My positions, my convictions

For a Europe in solidarity and social justice

The European Union is the result of a story of success. Its beginning started with the European Economic Community, continued with the European Community and ended in European Union which its 27 member states today. Peace, economic growth and prosperity are its outstanding benefits. But we should not be satisfied with this progress yet. We need the social Europe, for which the European Social Democrats fight.  We have to focus on citizens, not on the markets.

For good work and fair wages

In Germany and Europe, labour and economy are characterised by a globalised world. Only together, we can tighten and develop a model of society in which solidarity and social justice play the main role. As Social Democrats we accept this challenge. People contributing with their work to wealth in our society have to be able to live with their families from the wage. This basic requirement is not achieved in many places. In Germany for example 450 000 full-time employees get next to their wages unemployment aid due to the fact that their salary is lower than the living wage. There is urgently need for action.

For a better Consumer Protection in Europe

Different calculation bases for deadlines and lacking information emerge problems for the consumers. Therefore I demand a continuous unification of the existing consumer legislation in Europe to create more legal security for the consumers. To the basics belong the coherent definition of consumers, a homogenous regulation on the right of withdrawal and the return of goods. Only under these conditions our citizens can really benefit from Europe as consumers.

For a stronger European Parliament

The Treaty of Lisbon signifies a very important step in the European Integration. The European Parliament as ambassador of the citizens of the European Union has got more competences, the rights of citizens were strengthened essentially and the European Union got more efficient. However these efforts are not enough to build a real democratic Union. The European Parliament has to be strengthened continuously. 

For the continuous reduction of the dependence on fossil fuels

The common objective of the European Union has to be an ideal energy mix, which is intelligent and practicable and at the same time as economical, efficient and environmentally beneficial as possible. Within the European Union common challenges in the energy sector are existent even if there are differences in the energy situation between the particular member states. Each member state should recognise its responsibility dependent on its resources and its climatic, hydrological and geological conditions. This should happen in the context of a common European strategy.

For an enlargement of the European Union with sense of proportion

In view of the already preassigned new steps of the enlargement process of the European Council and the European Commission and the open future of a Constitution, basic thoughts about enlargement in the EU have to be integrated in the reflection phase about the future of the European Union. In this context the German Delegation of the Social Democrats take the following positions

For a restraint of uninhibited freedom in the market

The global financial system was unhinged by greed of higher yields and the gambling mentality of the institutional investors. Beginning with the collapse of the US hypothecary market in summer 2007, the crisis expanded into the largest financial crisis since the great depression 1929. Even those who criticised political intervention in the past, call the state in the meantime. Finally, the taxpayers have to bear the costs of the irresponsible and incompetent actions of some mercenary stakeholder on the financial market. The trust of the public in the financial sector was strongly shattered.

For the strengthening of a Common Foreign and Security Policy

I appreciate the creation of the post of the "EU Minister for Foreign Affairs" (although it is not allowed to call her like that) as simultaneously being the Commission's Vice-President with her own diplomatic service. According to the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, the European Parliament has only consultative competences in the field of foreign policy. Two exceptions are the budget of the EU, from which civil measures of foreign policy are paid and the decision-making about accession treaties. Other decisions are only determined by the Council. We want to strengthen the competences of the European Parliament also in other sectors, especially in the field of security policy. Although we know that this will be only possible in a long term perspective because the national states will keep their responsibility in security policy as long as possible. Therefore we work very close together with the national parliaments.

For an environmentally sound mobility of persons and goods

Transport is an economic factor with about 5% of European jobs and a portion of 7% of the European GDP. Furthermore it contributes to the functioning of the European Economy in general. The mobility of persons and goods is an essential precondition for the competitiveness of industry and services in Europe.