To mark the beginning of the new year, S&D Group leader Udo Bullmann has made the following statement:
“2019 will be a year of setting the course. Courageous steps to more common ground or relapse into bygone times? More social justice or further disintegration of our societies? We are in the middle of a dispute about Europe's future, which has epoch-making significance.
“Again, there are political forces who want to go back to chauvinism and nationalism. The past year has already shown that we have to acknowledge this dispute and take it on offensively.
“A Europe of stagnation, as embodied by the conservative parties, plays into the hands of right-wing populists. Instead, we need a Europe of awakening that imposes key reforms: equal pay for equal work, equal taxation wherever profits are made, investment in education and infrastructure.
“In the European elections in May, people have the opportunity to decide for themselves on the future direction. Until then, social-democratic and progressive parties must make clear what alternatives are at stake. For far too long, the impression has emerged that only small compromises are sought at European level, instead of giving the Community a new impetus and a clear direction. Now is the time to finally turn Europe's positive values and Europe's moral force back into concrete politics. We Social Democrats are ready for a radical new start of Europe and welcome all progressive forces that want to join our movement.“