‚Relaunching Europe‘ for a more socially just future is our response to Europe Day

On the eve of Europe Day on 9 May 2013, the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament confirm their strong commitment to fighting for a better and different Europe.

Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group president, said: „It is time to remember the advantages that Europe brings to its people, both in creating peace in Europe but also in social and economic terms. The European Union has been attacked so much in recent years that the European project itself is in danger. History has shown us what a fragmented Europe can lead to. Any move towards a north-south or east-west divide or a possible break-up of the eurozone must be prevented at all costs.

„The austerity-driven approach that conservative leaders and the Troikas have imposed over the last few years has driven our continent into recession and must be stopped.“

He continued by calling for a strong social pact and for immediate action to combat youth unemployment:

„Our Group has set out clear plans to strengthen the social dimension of the eurozone ahead of the crucial meeting of heads of state and government in June.

„We are calling for binding targets to fight unemployment and reduce poverty and social exclusion.

„We also demand that EU governments invest at least 6% of their GDP in education and 3% in research and development. EU governments have agreed targets to bring down their deficit to 3% of GDP, but they should also commit to investing for the future.

„With youth unemployment at 23.6% in the EU and 7.5 million young Europeans without a job, young people are hit the hardest by the crisis. We must make sure that EU countries fully implement the youth guarantee that the S&D Group has fought so hard for.“

He concluded by discussing the Relaunching Europe initiative launched by the S&D Group: „It is time to revamp the European project. A Europe with 26.5 million unemployed people is not a Europe that we can accept.

„Together with citizens and young people, we want to debate our shared vision for an alternative and better Europe. The Relaunching Europe initiative, which we started last year and which is continuing all over Europe, is our answer to including people in Europe’s future.

„We have visited seven countries already and the next events are in Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. All over Europe the message from citizens is the same: We need not more Europe but a different and more socially just Europe.“

To read more about the Relaunching Europe initiative, please visit www.relaunchingeurope.eu