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Put people at the heart of economic policies, S&Ds demand from Commission as they call for reform of outdated fiscal rules

Date

09 Mar 2022

Sections

Euro & Finance

The Socialists and Democrats call for fundamentally reorienting the European Semester away from the austerity matrix to putting the wellbeing of people first. Driving the transformation towards sustainable development requires a new governance approach and new rules and instruments: a Sustainability Pact.

Irene Tinagli, Chair of the economic and monetary affairs committee and S&D MEP responsible for the European Semester, said:

“It is our ambition to transform the European Semester into a driver of change towards a sustainable recovery as well as a socially just green and digital transition. Setting social and environmental objectives for member states in the European Semester is a crucial step for transforming the Stability and Growth Pact into a Sustainability Pact.

“The tough sanctions against Putin's regime are the right response to his barbaric attack on Ukraine and we are willing to shoulder the economic costs. Europe is called upon to provide shelter to millions of refugees fleeing from the war, to strengthen our strategic autonomy and invest in energy independence. It is the EU institutions’ responsibility to empower EU governments to rise to these epochal challenges. This is why we welcome the European Commission’s willingness to adapt its fiscal guidance for 2023 to the new realities. This is not the time to go back to outdated fiscal rules, but to put in place all the instruments needed to keep people safe.”

Estrella Durá Ferrandis, S&D MEP responsible for the employment report on the European Semester, said:

“We Socialists and Democrats are fighting to make social objectives binding and put them at the same level as macroeconomic and environmental goals. This may sound very technical, but formally anchoring social rights in the European Semester will change people’s lives for the better. This will not just mean public investment in social welfare states to provide equal opportunities for everyone, but also sharing the burdens and the profits of the green and digital transitions.  Very concretely, it will mean putting people into stable and good jobs, ensuring men and women are paid the same and receive equal pensions, as well as valuing, recognising and paying for care work and guaranteeing a minimum income for all. In a nutshell: we want to put the wellbeing of people at the heart of European governance. During today’s vote on the Semester report the liberals and conservatives will have to show their true colours. We will see if they really care about making people’s lives better.”

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