Harnessing globalisation: 10 overarching S&D priorities

Definitions of what Globalisation is vary immensely. Nevertheless, no matter how we define it, we must all acknowledge that Globalisation is now not only a process; it is a fact of life for citizens, workers, companies and countries alike. Drivers of globalisation such as enhanced trade, investment and disruptive technological change is impacting all parts of our lives and people all over the globe. Since all are impacted by it; all must come to benefit from it. That is the task we set for Europe in Harnessing Globalisation.

The transformative effects of Globalisation has already been felt in many areas, leading to technological revolutions in transport, digitization etc. In taking the lead on managing Globalisation, we must ensure that European regulations, values, standards and principles shape Globalisation, not vice versa. We will not allow workers and citizens, both within and outside of the EU, to be left behind or to become victims of Globalisation.

For far too many Europeans, Globalisation seems to be primarily defined as that which impacts, shapes and to some extent controls their lives, jobs, futures and opportunities, but on which they feel they have little to no influence. This has led to a growing sense of anguish among many European citizens regarding the process of globalisation. To ignore this sentiment which raises issues that we should all be concerned about would be a grave mistake. Our task in Europe is to demonstrate that we can build a better future for all. That prosperity can once again be achieved, sustained and fairly shared. That by harnessing globalisation we can reap the benefits of closer links between countries, continents and peoples, whilst shielding citizens and their jobs and security from the negative aspects of globalisation.

It is said that all politics are local. This also holds true for Globalisation. As we act on the European and global stage, we must always be mindful of how developments will impact local societies at home and abroad. We must ensure that welfare states, social cohesion, equality, security and democratic societies are strengthened.

Although globalisation has undoubtedly contributed to wealth creation across the globe and lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty, the benefits of Globalisation have so far been inequitably shared. This has given rise to inequality, particularly due to changes in employment conditions and uneven distribution of wealth and income, less progressive taxation, harmful tax competition, tax evasion and avoidance.

As a union, we have the strongest preconditions for succeeding in a globalised world. Our cooperation is built upon the importance of our pluralistic and democratic values. Principles on which we have built non-discriminatory, tolerant and just societies, where solidarity and equality between women and men is wholeheartedly embraced. Where our fundamental values of human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights are not only upheld but also enshrined in Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union, and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Therefore, we insist that Globalisation must also mean the global protection and advancement of gender equality, respect for and protection of minorities.

We must also recognize that mismanaged Globalisation is in itself a driver of unmanaged, chaotic migration which has driven countless people into displacement, forced migration and life-threatening journeys. From climate change to armed conflicts, ethnic tensions and abject poverty, the root causes are many and varied.

Only by seeing the larger picture, can we hope to effectively help and prevent such human tragedy. Migration in itself is, of course, a historic constant. It is a fact of human life. In a globalised world, we must ensure, that migration is managed in a legal, organised and constructive manner that benefits both those who migrate, the countries that receive them, and the countries of origin.

As a global phenomenon, we need a global answer to the challenges of migration. The international community must urgently undertake a common response to address the challenges and opportunities that migration represents. This response must be founded on the principle of solidarity and shared responsibility and not be focused single-handedly on a security-based approach, but be guided by the full protection of the rights and dignity of everyone forced to leave their homes. Failure to live up to our principles and fundamental values, when it comes to migration and foreign policy, would severely undermine the EU’s credibility and capacity to influence developments internationally.

In a globalised world, we should demonstrate to citizens that the diversity of cultural patterns is a wealth, a strength instead of a factor of division. Our main responses to populism, radicalisation, and xenophobia remain notably education, intercultural dialogue, integration, access to culture and strong welfare states.

The European Union remains the preeminent example of how peoples and countries can come together to build consensus, act in unison and settle differences in an open and democratic manner based on the rule of law. This makes our union a model for inspiration in building and enforcing rules-based international order.

Shaping Globalisation, also requires the European Union to be a strong and constructive participant in all relevant international forums, including but not limited to, the  Global Deal initiative launched by the Swedish Prime Minister.

