A Better Europe, Still recruiting

Young European Socialists (YES) greets the European election result with mixed feelings. We thank all of our activists and candidates who fought across Europe in this great campaign to change the European Union. The PES member parties, YES member organisations and everyone who campaigned for Martin Schulz and for a progressive majority have done a tremendous job we should all be proud of. We congratulate all those who were elected, especially all new socialist and social democratic MEPs, who have a great task ahead of them in fighting for the goals set out in the PES manifesto.

We are especially proud of our newly elected young socialist MEPs.

Nevertheless, the overall result of these elections and the rise of far right-wing parties from so many of the EU’s member states to Parliament remain a true disappointment and even a shock for us. We have to acknowledge the fact that for many voters, European social democracy and the European left in general have not been able to embody a clear alternative to the current European policies. Despite a truly European campaign with an ambitious common manifesto and candidate, and although these European elections show a clear collapse of the conservative majority in Europe, the overall number of our MEPs did not increase, and we did not become the largest group in Parliament. The culture of compromise promoted by our parties did not convince our voters.

If we want to increase our score in the next elections and stop the catastrophic rise of the far right, it is urgent for the PES as well as the national parties to work towards majorities away from grand coalitions with the right and to renew and reform ourselves. We must remain open to new ideas, parties, activists and the wider civil society, and unite all left-wing and progressive MEPs in a project for a more sustainable, social and democratic Europe. Only if we make clear that we seek alternative majorities in Parliament rather than continue to follow the conservative lead, the people will believe that we really want to change things.

YES continues to fight for the issues we believe should be at the top of the European socialist movement’s agenda for the coming five years as expressed in our manifesto. We continue to believe that whichever incoming Commission should concentrate on the fight against youth unemployment and discrimination, for tax justice, sustainable growth, a humane asylum policy, and gender equality. Whichever the majority, things need to be changed today, not tomorrow.

Also from the election results, it is evident that the austerity policies of the European right have not worked, and have even weakened the European project. Europe is still in the middle of a deep crisis. We will continue to fight for a change, with the elected left-wing and progressive MEPs, the PES and the S&D Group.

Find the PDF version of the statement here: A better Europe,Still recruiting

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