Quote of the week by S&D president Udo Bullmann:

"Italy, as a founding member of the European Union, the home of great Europeans like Altiero Spinelli and Alcide de Gasperi, the seventh industrial power and the origin of a rich cultural heritage belongs to the heart of Europe. It hurts to see how an irresponsible populist government is trying to alienate this great European nation and its people from their friends."


Upcoming activities

Next week Madrid will become the European capital of the left with Spain as the centre of a progressive Europe. The Socialists and Democrats will participate in the PES Congress that will officially appoint Fras Timmermans as their candidate to chair the next EU Commission and it will adopt its manifesto for the European elections.

S&D president Udo Bullmann will present the S&D vision for a sustainable Union that renews the Social Democrat principles to address current topics such as growing inequalities, climate and environmental risks and the need for a new economic model that puts people at its centre. He will participate in a public conference at the Círculo de Bellas Artes on Thursday, then all the S&D members will organise internal workshops on Friday, and the S&D delegates will cast their vote for the PES candidate to the European elections.

Ahead of the Congress in Madrid, an intense committee week includes several important votes on Wednesday.

The culture committee will be voting on the financing for the new Erasmus+ Programme. This flagship programme deserves proper funding, therefore the S&D MEP and chair of the Culture committee Petra Kammerevert proposes to triple its financing. We call for more financial support, in particular for adult education and vocational training.  

The committee on environment, health and consumer policy together with the economic and monetary affairs committee will vote on a regulation to establish a framework to facilitate sustainable investment. This is a priority for the S&Ds, who are fighting against a macro-economic GDP-oriented growth model that endangers resources and the environment. This regulation should reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment in order to achieve sustainable and inclusive growth that reduces inequalities and leaves no person and no territory behind. Simona Bonafé and Elena Gentile are the responsible S&D MEPs. 

The foreign affairs committee will vote on the report by S&D MEP Piri Kati on Turkey’s progress in the accession to the EU. The resolution welcomes the decision of July 2018 to lift the state of emergency, which was introduced after the 2016 coup attempt. However, it expresses serious concern about the disproportionate and arbitrary measures curtailing freedom of expression, media freedom and access to information.

There are important votes in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee on the EU visa code, establishing an instrument for financial support for border management and visa, the Asylum and Migration Fund, and interoperability between EU information systems on Tuesday 19. The responsible S&D MEPs are Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Tanja Fajon, and Miriam Dalli respectively. On the same day the legal affairs committee will vote on a report on discontinuing seasonal changes of time.

Save the date! On February 28 we’re bringing our #EuropeTogether debate to Ljubljana, Slovenia! Check out the full programme and guest speakers here!

For updates and details, follow us on Twitter!

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