If you do not know where you are going, all paths appear equally good. With these political demands, we state clearly, which path we want the European Union to take in our journey towards managing globalisation, and we insist on arriving there together.


Sustainable Development as a concept attempts to create a (new) interaction between the world economy, global society and its cohesion, and the planet. It is our vision of a progressive society in a global context where the EU has a leading role to play. It provides positive and workable concerns and fears regarding Globalisation. It promotes a reassuring yet credible and decisive change. The Sustainable Development Goals require significant action within the EU as well as elsewhere in the world.

Recognising that current methods of production, effects of Globalisation and patterns of consumptions are unsustainable, we need to bring about fundamental changes in the way our economy works. Inclusive and sustainable growth is the only responsible and future-proof way forward. As such, the Sustainable Development Goals should be incorporated as guidelines throughout the EU’s approach to Harnessing Globalisation.

The S&D Group demands that:

  • Europe must adhere to the objectives of the Paris agreement and limiting global warming to well below 2°C. The Paris agreement should enshrine a transformative means  for addressing climate change as a global threat. In particular it should galvanise a new way of thinking about how resources, biodiversity and the environment will be safeguarded faced with a growing population.
  • Europe must truly become the World’s Number One in renewable energy, as promised by the Commission President
  • The Energy Union must aim to accelerate the global energy transition and should become a primary driver of Europe’s commitment to fulfilling the SDGs by putting the framework in place for a decarbonised economic model that will improve the health and well-being of our citizens. A clean energy transition will also improve EU energy security and independency.
  • The sustainable and efficient use of resources should become a key element of the European Union's internal and external policies. The Promotion of technologies and procedures to increase resource efficiency are used to a larger extent to improve development opportunities in many third countries.
  • The new Multiannual Financial Framework beyond 2020 should reorient the EU budget towards the achievement of the EU's long-term objectives, including the SDGs.
  • Corrective public intervention should be taken on agricultural market volatility to ensure security of food supply and political stability are not put at risk.
  • The EU must continue to play a global role in promoting sustainable fisheries and maintain its lead in the fight against illegal fishing through fisheries agreements  with third countries as well as through representation in regional fisheries management organisations and international organisations

Globalisation has the power to create immense wealth and prosperity. But unharnessed and uncontrolled Globalisation does so by pitting those who have little against those who have the least. Leaving the already most fortunate and well-heeled to reap the benefits. Both in Europe and across the globe, workers have to often seen only negative consequences of Globalisation, in the guise of unfair competition, social dumping, wage pressure and new forms of precarious employment.

Truly Harnessing Globalisation means ensuring that increased trade, travel and interconnectedness creates European jobs instead of threatening them. It means better, safer employment, higher standards and levels of protection. In a Europe this can be achieved by opening up new markets for fair, sustainable trade. In third countries this can be achieved by spreading European standards for proper working conditions and insisting on ratification and implementation of core ILO conventions.

And it means insisting on fair, equitable and sustainable distribution of wealth, prosperity and opportunities. One of the lessons learnt from the economic crisis is that societies which are characterised by a high level of equality and investment in people do better in terms of growth and employment resilience. Fighting globalised inequalities and enhancing social investment must therefore be part of the priorities of the agenda for sustainable growth, quality jobs and social justice. The safeguarding of fundamental social and labour rights in an era of globalisation is a major challenge, all the more so after decades of deregulation and lowering of social and employment standards.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • A Social Protocol is adopted to ensure fundamental rights take precedence over economic freedoms.
  • Respect of Article 9 TFEU and the Charter of Fundamental Rights must be secured
  • Urgent and decisive action are taken by the European Commission to reduce inequalities and promote equal opportunities, to fight poverty in general and child-poverty in particular
  • The European Commission promotes the global unionisation of workers. This is particularly important for vulnerable workers in atypical employment situations
  • Social partners are empowered through the actions, legislation and agreements of the EU
  • Collective bargaining models are respected and promoted globally, and that their coverage is sought extended to reach as many workers as possible
  • European legislation on global corporate social responsibility be introduced
  • The European Commission puts an end to social dumping and ensures the principle of equal pay for equal work at the same place, irrespective of the labour contract or the type of worker
  • The principle of equal treatment for third country nationals is respected
  • A European legal framework in line with the related ILO recommendation to guarantee every European citizen a social protection floor with universal access to health care, basic income security and access to essential goods and services that allows for different systems in individual countries according to cultural, historical and political differences.

