Esquerra Republicana reviews what the EU should be doing for its citizens but does not yet do

Under the title “What should the EU do for its citizens but does not yet do?” Esquerra Republicana made its practical contribution to the Conference on the Future of Europe last Saturday, with a view to prevent “leaving the EU in the hands of those who want to weaken it,” explained Deputy Secretary General for Political Action, Sara Bailac.

Esquerra Republicana stakes on a more united, more democratic, greener Europe, a defender of human rights, and with better leadership. Within this framework, the conference put forth practical proposals to strengthen the welfare state, make the ecological transition possible and move towards fairer taxation.

“There are still differences in the EU on how rights and freedoms are addressed, depending on which member state you are in. While the authoritarianism of the governments of Poland and Hungary is rightly censured, and third-party nations that flout human rights are sanctioned, criticism of the Spanish state is conspicuous by its absence. The EU cannot seek to position itself as a global actor guaranteeing human rights outside its borders, when within the Union it is not only unable to put an end to the breach of fundamental rights, but turns a blind eye to it,” the Catalan government’s Delegate to the European Union, Meritxell Serret, explained in the section dedicated to fundamental rights.

In the section on the EU’s foreign policy, MEP and party Secretary for International Affairs Jordi Solé said that “in the face of growing US-China rivalry, the emergence of regional powers, the erosion of multilateralism, and the multiple global challenges, the EU must punch its weight as an international player: greater political will is needed to act coherently, and the instruments that today encumber its role as a geopolitical player must change.”

With regard to fair taxation and better economic governance, the Catalan government’s Secretary General for Economy and Finance, Albert Castellanos said that “for Europe to work it needs to gain fiscal sovereignty, creating new levies such as environmental tax and financial transaction tax. But in the face of the current situation of tax competition between states, it is also essential to promote tax harmonization—the most obvious example is that of corporation tax—and to combat tax fraud.”

The conference also saw National Secretary of the Catalan branch of the General Workers’ Union (UGT) Camil Ros put forth proposals on social rights and labour policy, while Greens–European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) MEP Anna Cavazzini offered proposals on sustainability, and the President of EFA Lorena López de Lacalle advanced suggestions on multilevel governance and institutional reform.

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