Quote of the week by Iratxe García, S&D Group leader, on SOTEU
“The state of the Union is not good, not only because the pandemic shook us in an unexpected way, but also because it exposed other problems that we have been dragging for years due to lack of political will. I am thinking about the Migration Pact, but also about the incomplete tools to manage the euro, and also about obsolete economic indicators to measure economic and social development. I am thinking about the miniscule own resources. However, there is something that we have done right: this time the answer to the crisis will be based on people and solidarity, and not on austerity.”
During this week’s State of the Union debate in the European Parliament, the S&D Group leader also urged the EU to find the courage to introduce the Financial Transaction Tax to raise funds to invest in building a resilient Europe. You can watch Iratxe García’s full speech here.
The European Commission will present the New Pact on Migration and Asylum on Wednesday 23 September. The S&D Group demands a new Pact based on solidarity, with a mandatory relocation mechanism for those in need of protection.
Watch our Group in this week’s plenary debate say ‘never again’ to another Moria camp on European soil.
Home affairs Commissioner, Ylva Johansson, and Commissioner Margaritas Schinas will then discuss the new proposals for the Migration Pact with MEPs in the justice and home affairs committee (LIBE) on Thursday 24 September.
Next week, the European Parliament subcommittee on tax will hold its first meeting. You can read about why we pushed to set up the committee and our plans for #TaxJustice here. The special committees on Foreign Interference and on Cancer are also expected to meet for the first time to elect chairs and vice-chairs, as are the special committees on Artificial Intelligence in the Digital Age and on the Protection of animals during transport.
The fight against youth unemployment is crucial, more so than ever as young people are likely to be hit hardest from the Covid-19 pandemic. On Monday 21 September, S&D MEPs on the employment committee will vote to reinforce the Youth Guarantee, an essential tool that helps young people find jobs, further education and training opportunities.
Budget committee members will meet on Tuesday 22 September to discuss the Council’s position for the 2021 budget. Proposed cuts to crucial areas like research and innovation, Erasmus+, Just Transition fund or migration and external action have been strongly criticised by the S&D Group.
How to secure access to COVID-19 vaccines for EU citizens will be the focus for discussions between the environment and public health committee with the industry committee. One of the main priorities in the S&D Group’s plan for a European Health Union, backed by the European Parliament, is to ensure that any treatment or vaccine will be accessible to all.
The Special European Council on 24 and 25 September will see leaders meet to discuss the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey. The EU’s recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will also be on the agenda in the context of the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation.
Ahead of the summit, S&D Group president, Iratxe García, will take part in the PES leaders meeting on Thursday 24 September.