There is an urgent need to upgrade European education and training systems in order to adapt them to the rapidly changing economic and social context and therefore adopt a holistic approach to education and skills development.

All citizens should acquire the key set of competences for lifelong learning to achieve both personal and professional fulfilment. The new EU policies should prepare a generation of young people with the motivation, commitments and skills, such as entrepreneurship, leadership, volunteering and capacity building, to be audacious problem-solvers and develop their critical and creative thinking capacity to deal with different opinions, acquire media literacy and develop intercultural skills, as well as social and civic competences including learning about cultural heritage.

Young Europeans are especially vulnerable when employed in new positions under precarious working conditions, such as zero hour contracts. The spread of these employment arrangements are clearly an element of Globalisation which should not be allowed to become a new standard in Europe.

The S&D Group demands that:

  • The access to learning and training opportunities must be a basic social right for everyone at every stage of life and should be universal
  • The fight against youth unemployment remains a top priority
  • A substantial increase in funding of both the European Youth Guarantee and the Youth Employment Initiative
  • The Youth Guarantee is further strengthened and swiftly implemented to ensure added value and increased quality of the trainings and jobs offered in the programmes developed under the Youth Employment Initiative
  • The age limit of the Youth Guarantee is extended from 25 to 29 years to reflect the reality that many graduates and labour market entrants in their late 20’s
  • The Commission includes the recommendations on the Youth Guarantee in the European Semester
  • There be an enlargement of the focus of education and training for young unskilled or low skilled unemployed to young graduates and those who have already completed vocational training
  • The budgets of Erasmus+ and Europe for Citizens be substantially increased
  • Volunteering experiences be better promoted notably through Erasmus + and recognised by providing a European legal framework for volunteering actions which identifies a volunteering status, with rights and responsibilities, and facilitates mobility and recognition of skills. Whilst insisting that volunteering must not replace paid jobs.

Migration is a key characteristic of Globalisation, yet the reasons why groups of people or an individual migrates are manifold. Care must be taken to distinguish between those who migrate willingly and those who are forced to do so. Full respect for fundamental rights, must be ensured. Europe must and will always stand ready to help those in need. That is our human responsibility. Even though the EU remains more efforts are needed in promoting democracy, peace, conflict resolution and above all development, to tackle the root causes of forced migration and displacement and to seek to prevent, at the earliest possible stage that crises evolve into conflict. People will not be forced to flee if they have decent work, personal and political rights and freedoms. Migration should be a choice and not a necessity. It should also be acknowledged that migrants bring with them skills, knowledge, ideas, new approaches, entrepreneurship and cultural practices that enrich the social fabric of communities provided they become successfully integrated.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The Commission puts pressure on both EU members and third countries, to fulfil their responsibilities and legal commitments to protect all refugees and asylum -seekers so entitled and to ensure full social inclusion of migrants and refugees, as well as labour market integration guaranteeing equal treatment
  •  The Commission focuses on the socioeconomic aspects of migration, to carry out necessary per- country analyses of the root causes of forced displacement and migration, and to develop tailor-made strategies for each case/country. EU development policy must also focus on the root causes and not be solely conditional upon the collaboration on readmissions or border control
  • A genuine, human rights-based common European migration policy be established based on the principle of solidarity among Member States with adequate legal channels for safe and orderly migration. This would also serve to end the business of human traffickers and organised crime
  • The EU be a leading actor in creating a multilateral governance regime for international migration establishing the concept of humanitarian visas. The EEAS and the Commission should support and contribute in the swift shaping of the UN compacts on refugees and on safe, orderly and regular migration
  • External investment plans focuses on creation of decent jobs and real economic opportunities. This should be a key element of the migration compacts negotiated with third countries
  • The EU focuses its efforts on helping people in need as quickly and as close to their home as possible, in order to help as many as possible and avoid life-threatening long-distance journeys that cross seas and deserts alike and indebt migrants to smugglers and criminal organizations
  • The EU be a leading actor in the efforts to establish a multilateral governance regime for international migration. The EEAS and the Commission should support and contribute in the shaping of the UN compacts on refugees and on safe, orderly and regular migration
  • The Commission keeps continued focus on ensuring that Europol and the newly created European Migrant Smuggling Centre is given sufficient tools and resources to combat trafficking, migrant smuggling and the illegal organisations that organize it and profit from it.

