• Austerity,
  • Democracy,
  • economics,
  • Tax justice,
  • Workers' rights

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo presented the program of activities of the Belgian EU Presidency in the hemicycle of the European Parliament. Both backward-looking and counterproductive, the Belgian objectives are not the answer to solve the challenges faced by the EU today.

“We find ourselves amidst a profound social crisis in Europe, where soaring prices, inadequate salaries, and the looming spectre of rising electricity bills and grocery prices plague our communities. The inflationary pressures fueled by excessive profits only worsen this situation. Shockingly, the Belgian presidency seems indifferent to these critical issues, offering no proposals to address the social emergency and even hinting at a ruinous return to austerity policies. This completely ignores the reality of working families,” says Left MEP Marc Botenga (Belgium, PTB).

The latest Oxfam report on inequality states that since 2020, the five richest men in the world have doubled their fortunes. During the same period, almost five billion people globally have become poorer. In the face of the announced resurgence of European austerity, a paradigm shift is crucially needed.

By exploiting workers, evading taxes, privatising the state, and fuelling climate breakdown, corporations perpetuate inequality and prioritise amassing wealth for their affluent owners. Working communities are in dire need of salaries that keep up with inflation, and public investments in education, healthcare, and in a sustainable future. Now, as the continent faces a cost-of-living crisis driven by record profits, working people should not be the ones to pay the price.

The power dynamics must shift on a European scale for a Europe of the people, not of multinational corporations. We need a fundamentally different Europe—one grounded in cooperation, solidarity, public investments, and balanced regional development. A continent that harnesses the wealth of the wealthiest to drive industrial, ecological, and social investments.

A Europe founded on citizen participation, not disdain towards its people.

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