As mentioned yesterday, this is the next instalment of the Party of European Socialists’ Manifesto for the European Elections.
2. It is time to relaunch the economy
Austerity-only policy has harmed our economies and punished those least responsible for causing the crisis. To create jobs and relaunch the economy, we will prioritize innovation, research, training and a smart reindustrialization policy, so that amazing breakthroughs discovered in European laboratories and universities can be translated into more jobs for workers in Europe. Our solution is more room for manoeuvre for investments through national budgets that expand rather than shrink our economy. While the crisis has demonstrated that the Euro can act as an effective buffer, the last five years have shown that the European Economic and Monetary Union’s construction is still incomplete. It has shown the importance of mutualising responsibility and rights within the Eurozone. We will bring down deficits in a sustainable and fair way and manage public debt in Europe with new instruments. We want to put in place a real coordination of the economic and fiscal policies in the Eurozone that understands the social effects of those decisions on your community. The European Parliament and national Parliaments must keep their sovereignty and be fully involved in the exercise of the democratic control over these policies. The legacy of the Troikas in this regard is a clear failure. After the end of the Troika missions, another model within the framework of the EU Treaties should be established, which has to be democratic, socially responsible and credible. We will be tough guardians of public money, enhancing the quality of public spending, cutting out waste and directing expenditure to get the best value for Europe’s people. The fight against tax fraud, tax evasion (which represents about €1 trillion every year) and tax competition are key priorities for a just tax system. Halving tax evasion by 2020, and cracking down on tax havens are our key priorities. We will also promote tax rules that ensure transparency and prevent tax dodging.
3. Putting the financial sector at the service of the citizens and the real economy
Europeans had to pay for the mistakes and irresponsibility of an unregulated financial sector. The rescue of banks has cost €1.6 trillion of taxpayers’ money. Over 5 years, the finance sector has said that it has learned from its mistakes. We will make sure that never again will banks gamble with citizens lives. Instead we must actively put in place the framework that will make the financial sector work for the real economy and contribute its fair share to society. Regulation will force banks to serve your communities instead of stripping them. Investors should take responsibility for the losses of banks, not only for their gains. We will further regulate the banking sector, curb financial speculation and implement adequate firewalls between Commercial and Investment Banking. We will cap bankers’ bonuses and will speed up the introduction of the Financial Transaction Tax that we have been supporting for years as a fair contribution of the financial sector to society. We will insist on the creation of an independent and public European credit rating agency. We will continue our efforts to build a robust Banking Union that is designed to protect European citizens and to give equal and fair access to credit in Europe.
4. Towards a Social Europe
The right wing has used neoliberal policies to cut provisions that have helped people bounce back after tough times. We will fight for a Europe that leaves no one behind. A decent income, the quality and affordability of education, of housing, including social housing, of healthcare, childcare and elderly care, as well as the adequacy of pensions are crucial components of our societies. To achieve these aims, the EU must support Member States in the effective and fair redistribution of wealth and opportunities. Binding targets on employment, education and social cohesion are essential. Social policy objectives must be respected in all European policies. We need to ensure that the EU is a real Social Union as much as it is an Economic Union: economic freedoms cannot outweigh social rights. We will give opportunities for Europeans to develop their potential by investing in education, skills, childcare provision, life-long learning, culture, student mobility, research, and knowledge.