In a globalised world, it is essential that the EU promotes a holistic approach to trade that is fair and well distributed to ensure that no one is left behind. Trade can have both positive and negative consequences, and those disadvantaged by trade opening must be properly compensated. This includes helping workers adapt to change, and improving support for those who lose their jobs as a result of foreign competition caused by globalisation, trade wars and unfair competition, focusing particularly on the manufacturing sector.

Fair, regulated and sustainable trade for the benefits of citizens and workers lies at the very heart of our European Union. Our shared history demonstrates the enormous power of trade to secure peace, stability and economic growth. In a globalized world Europe therefore has a special responsibility to promote trade arrangements that not only creates wealth and growth but also ensures a fair and sustainable distribution of it.

We also know that trade policy does not exist in a vacuum. The precondition for trade is of course production and manufacturing of tradable goods. The result of trade is of course consumption. Both of which must become sustainable. By adopting this principle, the EU can ensure that our trade policy becomes an SDG-proliferator and guarantor. Thereby putting a constructive, progressive and ambitious trade policy at the heart of our efforts to harness Globalisation.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The Commission must provide more complete impact assessments, evaluate and update policy tools like the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and consider setting up a system akin to the ‘US Trade Adjustment Assistance’
  • The EU must promote high level labour standards multilaterally at the next WTO MC 11, at regional/bilateral level by including a binding and enforceable trade and sustainable development chapter that covers ILO’s core labour rights and corporate social responsibility provision and at unilateral level by implementing strong GSP+ provisions
  • The EU must continue to push for multilateral solutions in the context of the WTO. We insist that Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are not to become a threat to the multilateral trading system, rather a stepping-stone towards multilateral trade agreements
  • The Doha Development Agenda should continue in parallel in order to make sure that developing countries continue to play a role in international trade
  • The EU must adopt without delay anti-dumping and anti-subsidies legislation which takes into account the economic reality of each country, including social and environmental dumping
  • The European Commission has to adopt a more transparent and fair investment court system through multilateral reforms to be integrated in all international agreements: A public system of investment dispute settlement must ensure a fair, more equitable rules-based governance of foreign direct investments, investors’ rights and obligations that is legitimate, accountable, consistent and transparent. Such a system must strike the right balance between protecting and facilitating investment to stimulate growth and decent job creation whilst unequivocally safeguarding states right to regulate in the public interest and protecting European standards.
  • The EU must stand firm on our own high standards and promote them globally. Human and social rights should be at the heart of trade policy. Thereby ensuring that EU trade policy shapes globalisation positively worldwide and that other parts of the world will also benefit from high standards on labour, human rights, the environment and good governance, i.e. by monitoring labour and human rights in less developed countries, working with the ILO and OECD to develop a global approach to improving working conditions. Trade policy must reinforce corporate social responsibility initiatives and compel companies to take responsibility for all stages of the supply chain. The EU should move beyond the current voluntary approach towards one of mandatory due diligence
  • Trade policy be leveraged to ensure global gender equality , which increases the general economic benefit of trade reforms, raises productivity and boosts inclusive economic development. This can be encouraged through a regular “gender-analysis” of trade rules by means of gender-sensitive indicators during the negotiation, implementation and evaluation phase of trade agreements. There must also be increased cooperation with the Gender and Trade Network in order to review the gender dimension in greater detail.
  • An EU trade strategy for SMEs be adopted. It is essential that a level-playing field is created for SMEs by focusing on lowering global trade costs in order to integrate SMEs in global value chains and by breaking down the trade-specific hurdles such as a reduction in non-tariff barriers. Access to information is one of the biggest obstacles for smaller companies in accessing international markets, therefore transparency must be stepped up, for instance by publishing public tenders via a procurement website
  • The Commission carries out a more careful assessment of the EU s commitments in the agricultural sector. Due to globalisation, EU agriculture is already subject to strong competition from other internationally more competitive agricultural markets. the EU’s commitments in the agricultural sectors should be carefully assessed regarding food security, sanitary and phytosanitary standards (SPS), geographical indications and animal welfare. In addition, potential support measures for EU farmers should be considered in cases of unfair competition
  • Energy chapters be included in trade agreements: Acknowledging that Globalisation itself can be a driver for both positive and negative climate action, an energy chapter should be incorporated in future trade agreements which maintains the EU s environmental standards and complies with the Paris climate protection agreement. Energy diplomacy should contribute to EU energy security and independency
  • Good governance clauses be included in all trade and partnership agreements, including effective and comprehensive implementation of BEPS measures and global automatic exchange of information standards, in order to combat tax fraud and avoidance
  • The Commission must strive to fully anticipate the effects of trade policy decisions on the EU labour market and conduct thorough ex-ante and ex-post impact assessments, including social impact assessments, involving potential effects on employment, competitiveness and the economy as well as the impact on small and medium sized enterprises while ensuring effective ex-ante coordination between DG Trade and DG Employment.

