity of our social model can no longer be undermined and held hostage by small minorities acting against the common good.
“In times of rising inequalities and populism, the EU needs to stand up and show citizens it is on their side. Upholding the status quo is no longer an option. Today’s global challenges cannot be solved by national action, we need clear and concrete answers at EU level. We need a fundamental transformation towards a progressive economic model that takes care of the many and not the few.
“S&Ds urged the Commission to take decisive action to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, against climatic change and poverty, fair taxation, offer a final solution for the Eurozone crisis and a strong budget for social cohesion.
“We Socialist and Democrats propose prioritising the following objectives between now and the European elections:
· Translate the European Pillar of Social Rights into law, policies and financial resources. Achieving fiscal targets is not enough.
· A real agenda to implement Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
· Concrete measures to protect the integrity of our democracy, pluralism, human rights and the rule of law.
· Digital revolution: protecting people in new forms of atypical work and a strong accompanying regulatory framework, also to protect democracy.
· Manage migration with EU level responses based on solidarity, dignity and human rights through the reform of the Dublin Regulation, the development of controlled, safe and legal pathways for migration and a real partnership with Africa.
· Fair taxation, particularly in the digital sector. As part of this, we call for the introduction of a minimum effective rate of corporation tax in Europe and for Member States to get serious about fighting international tax evasion, tax avoidance and tax havens.
· An ambitious Multiannual Financial Framework, as the main tool at the service of a just transition which provides the EU with appropriate financial tools to address future challenges
· Eurozone fiscal capacity: we welcome proposals to include first elements of a Eurozone fiscal capacity in the next MFF but their scope and volume must be increased substantially in order to be meaningful.”
Note to editors:
The European Commission will present to the European Parliament today the Commission work programme 2019. This is the last work programme of the current Commission. It outlines the priorities and takes stock of the work in progress.