European Socialists and Liberals unite!

A plea in favour of a truly reformist „social-liberal EU restart alliance“ in the European Parliament.

Von Wolf Achim Wiegand

Hamburg/Brussels (waw) – We do not yet know the results of the European Elections taking place 23rd until 26th May, 2019. But what we know is that the long time predicted victory of the conservative block (Christian Democrats) appears not as likely as some people have believed.

  • Reason is that the British Labour Party could – according to polls – surprisingly return a significant number of lawmakers to Brussels and Strasbourg while the British Tories could be washed down the sink.
  • Thus ironically Labour could provide the number of MEPs necessary to crown the European socialist’s delegation as the biggest parliamentary group in the European Parliament (EP) at a time when the UK ist departing from the EU.
  • Europe’s Liberals (including a small number of seats if at all by the British Liberal Democrats) meanwhile are seen as the No. 3 faction. With 10 percent of seats the ALDE Group can be potential kingmakers in the formation of any pro-EU majority coalition.

New perspectives open up, especially in terms of collaborations in the European Parliament.

I am an active member of the paneuropean Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Party Individual Members. I worry that we could miss the opportunity to be in the driving seat to restart Europe and rocket upwards towards new horizons. That is why I propose

a „new deal for Europe“,
a reformist „social-liberal restart alliance“,

provided the election returns bring my proposal within achievable range.

Dieses Bild hat ein leeres alt-Attribut; sein Dateiname ist europa-herz-eu-europc3a4ische-union-logo.jpg.

Why? Let me put forward just three arguments:

  1. For Europe to survive we do urgently need a hearts touching determined move towards real EU reforms. This means i.e. to adress the widening gap between socially deprived people and those fully or relatively well off. Closing the gap can create stimulations to make Europe competitive great again. This task needs reconciliation between those promoting concepts of a modestly state driven economy and those arguing in favour of a social market economy. Let us begin a joint effort towards an empathic European Union that cares for it’s citizens.
  2. The conservative forces in Europe have bled dry. They have utterly failed to drive back right-wing populist parties and lack any vision how to to bring the European Union on the offensive. Instead they remain in a „just going on“ mentality. The European People`s Party (EPP) cannot really be trusted to lead the way towards an EU-wide accepted vision of a future Europe and should take a leave after decades long domination in Brussels.
  3. The conservative Bavarian politician Manfred Weber is by no means the one person for EU Commission President. His outdated approach makes him not the person of new European projections. What we need is personnel that is able to initiate a bottom-up process accepted not only by the big players like his homecountry Germany but in particular by the many medium and smaller sized countries. Subsidiarity, not big power dominance, is a very liberal approach.

Conclusion:

The combination of the reconciling personal character of the social democratic EU Vice President Frans Timmermans (NL) and the toughness of the rules based free market attitude of liberal EU Commissioner for Competition Margrete Vestager (DK) would be the very best mix at the EU helmet. Both individuals are highly experienced, able to create fresh ideas, and be in the position to move Europe forward.

A social-liberal restart alliance would by the way create a fine platform for Emanuel Macron whose new party La République en Marche (LaREM) could win a significant number of seats in the EU assembly. The former socialist is currently sort of a child sitting in the middle of leftists and liberals. Ambitions to form a close election camapign pact between LaREM and ALDE Party have unfortunately become soured. But the perspective of a reformist European „coalition“ could breath new life into the French president’s ambitions to have a say in the EU’s fate.

Loving Europe means to make Europe a better place. I want a pleasant living space for you and me, our children and our grandchildren. And for many generations to come after. Let us be brave and do what has to be done!

The debate is open – let me know YOUR opinion!

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