Europeans expect us to curb inequality, and we will do it, says Udo Bullmann

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Socialists and Democrats set up a six-month lab to contribute to an alternative model of development for the EU.
 
The European Union was built on solidarity, cohesion and the prospect of a better life. However, over the last decades we are seeing the opposite: growing inequality, fragmented societies and the weakening of Europe’s jewel, its social model. 
Citizens are aware, and they worry: according to the last Eurobarometer, 84% of Europeans think that income differences are too great, and more than half expect their governments to do something about it. The Socialists and Democrats in Europe are eager to change the current trend and to start re-building a society based on trust, fairness, cohesion and solidarity.
 
This is why today the president of the S&D Group, MEP Udo Bullmann, welcomed in Brussels more than 20 experts who will engage in a six-month progressive lab to contribute to an alternative model of development for the EU.
 
Udo Bullmann said:
 
“The social grounds on which the EU was founded in the 1950s are at risk. Technology and globalisation have unleashed a profound transformation only comparable to the industrial revolution. This untamed transformation benefits only a few and, so far, damages the many. Across the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 10% of workers are at risk of automation, not to mention the abandonment of rural areas. This can only provide the perfect breeding ground for nationalistic, extremist and populist parties.
 
“By creating this independent commission of experts we want to bring political and public attention to economic, social, environmental and territorial inequalities across Europe, and provide strategic policy orientations and concrete policy proposals on how to change this trend.
 
“It is urgent to rapidly set the EU on a new development path towards equality, cohesion and re-convergence in line with the 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
 
This independent commission on sustainable equality brings together outstanding personalities from politics, civil society and academia dedicated to sustainability, social progress and justice, under two chairs: Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, former prime minister of Denmark and former president of the PES, and Louka Katseli, chair of the Board of the National Bank of Greece, and former minister of Labour and Social Security, and of the Economy and Competitiveness. The Commission will present its recommendations to the S&D Group in October 2018.