EU Socialists and Greens take first step towards a ‘progressive coalition’

Today’s meeting will be a first “crucial” step to set a common agenda for collaboration on a legislative level in the European Parliament. [Socialists & Democrats]

In an effort to lay the foundations for a progressive alliance, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) today (7 March) will hold a first ever bureau meeting with the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) group of the European Parliament.

euractiv.com was informed that a similar meeting with the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) is, also, in the pipeline.

After the collapse of the European People’s Party’s (EPP) coalition with the S&D following the right-wing Italian lawmaker Antonio Tajani’s election victory, the creation of a progressive coalition is underway.

Socialists declare end to EU institution grand coalition

The European Parliament grand coalition between the right-wing European People’s Party (EPP) and the Socialist and Democrats (S&D group) is over and cannot be re-established, said its chief, Gianni Pittella, today (13 December) during a news conference in Strasbourg.

The Socialists, Greens, and GUE/NGL have also formed a front against the possibility of a multi-speed Europe, that might forge an upper-class Europe opposite a second class Union.

Speaking with euractiv.com, S&D sources stressed that the White Paper put forward by Juncker in the light of the next Rome summit “lacks courage” when it comes to the future of the EU. “Neither it is aimed to improve citizens’ lives nor to ensure a radical change to Europe from its austerity-driven policies,” the sources noted.

Progressives accuse Merkel of pushing a North-South divide

Europe needs a radical change of its austerity-driven policies and not multiple speeds as Germany’s Angela Merkel suggests, high-ranking Social-Democrat, Green and leftist officials told Euractiv.com.

The social agenda

According to sources close to the discussion, today’s meeting will be a first “crucial” step to set a common agenda for collaboration on a legislative level in the European Parliament.

EURACTIV was told that the social agenda would take centre stage in the discussion.

“The need for a social pillar in Europe’s future will be a key line,” the source stressed, adding that other issues of high importance are also the sustainable development, migration, and democratic standards.

“Security must go hand-in-hand with human rights,” the same source said.

Another hot topic for both political groups is the fight against tax evasion as well as the adoption of pro-growth policies against austerity.

“We will, also, discuss the transparency of lobbies,” the source underlined.

Valetta and Athens insist ‘social pillar’ should be part of Europe’s future

Malta and Greece have pledged to work more closely even in a “coalition of the willing” to seek more social Europe. EURACTIV Greece reports.

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