Missing scenario for Europe's future
Maria Koleva, Brussels
13 May, 2017
Democratising the Union, boosting social justice and creating sustainable societies is at the heart of “The Missing Scenario: There are alternatives for Europeans”, the title of a critical paper on the White Paper of the Commission. It was signed by MEPs from three political groups - the Greens, GUE/NGL and S&D, which last year launched the Progressive Caucus, a space for dialogue among progressive allies in the EP and across Europe on the pressing issues that the Union is facing. The paper was presented to the media on 9 May in the European Parliament in Brussels.
MEPs of the Progressive Caucus insisted that the Treaties should be revisited as to empower the people, but in a short-term perspective within the existing framework they urged for a deep transformation of the EMU institutional set-up. All the decision-making processes in economic and budgetary areas must be transparent and carried out under strict democratic accountability and parliamentary scrutiny, avoiding technocratic governance and intergovernmental methods, MEPs said. The lawmakers also underlined the urgency for forging effective legislation that protects whistle-blowers and pressed for stringent control and reporting concerning the activities of lobbyists and organised interest groups. They pressed as well for renewed commitment to participative democracy through a constituent process actively involving EU citizens and the European Parliament.
Talking about the 6th missing scenario, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, (GR, GUE/NGL) stressed that “it is summarising our political priorities and should be a basis for joint initiatives and actions between our political families”. According to him, the text is an attempt not only to criticise the multiple challenges Europe is facing but also to find common solutions for another Europe.
We want another scenario for Europe which puts citizens' interests at its core of and ends austerity thanks to an ambitious “green transition plan”, said Eva Joly, French Greens MEP and vice-chair of PANA Committee, stressing that democratisation of EU rules and procedures, and the fight for tax justice should be part of our political priorities.
We need a 6th scenario because the Commission is in denial as to the root causes of the existential crisis of the EU, Georgi Pirinski, (BG, S&D), member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs pointed out. Therefore, we stand for a truly Social Europe with collective bargaining, democratic governance of the EMU, a transformed European Semester, a protective trade policy, a greening industrial policy and a sustainable balance in international relations precluding the growth of nationalism, he added.
Urging that the European Union must promote more balanced international relations, Progressive Caucus MEPs noted that “the last few years have shown that military interventions as in Syria, Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq do not lead to more but rather less security, along with a destabilisation and breaking apart of states”. They put their finger to the issue that decision makers often fail to fully recognise the role of culture as a pillar of peaceful and sustainable development.