This is a crucial time in Europe, for the future of both the European project and our social model. There are serious challenges that face Europe, laid bare by the coronavirus pandemic. The EU is under threat like never before. The inequalities that have been growing since the 2008 financial crisis have worsened during the pandemic. Populist, Eurosceptic, xenophobic and far-right movements are taking advantage of the crisis to weaken the European project. There are real everyday challenges that affect all of us: post-Covid economic recovery, the climate emergency, globalisation, digitalisation and migration.
The EU must show that it can and will tackle those challenges and offer an antidote of safety and security with a sound project for a better future. We, the Socialists and Democrats, have a clear vision to ensure the ecological, economic and social sustainability of the EU and to reinforce these values in the world. This time we can’t fail. We can’t fail the young people out demonstrating for the planet. We can’t fail the elderly who are afraid for their lives. We can’t fail the women demanding gender equality. Nor can we fail the many citizens who lost their jobs due to the pandemic or had to leave their regions due to a lack of opportunities. Now is the time for positive action and our political family has the right answers. We have the principles and we have the experience.
Throughout our history, we have managed to combine idealism with effective action to tackle inequality and injustice. Now is the moment to do it again. Europe needs us more than ever and I am honoured to lead our collective efforts within the Parliament to turn that transformation into reality. Social democracy is, above all, about the future and about hope. Let’s turn this new page together. Let’s make it happen together!