1 BOLD ACTIONS ARE NEEDED IN CHALLENGING TIMES
We are living in times of tremendous technological change, rising social conflicts, persistent youth unemployment, and hence increasing disaffection for traditional democratic parties. This creates strong challenges for our political system, which has been unable to adapt to the changes of society. We, as progressives, must ensure that we do not let the enemies of democracy take us down the wrong path, leading to costly mistakes that would hit the most vulnerable the hardest.
Over the course of the past few years, in the aftermath of the economic crisis, that continues to affect Europeans societies, young people have voiced their anger and frustration about the austerity measures and the current gap between politicians and the needs of people. European political leaders and parties need to act with increased efficiency, transparency and accountability, delivering long-lasting results. This is how we address the real demands and the real needs of European citizens and account for the troubling signals we are receiving from all corners of Europe.
It is true that the political context in which the European Union operates is a troubling one. The challenges that lie at our borders, and the inability to tackle global challenges such as inequality, poverty, malnutrition and climate change, are strengthened by disregard for long-established international principles, for the rule of law and for those values which underpin the foundation of the EU. These are responsible for tragedies happening on a scale unforeseen in the past decades. It is true that the increasingly globalized world remains a dangerous and volatile environment, and it is not an easy challenge for Europe to tackle these challenges.
But Europe and its citizens have managed to overcome dire circumstances before:
- by opening and increasingly improving the democratic nature of their political systems;
- by playing out the advantages of democracy;
- by proactively engaging with the democratic forces both within and outside Europe’s borders;
- by clinging to the very principles that define our shared European identity;
- by offering a vision of togetherness, solidarity and equality, and unconditionally living, communicating and working with respect to these values.