S&D Activity Report - December 2009 to January 2014
The 2009-2014 legislature has seen many firsts - It is the first legislature with full co-decision powers under the Lisbon Treaty. And it is the first legislature for our expanded group, re-founded in 2009 with new progressive allies and a new name: The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
It is also the first legislature where Europe and the European Parliament made the headlines, were discussed on every street corner and sparked fierce debates across Europe – from Helsinki to Athens and London to Bucharest. What started out as an American financial crisis soon turned into a European economic crisis, triggered a debt and lending crisis, and left us with the greatest social crisis modern Europe has encountered.
In the midst of this historic turmoil, we acted – and we will continue to act – for the benefit of all citizens. The situation is often oversimplified, with Europe getting the blame for the crisis and the failure to deal with it, but the Europe that failed is the one of neo-liberal and right-wing majorities. We have to use the fact that Europe is in the spotlight to highlight what is possible with a progressive, social Europe. As progressives, we are committed to fighting for equality and opportunity, for prosperity and solidarity – regardless of national borders.
As the second-largest group in the European Parliament, we achieved some major successes over the last five years. Responding to the crisis of youth unemployment, we campaigned for a European Youth Guarantee that will offer young people a chance to build their own lives. Faced with 28 different – often unstable and poorly regulated – banking and financial systems, we delivered better, more coherent financial regulation. And witnessing civil rights and
liberties under attack, we fought persistently for fundamental rights and progress, for women, minorities and the most vulnerable.
Looking back, we achieved many things. Looking forward, there is still a lot to do. Together, let us continue to work hard for a better, for a progressive Europe of social justice and solidarity.
Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group President
Anna Colombo, S&D Group Secretary General