EUROPE STAND UP!
For the first time in its history, the European Union - this unique project in the history of our continent - might break up, might fall apart, and might even cease to exist. Under the combined effect of the upheavals caused by poorly regulated globalization, the severe economic and social consequences of the financial crisis, the impact of an unprecedented technological revolution, and the chaotic management of migration flows, political or extremist forces have set about to exploit the concerns and fears of worried and confused citizens.
Europe needs a clean break, a democratic and deep refoundation. People have been excluded from the European vision and destiny. Europe is not possible without its people.
We European Democrats are determined to stop our countries' decline.
The political parties that have dominated the European scene over the past decades are no longer in a position to revive the tremendous European momentum that the founding fathers had succeeded in creating.
They are weary and have let people down: the gap between citizens and European Institutions has widened steadily, and European policies are too often inadequate or incomplete.
It is time for the Democrats to take up the baton. We have a duty to share with citizens our European dream. We uphold the values of respect for human dignity, rule of law, freedom, equality, solidarity and responsibility.
These values are embodied in our societies through pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, respect for national and linguistic minorities, equality between men and women, and investment in youth and education.
The European Democratic Party wants and indeed has to inspire a new political constellation whose objective is to get Europe back on track.
There is no shortage of projects.
European policies to tackle climate change are among the most ambitious in the world. But while the United States has turned away from the Paris agreement, Europe must go even further with an ambitious plan for a transition to a green economy financed by new own resources and creating millions of jobs.
We have created a single currency, but it still has no political leadership. Neither the instruments nor the budgetary means exist to enable euro area countries to coordinate their economic policies and benefit from the solidarity of their partners in the event of asymmetric shocks.
We have created an economic and monetary union, but we allow Member States to compete fiercely in tax matters, particularly regarding corporation tax.
We proclaim our determination to protect the Union from the excesses of globalisation, but we let our main external competitors take control of strategic companies or infrastructures and we do not promote the emergence of European industrial giants capable of competing with the giants of our competitors.
The large Digital multinationals make considerable profits by commercialising European citizens' data, but we tax them less than our European SMEs.
We recently had the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights, but we still do not have effective instruments against social dumping nor a roadmap to encourage social convergence, a pivotal element in strengthening European social and territorial cohesion.
We have formally established a common border but we do not manage it together. We leave the southern Member States to control more or less by themselves the tens of thousands of kilometres of maritime borders and we still do not have common rules on asylum.
We put pressure on African states of origin or transit of migrants to limit the departure of their citizens to Europe, but we still have not implemented the Marshall Plan that Africa needs to ensure the development of a continent with a rapidly growing population.
If we add up the budgets spent by EU Members States on their defence, we spend more money than Russia but we are not able to send European forces to overseas military operations if necessary nor dissuade Russia from developing its audacious and belligerent policy towards its European neighbours.
It’s a major challenge, a matter of urgency.
The EDP is taking up this challenge.
For us, it is time to rebuild Europe.