Since the beginning of political recognition of the need for action towards a global system of fair taxation, the EU has been setting the agenda. It has now become global discourse that taxation needs to be paid where the profit and gains are created. A fair system also means that all liable taxpayers pay their fair share, and that the rich do not become richer at the expense of the less rich, nor that the multinational companies pay zero or very low tax rates. Refocus is needed on the definition of a redistributive tax system, which is to equal out the welfare, creating equal opportunities for all.

Transparency is a cornerstone of a fair and well-functioning taxation system. Disclosing information of the economic activities of the companies which all citizens support financially by purchasing their goods and services, is a basic democratic value and necessity in order to act upon legislative failures. The current race to the bottom fuelled by the needs and wishes of multinationals must be urgently addressed at the global level, and the existing tax competition needs to be stopped. Tax havens and secrecy are a global concern as it leads to large-scale economic losses across the board, hides criminal activities, facilitates illicit financial flows, money laundering, hidden fortunes and unpaid due taxes. Tax havens that profit at the detriment to the larger public must be stopped, and where the rules of the game are not respected, strict sanctions must be enforced.

In the global context, addressing the issue of reciprocity is key. All trade and partnership treaties are to include a good governance clause and a serious platform providing a voice for developing countries need to be provided. Cooperation is needed on all of the above points between the EU, the G20, the OECD and the UN. The European Union must take the initiative on this crucial issue of Globalisation.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The EU convenes a Global Tax Summit to tackle tax havens, tax secrecy, money laundering and illicit financial flows
  • The Commission ensures a coherent position on behalf of the EU at the upcoming G20 meetings and ad hoc symposiums
  • The establishment of a European Union register of beneficial ownership to form the basis of a global initiative
  • The creation of a global assets register, including all assets held by individuals, companies and all entities, such as trusts and foundations, with full access for tax authorities
  • A comprehensive EU-US approach on the implementation of OECD standards and on beneficial ownership
  • Global harmonisation of practices and implementation of common standards such as those proposed by the OECD with the Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) package are ensured
  • Immediate implementation of the BEPS measures and full financial transparency especially as regards beneficial ownership
  • The OECD starts an ambitious BEPS II to be based primarily on minimum standards and concrete objectives for implementation
  • Creation of a parliamentary monitoring group at the level of the OECD to monitor and scrutinise the formulation and implementation of this new BEPS II project.

