What will European political parties do for older persons during the next term? We will publish here information on their Manifesto and highlight the commitments which matter for Europe’s senior citizens. Let’s start with the Party of European Socialists (PES).
(Excerpts from the PES (Socialists and Democrats) Manifesto 2014, read PES full Manifesto here)
We strongly believe that the European Union must change. Our political family of parties across 28 countries will dedicate themselves to fighting for a secure future for you. The right wing has created a Europe of fear and austerity. During 5 years of an EU conservative majority, we have fought for a strong, socially just and democratic Europe. But now it is time to lead from the front.
Our programme for the next 5 years of the European Union will bring back job creation, a productive economy, a sense of community and respect for people. We want to put you as a citizen and as a voter back in charge and bring back hope to Europe’s youth.
- It is time to put jobs first
All men and women must have a decent job that allows a good quality of life. The Socialists and Democrats will insist on the full implementation of the Youth Guarantee Plan, the introduction of an ambitious European Industrial policy, strong rules to guarantee equal pay for equal work, protection of workers’ rights and quality jobs, reinforcing trade unions’ rights, social dialogue and anti-discrimination legislation and the introduction of decent minimum wages across Europe.
- It is time to relaunch the economy
Austerity-only policy has harmed our economies and punished those least responsible for causing the crisis. Socialists and Democrats will prioritize innovation, research, training and smart reindustrialisation policy, the reduction of deficits in a sustainable and fair way, and the democratic control of economic coordination through a better involvement of the European Parliament and national parliaments.
- Putting the financial sector at the service of the citizens and the real economy
Europeans had to pay for the mistakes and irresponsibility of an unregulated financial sector. Socialists and Democrats will regulate the banking sector, cap bankers’ bonuses, speed up the introduction of the Financial Transaction Tax, create an independent and public European credit rating agency, and build a robust Banking Union.
- Towards a social Europe
The Socialists and Democrats want the EU to support Member States in the effective and fair redistribution of wealth and opportunities. They believe that binding targets on employment, education and social cohesion are essential and that economic freedoms cannot outweigh social rights.
- A Union of equality and women’s rights
The principle of equality must be at the heart of what it means to be a European citizen. Socialists and Democrats will promote and enhance gender equality, end gender pay and pension gap and fight violence against women. They will promote a Union that protects against all forms of discrimination and safeguard the rights and well-being of children.
- A Union of diversity
Socialists and Democrats commit to fight against extremisms and for a Europe that respects everybody’s rights and obligations, including freedom of movement. They insist on the fact that everybody must have a real opportunity to participate and contribute to the societies they are living in.
- A safe and healthy life for all
European citizens deserve to live a safe and healthy life. Socialists and Democrats will protect Europeans’ right to enjoy safe food, safe products and a safe living environment. They want solid EU legislation on the data protection.
- More democracy and participation
Socialists and Democrats will promote a prominent role for the European Parliament as the EU institution representing its citizens. They believe all policies must be efficient, respect democratic values, fight corruption and serve citizens in an open and transparent way.
- A Green Europe
The EU must regain global leadership on the protection of nature and natural resources. Socialists and Democrats will support clean technology and environmentally friendly production, project bonds to finance good investments in the green economy, renewable energy and technology and help citizens to reduce their energy bills.
- Promoting Europe’s influence in the world
Socialists and Democrats want Europe to have a strong voice and the proper tools to lead in promoting peace, democracy and shared prosperity. They will support the people struggling for democracy, social justice, non-discrimination and any form of occupation everywhere in the world.
What is of interest for European senior citizens?
AGE welcomes the clear mention of the need to protect workers’ rights and reinforce anti-discrimination legislation. This is indeed essential to ensure equal participation of older workers in the labour market. Moreover, Socialists and Democrats commit to fight for decent incomes for all, quality and affordable housing, healthcare and elderly care, and to invest in skills and life-long learning. They also see the adequacy of pensions as a priority. Enhancing gender equality, including via the reduction of the pension gap, and ending violence against women are mentioned as well. Furthermore, they commit to fight against fuel poverty and will guarantee minimum access to energy for everyone; we believe this will improve the quality of many vulnerable older persons. Last but not least, they want to ensure that everybody have a real opportunity to participate and contribute to the societies they are living in.