The economic governance of the green transition is among the top priorities of the socialists and democrats (S&D) group ahead of the 2024 EU elections, S&D President Iratxe Garcia Perez told EURACTIV in a video interview.
“If this has been the legislature of climate change policy, we now need to move on to the next part, which is how we finance all these transition policies. Therefore, economic governance will be a key issue,” she said.
Garcia Perez also referred to the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the way the EU responded to the emergency with its ambitious €750 billion recovery plan.
“We need to continue to make progress with tools of this type in order to support a technological and ecological transition that is also socially sustainable,” Garcia Perez added.
Other important issues for the S&D are defence and rule of law, she added, while the war in Ukraine will continue to rank high as a major issue of discussion during the electoral campaign.
“We want to express and work on the commitment to maintain European unity in the defence of Ukraine, in the defence of democratic values and freedoms,” Garcia Perez argued.
“Undoubtedly, the defence of the rule of law must continue to be a priority for our political family, because Europe cannot only be a model of economic cooperation,” Garcia Perez added.
To the question whether the socialists will have a candidate for the presidency of the European Commission, known as a Spitzenkandidat, Garcia Perez said: “It is a debate that we have already proposed in terms of the timetable: to begin before the summer with a meeting of European social democratic leaders to establish the criteria, the profiles, and the timetable”.
The S&D president sought to underline that “the S&D will never ally or negotiate with those political forces that seek to destroy the European project”.
“We have always defended the need for dialogue with those who are different, because Europe is about diversity and difference. But I think there is one very clear issue: there is no room for understanding with those who want to destroy the European project,” she said.
[Edited by Benjamin Fox]