The Lisbon Strategy, the Treaty of Lisbon and the Commission President from Lisbon have dominated the EU agenda the past years in a way that has set aside many other important issues.
Now is the time to start talking about also other things apart form the capital of Portugal. We have start working so that EU and its MemberStates that have been damaged in the financial turmoil can look forward to a brighter future.
The program of the group of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament made a profound impact on me when I was making the decision for which political party I would candidate for in the European elections in 2009. I still find the ideas and thoughts concerning Social Europe relevant and appealing. They also go very well together with my Christian conviction.
The program presented several key demands:
First of all the EU needs a real employment strategy and secondly the budget needs to be redesigned so that more resources are allocated for innovation, research and development. The financial markets need to be regulated in order to protect the real economy from financial crisis in the future.
Justice and humanity towards all employers should be the guideline in working life. The contractual terms and salaries must be in accordance with employment contracts and decency. Regardless of gender or nationality, people are entitled to same pay for same work.
In the European Union we must stand for the social rights of employees and stand against unreasonable working hours and unpaid overtime. Increasing the competitiveness in the EU can not be done by depriving workers their rights.
Consumer rights must be strengthened with sufficient competition and adequate product labelling. The EU consumer policy must not weaken the consumer protection in any of the Member States that currently have a higher level of protection.
Fighting climate change is the most important mission for this and the coming generations. The EU must take a leading position in the international climate negotiations in order to achieve a global agreement. An agreement where the costs are spread in a socially equitable manner.
More opinions from the Party of European Socialists.
Social justice and solidarity are basic elements in the EU. We must remember that the markets are a good servant but a lousy master. We people are not here to serve the markets but the markets are there to serve us. And though work is a central part of our lives, we do not exist to work.