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The Maastricht Diplomat

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European Elections – Why I’m Going to Vote for the Social Democrats.

The European elections are coming up fast, a few days only separate us from the time we’ll have to go voting.

In a recent article, we showed you all the reasons why you could vote for the liberals, and in the following lines, I’m going to tell you why you should vote for the social democrats.

In a Europe shivered by the financial crisis and witnessing a political fragmentation with the rise of far right parties in every corner of the Union, and more globally, in a world driven by economy, profit and finance, why would you vote for one of the oldest ideology of the European Union?

I would say that this is the exactly reason why. The Party of European Socialists brings together the Socialist, Social Democratic, Labour and Democratic parties from all over Europe and is the second oldest party in the European Parliament, gathering the centre-left wing parties and ideals under its flag.

At first glance, the social democrat manifesto includes many values that were and still are at the core of the EU. The fundament of the party bases itself on values such as democracy, freedom, equality, peace and justice. By applying all these values to their program, the Socio-democrats are at the pursuit of a more progressive European Union. All the projects they propose for the Union are driven by these different views, such as giving a voice to the younger generations in order to encourage them to be more responsible for their future, but also empowering citizens’ participation from the local to the European level.

As the party of the people, they denounce the urgency to reduce the inequalities between men and women, allow minorities to be respected and heard. One of the aim of the Socio-democrats is to install a climate of fairness for all. One of the means to achieve such a goal is the project of the settlement of a common European minimum wage.

Of course this project is subject to sharp debate for many years already. At the moment, minimum wages policies vary enormously across all EU member states, as we can see with the difference between the minimum wage of Luxembourg that is 10 times higher than the minimum wage in Bulgaria. Certain countries in Europe don’t even have a legal minimum wage, such as Sweden, Denmark and Italy. The reason for that is the difficulty of deciding on the consensus certain countries will have to do as for the moment, the minimum wage is calculated according to the national median wage. But if a common minimum wage was settled everywhere in Europe, it would spell the end of social dumping and ease the life of many people.

Furthermore, on a more global subject, the Socio-democrats have the project to render the EU a leader in the fight for the environment. Social and ecological interests would be put forth in a way that economic interests would not overshadow the environmental crisis. Their plan is to set a Just Transition Fund in order to fairly implement the UN’s Sustainable Development Agenda and Goals by 2030 and respect the Paris Agreement. This entails an enormous change in European industries. Their plan is to impose a tax on CO2 emissions EU-wide and to support the different investments in clean-energy. Through this, the aim of the Socio-democrat is to make Europe a leader in renewable energies and reach climate-neutrality over the next 30 years. All of these projects were created in order to improve people’s lives. In the present but also for the future.

I know that all of these ideas may seem very ideological in the world we live today, after all, it sounds like a modern fairy tale; a society where people have the same opportunity to live and develop themselves in an environment of fairness with no discrimination whatsoever regarding your gender, sexuality, nationality or origin. A democratic society where people work together to improve our future and the future of the next generations in respect of our planet, bearing in mind the sustainability of Europe in the world. In a word, a progressive Europe. In a world led by the constant seek for profit, and driven by individualism, it might seem hard to vote for humanity. But I think that such a fairy tale should not only remain in our minds and on papers. This fairy tale can one day become a reality, and that, is by putting your vote in the ballot box.

Charlotte follows a bachelors in Arts and Culture and writes for the Diplomat


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