This week-end, European socialists and social-democrats were in Paris, invited by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies in the framework of a grand seminar on the future of the European integration in the economic and financial crisis context. A rally in which some major personalities of the social-democratic left were present as, Martin Schulz (Chairman of the European Parliament) Massimo d’Alema (former Italian President of Council and current FEPS President), or Sergei Stanishev (PES interim president) and all the French socialist party leaders which François Hollande, candidate for the French presidency. An initiative launched by the FEPS and the Jean Jaurès, Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Italianieuropeani Foundations in the perspective of the coming elections in France, Germany, Italy, three founder-States of the European Union.
I found this rally very interesting, not to say enthusiastic, in which the FEPS and the other foundations introduced their studies and their conclusions with the following notice: Europe should be more democratic, closer to its citizens and more audacious. This Europe should not be afraid of the others and of itself and Social-democracy should be a driving force within it.
It is useless reminding the French presidential is followed by our European friends who are expecting this campaign a lot all the more so as the election will have an impact on the European integration and its future. In other words, the presidential and legislative elections should be the occasion to give another direction for European Union, a more progressive, ambitious and united way.
Indeed, the future of the social-democracy (even her raison d’être) is closely linked to the European integration in a context dominated by the crisis the loss of confidence the citizens are having vis-à-vis Europe. Faced to the situation, socialists and social-democrats must give answers and a new direction after years of conservative and free-market policies which reached limits.
This is all the objective of “R for Renaissance”. Renaissance for Europe but also the Social-democracy which is clearly aware of the fact it must be credible embodying a European dream. François Hollande recalled it evocating his French dream he wants to embody in a framework of a strong and ambitious Europe, different from the “Merkozy model” and in which “growth”, “solidarity” and “employment” occupy a major place and are not simple words.
Paris is the first stage of this rally which is taking place in Rome then Berlin in the next eighteen months. As I wrote before, the presidential election is not only important for the future of France but also the European integration’s one. In other words, change is also in Europe and a great deal of our European friends and partners are waiting for a positive signal of France, on the next May. The sign of renaissance.