A new deal for a new Europe?
In the wake of multiple crises - the Greek crisis, the refugee crisis and the earlier financial crisis - it is now clear that change is needed in Europe. But what changes are needed, and how it can change, are important subjects for debate. And key ones ahead of the UK referendum on EU membership in 2017. At a cross party discussion and debate on the future of Europe, Sergei Stanishev, PES President outlined what he thinks will be some of the key issues.
Sergei Stanishev was clear that UK has a strong role in Europe, and that the Party of European Socialists firmly believe that it should continue to do so.
‘For me, there is no question that the UK should remain part of our European family. But for it to do so, and for British people to want to stay in, change is needed so that Europe may live up to the expectations of its citizens, and a referendum provides a perfect opportunity to do that.’
Creating a ‘social Europe’ is among Mr Stanishev’s top priorities.
‘I share Jeremy Corbyn’s desire for a social Europe, a cohesive Europe, a coherent Europe – not a free market Europe. Protecting worker at the European level is vital to prevent migrant workers from being exploited and ensure that national workers’ wages are not undercut. But also to protect good employers from unfair competition – which in turn makes for a strong economy.’
As the event was held in London, a banking capital of Europe, Mr Stanishev discussed how making cross European rules for the banking sector protects both people, and banks.
‘The European Monetary Union, and the euro, are important projects which we think should become instruments of social and economic improvement. We also need a European safety net which protects healthy banks, but just as importantly, protects citizens’ savings.
European Socialists have campaigned for a Financial Transaction Tax which will soon become a reality in 11 Member States. This should be strengthened and widened.’
The event was held on Sunday 27 September and was organised by the New Europeans. Other speakers included:
- Sir Graham Watson (President of the ALDE Party)
- Dirk Hazell (Leader of UKEPP European People’s Party in UK)
- Roger Casale (Director of New Europeans, chair of the meeting)