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 coming 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 that rests on the notion of sustainable equality and sustainable wellbeing for all. By presenting a first policy report, Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality 2019-2024, issuing 110 concrete policy proposals in time before the last European elections, the initiative and its first Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE) have broken 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 in being 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 newly elected S&D Group has already been able to secure significant political achievements. In particular, this concerns the commitments taken on by 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 of the Initiative
Under the initiative 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 provide fresh support to the new 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 at large.
This has now become ever more important due the COVID-19 crisis, which exacerbates all of the challenges that Progressive Society’s first report already addressed, highlighting even more its central call for a new sustainable model of development. The new focus of the initiative’s contribution will then be to draw all 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 wellbeing for all. This new strategy would notably build on the initiative’s first report on Sustainable Equality, on the new political situation deriving from the on-going European Green Deal and other EU initiatives such as 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, to formulate a comprehensive set of policy recommendations for mid- and long-term action.
The new policy report will, 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 Prime Minister of Denmark and former President of the Party of European Socialists Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and by the Vice-Prime Minister of Spain 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 during the first months of 2021 (including through a public conference in February).