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S&Ds call for permanent investment vehicle to drive socially just, austerity-proof, green and digital transition

Date

13 Mar 2024

Sections

InfoSociety

Times of permacrisis call for permanent solutions to cope with significant social, economic, climate and security challenges. One of them must be a permanent investment vehicle to drive a socially just and austerity-proof green and digital transition, urge the Socialists and Democrats as the European Parliament adopts its annual reports on the European semester today.

The S&Ds were happy to have discussed these key priorities today with the commissioner for jobs and social rights Nicolas Schmit, who embodies our joint fight for social justice and prosperity.

The European semester, introduced in 2010 as a response to the financial crisis, is a cycle of fiscal, economic, labour and social policy coordination within the EU. Its purpose is to closely coordinate and follow the policies of EU member states to avoid similar crises in the future.

The European Parliament traditionally presents its positions on this process before the European Commission adopts country specific recommendations to EU member states regarding their fiscal, economic, labour and social policies. The Parliament adopts two separate reports – one on economic aspects and the other on employment aspects.

René Repasi, European Parliament’s rapporteur on economic aspects of the European semester:

“Substantial public and private investments are essential for socially inclusive and sustainable growth, which is vital for the EU's future resilience. The progressives ensured that this message features prominently in the report. Unfortunately, the conservative forces blocked any reference to a permanent European tool to ensure those much-needed investments. We will continue to fight for this permanent investment instrument.

“Against the backdrop of the pending reform of EU fiscal rules, the European semester becomes even more relevant for strengthening the social dimension of the European economic governance framework and the role of European Parliament in holding the European Commission accountable for its policy demands sent to member states in the context of this process.”

Lina Gálvez Muñoz, S&D negotiator on employment aspects of the European semester:

For the progressives, the key guideline in this process remains that the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights and the Sustainable Development Goals must be the compass guiding the reforms and investments. Social justice must have the same importance as economic and environmental priorities. This is the only way to improve the well-being of all Europeans, while reducing inequalities.

“In addition to everything mentioned so far, we have a long list of other demands in support of social justice that is being undermined by the conservative forces in this process. We call for concrete measures to ensure decent and affordable housing for all, more quality jobs and stronger collective bargaining. We want to make sure that European money is available only if social and labour rights are respected. We call for a fairer, progressive tax system that will burden capital more than work, reduce inequalities and finance the ecological and social transition.”

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