The criticism on the forthcoming European Elections is demonstrated by a series of issues that will be in the core of our debate in the next term of the European Parliament. From the degree of the European budget and the distribution of financial support, to the social and economic policies of the coming years.
On these issues the political confrontation will take place, between the left-wing and progressive forces on one side and the neoliberalism and far-right alliance on the other side. This alliance is reflected in the Orban-Salvini convergence on a number of topics. Above all, however, it is reflected in the EPP’s choice to have Manfred Weber as candidate for the Commission’s top job, a very unsuccessful choice, with no support from other political groups other than some groups from the far-right spectrum.
The problem with Weber is not only his intention to implement austerity policies, but also the extreme and undemocratic merge between the right and the far-right. The dividing lines between these two political currents are not discernible, and the intention to create a joint group of extreme conservative and far-right groups in the European Parliament gathers support.
Such development would have a major impact on political balances within the European Parliament and broadly throughout Europe. Inside the European Parliament, a new extreme conservative political group will have a significant presence with MEPs from Italy, Poland, Hungary, Austria, possibly from France and other Central and Eastern European countries, but also from Great Britain and its newly established party on Brexit, led by Farage.
Within this floating political setting, only left-wing and progressive political forces can offer an alternative and effective solution. The neoliberal policies have been the cause of the crisis and the rise of extreme right. It can not be the solution to deal with it. On the contrary, progressive and realistic proposals based on sustainable growth, sound finances and entrepreneurship, social and regional cohesion, the respect for social and labour rights and diversity and the protection of the environment can indeed give European people hope and a new basis of respect for the European institutions.
Progressive and democratic forces across Europe need to form a joint front and struggle for a Europe that can combat inequalities, unemployment and deep divergences. To that end, we will be working in the next Parliament in order to protect the interests of the social majority.
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