PES fights to put youth, fair taxation and social cohesion on the post-pandemic agenda

PES fights to put youth, fair taxation and social cohesion on the post-pandemic agenda

Europe’s future must deliver a better life for young people, tax justice and social cohesion, members of the Party of European Socialists agreed in Berlin on Friday. In the German capital, the PES Presidency met in a hybrid form alongside a high-level conference With Courage. For Europe., where progressive prime ministers, commissioners, MEPs and leaders of the PES member parties met live and online. 

In a clear sign that progressives will keep up the pressure for fair tax, European social democrats put their weight behind Olaf Scholz’s drive for global minimum taxation, especially for large digital corporations. Progressives want to see this approach quickly anchored within the OECD.
Fair taxation will be one key element for a full recovery from this crisis. European social democrats are also emphasising the need to prioritise Europe’s social cohesion, and particularly the need to boost jobs and training for Europe's youth. Over the next 1-2 years, the EU should frontload EU youth employment funding and create a quality framework for the placement of jobs and apprenticeships via the European Youth Guarantee.

The members of the PES Family attending the events in Berlin also expressed their support to the LGBTIQ community in Hungary, underlining that the bill initiated by Prime Minister Viktor Orban is depriving European citizens of their rights. They call upon all EU Member States to take a firm stand against such discriminatory behaviour and on the European Commission to use all the legal instruments at their disposal to act against regressive governments such as Hungary, that constantly undermine our common values and breach the rule of law.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“It is time to boost jobs, boost social rights, and boost Europe’s ambition when it comes to young people.

“Let’s acknowledge that Europe’s youth deserve more than unpaid internships and unfair low wages. We want the EU to seize the potential of the European Green Deal as an engine for job creation, building on other progressive flagship policies like the European Youth Guarantee.

“When it comes to the recovery, the best investment is in young people. We want to see boosted social rights, better education, digital accessibility for all young people, better social protections, mental health support, and more stability for ‘generation rent’.”

German Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz said:

“As European social democrats, we stand united in our commitment to a fair global minimum taxation of large multinational corporations. After the agreement in the G7, there is now a truly historic opportunity to also reach an agreement in the G20 and the OECD. This would be nothing less than an international tax revolution and a fundamental step forward in securing the capacity of our states to act and to invest in the global 21st century."

PES Secretary General Achim Post said:

“The PES vision for Europe can only be built if Member States on strong investments in the future. And for that we need a fair tax base. Despite being one of the richest parts of the world, Europe has been short-changed for too long by multinationals who shift the profits they generate here to tax havens. We demand that everyone pays their fair share.”

SPD co-leader Norbert Walter-Borjans said:

“While the CDU General Secretary is again emphasising the return to the black zero as an important commonality with the FDP, the SPD, together with its European sister parties, has a real plan for the future of Germany and the continent. In other words: we will invest in training, cohesion and infrastructure, including digital, and make sure that everyone pays their fair share. This opens up improved future prospects and a fair distribution of wealth for the young generation. Conservatives and liberals block this path if they only half-heartedly close billions in tax loopholes, reject European own funds and demonize meaningful loans. The future of Germany and Europe needs strong social democracy."

This Saturday, progressive prime ministers, European Commissioners and leaders will gather in Berlin to attend the event With Courage. For Europe. – organised by the PES to discuss the Future of Europe. The event and the livestream start at 9:30 and can be watched here.

Ahead of the conference, representatives of PES full member parties and organisations unanimously adopted three declarations for a fairer future: Fair global tax rules [EN], A boost for Europe’s younger generations [EN] and Fighting stigmatisation of LGBTIQ people, protecting the rights of all EU citizens [EN].

Photos from the conference are available on Flickr. View photos from yesterday's workshops here, view photos from the Presidency meeting here, and view photos from the leaders meeting here.