PES welcomes new Commission Work Programme that reflects core progressive priorities
The work programme for the first year of the new European Commission marks a major change for the EU which brings it much closer to the core priorities of the PES political family.
PES President Sergei Stanishev said:
“It is clear the priorities of our political family are reflected in the Commission’s new work programme. It represents a clear shift towards a fairer and more sustainable Europe, thanks to progressive proposals like the European Green Deal, the Just Transition, and a recalibrated European Semester.
“This programme, compiled expertly by progressive commissioner Maroš Šefčovič, is finally steering the EU in the right direction with ambitious objectives. But we need to make sure that the right objectives are matched with the right actions over the coming months. Europe is on the right track and must deliver on the Just Transition, stronger social rights, the Child Guarantee, and the myriad other reforms we are pushing for.
“Progressive commissioners will be working to deliver on the PES’s priorities in this mandate, and together with the S&D, our governments, and our parties, we will ensure the Commission remains true to the progressive policies set out in the Work Programme.”
The PES will examine the details of the Work Programme to ensure they properly reflect the ambitions of our political family. But many core progressive policies form the basis of the plan.
The programme outlines objectives around the European Green Deal, including the European Climate Law, the Circular Economy Action Plan, and the Just Transition Mechanism and Just Transition Fund. This has been a central demand of the PES.
A stronger Social Europe is another area the PES has been pushing for and we welcome clear measures in the programme to implement the Pillar of Social Rights, including measures for fair minimum wages, a reinforced Youth Guarantee, a proposal for a European Child Guarantee in 2021 (also an element from the PES Youth Plan) and a European Unemployment Reinsurance Scheme.
The commitment to review the EU’s economic governance is also welcome, as well as the focus on creating fair business taxation, and fighting against tax evasion - a practice which robs communities of investment and impoverishes everyone.
New initiatives to ensure Europe is fit for the digital age, including plans for a new industrial policy, updated data and consumer protection, and a focus on education and skills, are also positive. The PES has long raised concerns about the exploitation of platform workers and others in new sectors of the economy. Europe must provide decent wages and standards, it must invest in people’s skills, and it must protect people against intrusions into their online privacy.
We also strongly support continued efforts to reinforce democracy, the rule of law and equality in our societies, including through a European Gender Equality Strategy and an LGBTI equality strategy. Promotion of measures to support education, inclusion, and health policies are also welcome as measures that are key for citizens’ quality of life.