Commission’s headline policies are progressive policies

27/11/2019

European Parliament

MEPs vote in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, to approve the new European Commission

Thanks to the efforts of progressives, the European Commission approved today has a programme to respond effectively to the key issues facing Europe. But we will be vigilant and demanding to ensure the Commission President’s promises are delivered, the Party of European Socialists has said.

Reacting to the confirmation vote, PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“Today the Commission received broad support from the socialist group, broader support than the Commission President secured in July. This reflects the fact that President von der Leyen has made serious political commitments to deliver progressive change.

“We will be vigilant and demanding on all the commitments for social, environmental and economic change in Europe, and we will make sure they are delivered. The first test will be the MFF discussions, because you cannot implement policies without resources.

“Thanks to a strong team of progressive commissioners and our input into the work programme, the European Commission has bold policies to address the biggest challenges facing Europe. Without progressives, there would be no new European Green Deal, or Just Transition Fund, or European Child Guarantee, or Gender Equality Strategy. Without the efforts of our political family, fairer taxation, minimum wages, working conditions for people in the digital economy, and so much more would not be on the Commission’s agenda. But European citizens are growing impatient, the Commission President must deliver on these progressive proposals over the next five years.”

The PES welcomes the support shown by MEPs from the S&D Group in the European Parliament for the whole team selected by President Ursula von der Leyen. It is important that the new Commission begins its work in December. The delays in the nomination process have already resulted in lost time which could have been used for the good of European citizens.

A host of key portfolios for Europe’s future will be overseen by progressive Commissioners in the next mandate, implementing policies which the PES has long-fought for.

Frans Timmermans, as Executive Vice-President responsible for the European Green Deal, will oversee Europe’s efforts to become more sustainable, leading on reducing emissions through a Carbon Border Tax, introducing a Biodiversity Strategy, creating an Emissions Trading System, and pushing for a circular economy.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Policy and Security Policy/Vice President Josep Borrell will ensure Europe has a strong, credible and value-based foreign policy in the context of increasingly complex international relations.

Maroš Šefčovič, as the Commissioner for Interinstitutional Relations and Foresight, will bring Europe closer to its citizens, push forward the right of initiative for the European Parliament, and support the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Nicolas Schmit, with the extended portfolio of Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, will deliver on the key progressive policy of fully implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, introducing a European Child Guarantee, making permanent the Youth Guarantee, and improving labour conditions for workers, particularly those in new sectors such as platform workers.

Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, will implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals through revision of the European Semester, ensuing economic, social and ecological targets have the same importance in the policy process. He will also lead, working closely with the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, on the design of a European Unemployment Benefit Reinsurance Scheme.

Elisa Ferreira, as Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, will oversee the transformational Just Transition Fund, alongside the Executive First Vice President. The Fund, a key policy proposal from the PES during the European elections, will support workers and regions as Europe transitions to a more sustainable future.

Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli, will oversee the important role of gender mainstreaming in the Commission, including implementing a Gender Equality Strategy to tackle the pay and pension gap, violence against women, and many other issues facing women in Europe.

Ylva Johansson, Commissioner for Home Affairs, will ensure Europe takes a fair approach to asylum and migration, based on shared responsibility and solidarity, through a New Pact on Migration and Asylum. She will also work to ensure the Union’s internal security.

Jutta Urpilainen, as the Commissioner for International Partnerships, will work to build strong and effective partnerships between the EU and others around the globe. She will also establish a comprehensive strategy for Africa, and ensure international cooperation and new trade agreements have sustainability and gender dimensions.