Socialists push for new model focused on citizens’ wellbeing
Member States must become wellbeing societies, European socialist and democrats said tonight as they called for social rights to be put at the centre of the European Union.
European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, Agnes Jongerius MEP, German State Secretary Rolf Schmachtenberg and others took part in the PES livestream: Towards a society of wellbeing.
Concluding the event, PES President Sergei Stanishev said:
“Our socialist family has always fought for more fair, more equal, more just societies. The COVID-19 crisis further stressed the many difficulties and inequalities which our citizens face.
“We had a very important role in fighting to have a strong, European, recovery plan. It is now a fact. And it is time to deliver it, in the right way with the right priorities. It is about drawing a new perspective. Not only for the economy, but for our societies, which have to change and become better places for people to live in.
“COVID-19 showed the importance of social services, healthcare, education, for everyone. We must provide more public money for these fields because they are vital for our societies, for every person.
“That is why we, our socialist family, propose a different model for our societies and our economies, where people come first.”
The hybrid event – Towards a society of wellbeing – was streamed live on Facebook, with participants appearing from the studio in Brussels or connecting to the event by Zoom. It can be watched again here.
The livestream comes ahead of a vital period for the future of the European Union. Next month prime ministers and heads of state will gather for the Porto Social Summit, and initiative of the Portuguese Presidency and Portugal’s socialist prime minister Antonio Costa. The PES is pushing to make sure the summit changes the perspective of the European Union, so social rights are put on the same priority level as economic freedoms.
Sergei Stanishev closed the livestream, which featured contributions from European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit, Chair of PES Social Europe Network and S&D EMPL coordinator Agnes Jongerius MEP, German State Secretary for Labour and Social Affairs Rolf Schmachtenberg, President of the Young European Socialists Alicia Homs MEP, Evin Incir MEP, and ETUC General Secretary Luca Visentini.
The meeting was moderated by PES Deputy Secretary General Yonnec Polet and Maria Freitas, Senior Policy Advisor at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies.
Ahead of the livestream, Sergei Stanishev and Agnes Jongerius MEP penned a joint OpEd on the need to reconnect the EU with citizens’ wellbeing.
Read the PES publication Changing the Focus: for a Society of Wellbeing.