Across the globe, a digital revolution is well under way. It impacts our daily, political, social, economic and cultural lives. It opens a wealth of opportunities and draws the world closer together.

The opportunities this revolution offers for all European citizens are welcomed but more needs to be done to tackle potential challenges. New technological developments must help tackle social inequalities and discrimination, create jobs, and promote openness, fairness, transparency, sustainability and accountability in our society. Therefore, digitization is also a tool to help implement sustainability and sustainable growth in a globalised reality.

The internet contributes to a growing global participative community. It is no longer a mere technical platform; it drives social, cultural and technological innovation. Internet and digital policy must serve to benefit us all, increase societal and civic participation and improve our quality of life. EU policies are adapted to the digitalisation and technological change: Many jobs have declined with machines and computers replacing manual work. The answer to the new globalised world requires investment and education enabling people to adapt to technological changes.

Digitization as a tool has to respect our fundamental values and in particular the protection of freedom, justice, pluralism, accessibility, and solidarity. It must develop in ways that will help communities prosper, and promote human dignity, self-determination, the rule of law, privacy, ethnic and cultural diversity, free speech and democracy.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • An ambitious Digital Strategy be promoted, focusing both on research, innovation, cultural policy and youth policy which can strengthen European digital content creation
  • The Commission promotes universal access to an open, borderless internet, based on the principle of net neutrality and ensure fair rules for remuneration of content creators
  • Europe must redouble its efforts to take the lead on 5G research, development and implementation
  • Real and expeditious progress on development and launch of a European Data Cloud, to ensure data privacy and European leadership on Global digitization
  • Fiscal equity is upheld between all digital operators in EU, by ensuring that all global and international technology based companies pay their fair taxes
  • All Europeans are provided with sufficient training and educational opportunities to master the ICT - competencies required both professionally and privately in a globalised world
  • The Commission presents a plan for making Europe a world leader in data centres, data management and data security by enabling free flow of data, based on strong EU regulation that safeguards personal data privacy
  • Effective mobile and broadband coverage and bandwidth is ensured throughout the EU, focusing especially on rural areas, to ensure that all Europeans are globally connected.

Recognising that Africa is a vibrant and vital continent, the countries of which are to be approached  as partners  in a cooperative spirit, we insist that EU-African relations be prioritised more clearly in the context of Globalisation.

The advent of globalisation has brought new challenges and opportunities for both Europe and Africa. Many of which lies within our shared economic, political and interpersonal relationships. A chief concern remains the level of inequality between the continents and the within the African continent itself. Therefore our commitment to reducing inequalities both within and between African partners is at the heart of our concerns.

The Sustainable Development Goals are the framework through which we strengthen our partnership with Africa and seek to make progress on our political, economic, social, environmental and cultural priorities.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The European Commission ensures policy coherence for development across foreign trade, agriculture, fisheries, environment, climate change and other policies in line with our development commitments
  • Progress on achieving the EU’s pledge for 0.7% as Official Developmental Aid be made
  • The highest priority be given to policies which promote job creation and meet the central aspiration on decent work:
  • The EU partners with Africa to raise the productivity of the informal economy and to integrate it into the economic mainstream, which will particularly strengthen the role of women
  •  The European Commission facilitates regional integration in Africa, while strengthening access to finance, entrepreneurship and opportunities for young people
  • African countries be fully integrated into the global economy in order to increase prosperity and job creation, including measures to curb corruption, end the illegal exploitation of natural resources, and by meaningfully incorporating African producers into global value chains.
  • The Commission prioritise work on an EU investment plan for Africa to generate local growth and jobs that can alleviate the economic conditions which propel many Africans to emigrate to Europe under dangerous and illegal conditions
  • The Commission builds and maintains strong partnerships with the relevant and competent regional and continental African political organizations, including but not limited to the African Union and ECOWAS

If the EU wants to improve its security, both at internal and external level, it is crucial to assume the responsibility of making all the necessary efforts to secure peace and stability in its European neighbourhood.

