Progressive Economy newsletter - N°6 - 2017

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Newsletter - 06 - 2017 - Progressive Economy
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Newsletter N°6 - 2017
Progressive Economy is moving towards SUSTAINABILITY...

Progressive Economy is moving towards SUSTAINABILITY...

We are facing a new era. Globalization, climate change, technological revolution, ageing population are increasingly affecting our way of life. The increasing level of inequality is putting into question the capacity of the current development model to deal with the change. This is why we need to rethink our paradigm by taking into account the multidimensional feature of development. In other words, we need to embrace sustainability.

Let's start from Cohesion Policy

Let's start from Cohesion Policy

Cohesion Policy is a cornerstone of the progressive policy approach against a "one size fits all" scheme. This message clearly emerged from our seminar "Cohesion Policy and Sustainable Development" held on the 9th of November in the EP (Gathering together Laszlo Andor, Fabrizio Barca and Enrico Giovannini). Now, it needs to be adequately equipped to face the challenges of our time.

The Single Market can only work through a comprehensive policy strategy improving social harmonisation, social dialogue and above all social and territorial cohesion. In the new framework of sustainability, Cohesion Policy can trigger a positive shock towards a transformative change for and within our territories. To accomplish that, a policy U-turn is needed by:

  • Removing the Macroeconomic conditionality and any form of exogenous and ex-post conditionality
  • strengthening the link with a reformed European Semester to improve policy coherence
  • improving the involvement of the Commission in the implementation process through a permanent and tailored local support
  • unifying the management of the Cohesion funds into a single entity

Find out more details in our attachments:

Four reasons why inequality is the defining challenge of our time

Four reasons why inequality is the defining challenge of our time

In 2013, US President Barack Obama described inequality as ‘the defining challenge of our time’. It is easy to see why. Over the past 35 years, most countries in the developed world have experienced a dramatic rise in economic inequality, while the benefits of more equality would be huge.

1. Inequality is the main reason for public discontent

While immigration and globalisation polarise politics across the developed world, rising inequality may be the main reason for public discontent. Inequality appears to be a key driver behind the fractious and feverish nature of much of our politics Countries that continue to ignore the growing public unease caused by inequality are likely to struggle to rebuild confidence in government, or to heal the divisions that have opened up in several developed nations. More importantly, they will also fail to deliver what so many people across the world are clamouring for: more equal societies, with power, wealth and income more evenly shared, where everyone has control over their own lives, and a genuine chance to fulfil their potential.

2. The primacy of politics has been forgotten

Rising inequality is not inevitable, it is largely a result of the political and economic decisions taken by governments. This is clear from the varying levels of inequality in EU countries, and the processes by which these have come about. The most obvious area in which countries have been more or less effective in keeping inequality in check is taxation and fiscal redistribution. While many European countries have seen top income tax rates fall in recent years, with expected subsequent increases in inequality, more equal countries such as Denmark, Sweden and Finland have retained top income tax rates of well over 50 per cent.

3. More equal countries listen to their workers.. and benefit from it

In more equal countries, businesses are often required to listen to, and consider, the opinions of workers. Most countries with a richer population than for example the United Kingdom have employee representation on boards, for example. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that the majority of these countries are also more equal. Not only does this provide businesses with a wealth of experience and knowledge to draw upon, it also allows for more productive relations between management and workers.

4. Fighting inequality is fighting nationalism

In much of Europe and the rest of the developed world, we are at a crossroads. For many, the dividing line is between protectionist nationalism and a globalised, liberalised approach to politics and economics. However, this misses a more important, older divide – between those who wish power and wealth to remain concentrated in the hands of a few, and those who wish to see control and prosperity enjoyed by the many. The lesson from Europe is that there are measures that can reduce inequality that do not involve retreats into nationalist agendas or reduced worker’s rights. If governments are to survive ongoing turmoil and build legitimacy, they will need to look at these and new ideas to build more equal, fairer societies

Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
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