The S&Ds’ core values on external relations remain solidarity, freedom, justice and equality.
Solidarity is a key concept for us. The S&Ds are a driving force behind the EU's work on development, conflict prevention and humanitarian aid. We are also committed to supporting efforts to create sustainable growth and jobs in Europe and beyond – in both developed and developing countries. Good co-ordination of the EU's foreign affairs policies and actions is of the utmost importance – especially in terms of development, international trade and human rights.
We are determined opponents of authoritarian regimes and vocal in confronting populism, extremism and racism. We also speak out against policies which restrict fundamental freedoms in the name of public order. This is why we voted against the ACTA agreement and called for a fairer way to protect European intellectual property in the global marketplace.
Justice is another key concept for us. We believe that the values of democracy and human rights are universal and should be at the heart of the EU’s actions. Therefore, we want the EU to set high standards for human rights around the world, so that other countries follow our example. However, until we put the highest possible standards into practice at home, we will not be taken seriously by others.
In the field of equality, the S&Ds are exploring new ways of using our powers to fight against discrimination and to promote equality and opportunities all over the world – especially for women and children. We have long been a leading voice on improving women’s rights and stand for zero tolerance of violence against women. Special attention must be given to challenges faced by women, who are often the backbone of communities but are all too often the victims of violence and discrimination.