S&Ds - Weekly Update. This week's highlights and what's coming up

Weekly Update - 14 to 18 March 2016

Quote of the Week

"Social democratic values and principles are needed more than ever in the EU. In the face of increasing inequality in our societies, lack of solidarity among people and countries, and growing unemployment and nationalism, we progressives should not move our values closer to the neoliberals or create a new sort of social-liberalism. On the contrary we must radicalise our values and finally steer globalisation. The time for watered-down compromise is over. We have to defend the EU by changing it. Moving back to inward-looking nationalism is not the solution. A renewed and stronger European Union is the only way to steer globalisation for the benefit of all our citizens."

- Gianni Pittella


Past activities

The past week has been a very intense and interesting one during which a series of events and the plenary session in Strasbourg took place. On 12 May, a new TOGETHER debate took place in Tallinn, Estonia. Our MEPs debated Social Europe together with partners, civil society representatives, experts and citizens. On Saturday 13, our president and MEPs went to Slovenia to debate the future of the EU.

On Sunday 14 we celebrated the institutions ‘Open Day’ welcoming citizens to visit our stands in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, and learn about the day-to-day work of the institutions, as well as the broader issues, challenges and benefits of the European Union for its 508 million citizens.

During this week’s plenary session in Strasbourg, Euro MPs debated and voted on a multitude of important issues ranging from the state of play in Hungary to trade deals and food waste. More specifically, the Socialists and Democrats led a coalition for the use of Article 7 against the Hungarian government, pushed for a more effective EU strategy on Syria, called on the European Commission to ensure that member states comply with their legal obligations to relocate refugees, and urged the Commission to tackle social dumping in the transport sector.  In addition to this, the S&Ds pushed forward new measures to cut food waste in half by 2030 and endorsed new rules to ensure that consumers can access their online content anywhere in the EU.

Upcoming activities

Africa is and will remain a top priority of our group! Next week, from 22 to 26 May, Gianni Pittella and Cécile Kyenge will go on a fact-finding mission to Nigeria - Africa’s largest economy and a key player in the fight against radical Islamism - to meet with officials and civil society representatives. They will also visit the Malkohi refugee camp in Yola, home to some of the 1.8 million internally displaced people (IDPs) who have fled Boko Haram’s atrocities. Stay tuned for more news next week.


On Wednesday 31 May our MEPs Udo Bullmann, Jutta Steinruck and Agnes Jongerius will host an S&D event entitled “Fair mobility and equal treatment: revision of the Posting of Workers Directive”. The speakers include experts on labour law, trade unions, and academics. The event will take place from 16:30 to 18:30 in room ASP3G2 at the European Parliament in Brussels. The full programme can be found here.  To register, please send an e-mail to s-d.empl@europarl.europa.eu.