Since I write for this paper I have sought to draw attention to the importance of existing European institutions, for the power they have in the definition of national economic and financial policies and how the proposals emanating from Brussels are based on a neo-liberal conservative discourse exclusively deficit obsessed, reflected in constant austerity packages.
I have therefore argued that the major contemporary political battles today are transnational. It’s not enough to be in São Bento, if it's in the 'Berlaymont' that economic and financial decisions are taken. In this sense it doesn’t matter who leads the national governments. If we not agree with the European Union's policy for these areas, we have to change the European government; and establish a set of progressive policies that seek not to put the markets at the center of politics, but the people.
These were some of the conclusions of the recent Council of the Party of European Socialists (PES), held this weekend in Warsaw. Europe needs to abandoned the set of neo-liberal proposals and hear some of the proposals of the socialist family. Thus, the Socialists should politically criticize the Barroso Commission and seek to create conditions so that in 2014 we are able to elect a progressive Commission.
It is in this sense must be understood the proposal for a new ‘Marshall Plan’ for Europe, suggested by Poul Rasmussen, leader of the PES. A plan that puts on the creation of new jobs and growth the primary focus of any European economic recovery program and abandon the "irresponsible conservative obsession with the austerity and the Welfare State." A plan that promotes an international financial tax, which implements a system for 'Eurobond' and potentiate an effective European economic coordination.
To put this plan into practice, it is necessary that the European socialists have a strong candidate in the 2014 elections; and this Council decided that this candidate would be chosen in a democratic and transparent process, thus becoming the PES the first European political party to establish a primary process.
These statements of intent - substantiated in concrete proposals - along with the proposed candidate for the democratic choice of PSE for the European elections of 2014, may finally push the Socialists European political agenda and help to build a strong, cohesive and politically viable alternative. An alternative that will save the European project, solve the economic crisis and re-submit the EU as an area of social cohesion progressive, tolerance and inclusiveness.