To this end, a thorough revision of the CSDP is necessary. The CSDP should be based on a strong collective defence principle, efficient financing and full coordination with NATO. Sharing strategic interests and facing the same challenges, NATO and the European Union already cooperate on issues of common interest and are working side by side in crisis management, capability development and political consultations. Yet new challenges to the security and stability in the European neighbourhood call for increased coordination and cooperation.

The EU has the responsibility and should help the Member States to provide more security to its citizens. The security environment has deteriorated considerably in the last years, becoming more fluid, more dangerous and less predictable, both at regional and global level. The threats are both conventional and non-conventional (hybrid), generated  by both state and non-state actors, and coming from the South and from the East and affect the Member States differently.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The EU create an institutionalised mechanism of information and consultation on security aspects with global and regional partners
  • The EU stands firm on its insistence that the national sovereignty, territorial integrity and full political independence of its neighbours are fully respected by all powers, and that the rules-based international order and multilateralism are promoted
  • The EU remains committed to an ambitious policy of global nuclear non-proliferation
  • The EU maintains a strong and active partnership with NATO in the light of increased aggression on
  • The EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports should be regularly reviewed and updated; Weapon exports must not be determined by economic interests, but by political and security-related considerations
  • The EU must develop a stronger export control regime for security as well as defence related goods and services
  • In the EU external relations, intercultural dialogue should be included. Culture plays a key role in fostering democratisation, peace-building and the respect of human rights. The development of a dynamic role for culture - including the promotion and protection of cultural diversity - on the international stage as a “soft power” can benefit the EU and its Member States in their relations with the wider world

The principle of effective multilateralism is enshrined in the EU Global Strategy of 2016, which represents the EU's shared vision and the framework for united and responsible external engagement in partnership with others, to advance its values and interests in security, democracy, prosperity and a rules based global order, including human rights and the rule of law.

Civil society, SMEs, consumer representatives and trade unions should be better involved in the consultation process in international discussions regarding financial, monetary and regulatory bodies as their lack of involvement creates imbalances that further global inequality and poses serious democratic challenges.


The S&D Group demands that:

  • The EU acts as a truly global actor allowing the EU to shape multilateral cooperation and lead collective action in order to address international challenges and that the EU actively participates in the building and improvement of a rule based international environment by;
  • Increasing and improving EU multilateral action
  • Reinforcing EU cooperation with leading regional powers
  • The EU further involve non-state actors in multilateral policy-making to promote and facilitate improved consultation of civil society organisations and social partners in the future governance structures of international organisations
  • The EU plays an active and leading role in global governance reform and make international institutions and organisations more legitimate, effective and conducive to shared responsibility
  • In particular, there is a need for a comprehensive review of the UN Security Council, its working methods and competences in relation to other UN bodies
  • Furthermore, there is a need to reinforce the UNSC’s legitimacy, regional representation and effectiveness and to create a more cohesive position among EU Member States on these issues
  • In keeping with the Lisbon Treaty and to enhance EU foreign policy and the role of the EU in global peace, security and regulation, an EU seat in an enlarged UNSC should remain a central, long-term goal of the European Union
  • The EU should streamline and codify its representation in multilateral organisations/bodies with a view to increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the union's involvement in these bodies, its influence and the promotion of its legislation
  • To this end the Commission should draft a European code of conduct on transparency, integrity and accountability, designed to guide the actions of EU representatives in international organisations/bodies; and the Parliament should be closely associated in the drafting process
  • The EU should seek full membership of international economic and financial institutions such as the OECD and the IMF
  • A thorough assessment of the two separate seats currently allocated to the European Council and Commission presidencies at G20 meetings is necessary in order to determine to what extent this arrangement detracts from the EU’s external credibility and to foster a strong European voice at the meetings.