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Press invitation: The Great Shift: Socialist leaders gather in Paris to pave the way for a sustainable and fair future


08 Nov 2021


Sustainable Dev.

This Friday, 12 November, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament will host the political launch of the Progressive Society Report the Great Shift at the Maison de Mutalité in Paris. S&D Group leader Iratxe García Pérez will be joined by mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, PES president Sergei Stanishev, S&D Group vice-president Eric Andrieu, as well as the two co-chairs of the ICSE*, Spanish Minister for an ecological transition Teresa Ribera Rodríguez and former Danish Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen.

The Great Shift sets out 10 game-changing policy proposals, among 242 policy recommendations and concrete actions to transform today’s crisis-ridden societies into sustainable and more equal and fair communities. This report will, as did its 2018 predecessor, feed into the election manifesto of the European Socialists and Democrats, as well as into the ongoing legislative work of the S&D Group in the European Parliament.

Social democracy is the political force to bring together social and climate justice. Low-income households must not shoulder the costs of the green and digital transition through job losses, higher prices or taxes. Our ambition is a just transition to a sustainable society, lifting everyone up. Among the policy proposals put forward in The Great Shift are:

  • reforming the Stability and Growth Pact into a European Pact for Sustainable Well-Being;proposing a biodiversity law to protect plants and animals;
  • pushing for a binding European anti-poverty law to eradicate poverty by 2050;
  • designing an EU net-wealth tax to combat growing inequalities and finance public investment;
  • guaranteeing energy as a basic social right to counteract exploding energy prices;
  • factoring in the carbon footprint of goods imported into the EU;
  • establishing a Responsible Capitalism Act to regulate the social and ecological responsibility of companies doing business in the Single Market.

S&D leader Iratxe García Pérez said:

“Socialist Parties and the workers’ movement tamed the last industrial revolution by putting people at the heart of their political action. Today, we are called upon to do it again and transform the intertwined crisis of the climate emergency, digitisation and growing inequalities into a better future for all. Now, that we hold the governments in Spain, Portugal, Italy, the Nordic countries and hopefully soon also in Germany, we have the opportunity to bring about real change in Europe.

“I am proud that my group hosts the Paris Conference, which brings together thinkers, scientists and socialists leaders to prepare a co-ordinated strategy to respond to current and future challenges.  The S&D Group commissioned a group of 22 renowned experts and experienced policymakers to come up with ground-breaking proposals. The result of this one-year exercise is the report the Great Shift, which offers us a global vision and concrete roadmap with 242 innovative policy proposals on how to build fairer and more sustainable societies, based on solidarity. This report will feed into the on-going legislative work of our group and the political program of our political family. We want to overcome the short-term logic of economic growth to put people and their well-being at the centre of our political action.” 

Programme of the Conference:

12. November 14h30-18h00 at the Maison de Mutalité

14.45-15.00 Introductory remarks to the Conference and to the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality

• Eric Andrieu Member of the European Parliament, vice-president of the S&D Group in charge of the Progressive Society Initiative

15.00-16.30 Roundtable 1: Social-ecology at the heart of the transformation of our societies

• Enrico Giovannini Minister of Sustainable Infrastructures and Mobility, Professor of economic statistics, Rome University Tor Vegata
• Gustav Horn Member of the Executive Board of the SPD, Germany, Professor of economics at the University of Duisburg-Essen
• Eloi Laurent Senior economist at the OFCE, Professor at Sciences Po, Ponts ParisTech and Stanford
• Poul Nyrup Rasmussen Co-Chair of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality, former Prime Minister of Denmark and former President of the Party of European Socialists
• Teresa Ribera Rodríguez Co-Chair of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality, Vice-president of the Government of Spain

16.30-18.00 Roundtable 2: The Great Transformation: Towards sustainable well-being for all
Opening speeches to the debate

• Olivier Faure First Secretary of the French Socialist Party
• Sergei Stanishev President of the Party of European Socialists Exchanges
• António Costa Prime Minister of Portugal
• Anne Hidalgo Mayor of Paris
• Pedro Sánchez President of the Government of Spain Conclusions
• Iratxe García Pérez President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament Reception

Both roundtables will include a question and answer session with the audience.

Read the short version of the The Great Shift report. 
Read the full version of the The Great Shift report. 
Read the full programme

Watch the Paris Conference live online at

Register to follow the conference in situ as a journalist with

*The Great Shift has been developed as part of the S&D Group’s Progressive Society initiative, which provides the space for our Group to engage with scientific experts and stakeholders on issues relating to the sustainable and just transformation of Europe. The report draws on the insights and knowledge of a group of 22 renowned experts and experienced policymakers, united in the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality. Led by Spanish deputy prime minister Teresa Ribera and former Danish prime minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the team has worked together over the course of a year to find solutions to tackle today’s multiple and intertwined global and European crises. The Great Shift is the second report produced by the ICSE. The 2018 report significantly contributed to the 2019 PES election manifesto and the Commission Work Programme.



European Institute of Peace
Research Consultants
International Association for Democracy (IAD)
Lobbying Officer (voluntary)
European Food Banks Federation
Head of ​Fundraising and Partnerships​​
European Affairs Consulting Group (Eacon)
EU Public Affairs Trainee
International Commission of Jurists - European Institutions
Programme Manager
Terre des Hommes International Federation
Child and Youth Participation Advisor (Environment & Climate)
KIOS Foundation
Team leader
European Parliament, office of MEP Siegfried Mureșan
Accredited Parliamentary Assistant, office of MEP Siegfried Mureșan