Championing a much-needed democratic, social and environmental renewal in Europe, GUE/NGL MEPs today told Commission President Juncker to listen to the people and work to turn Europe around to focus on social and environmental progress.

“Your speech paints a particular canvas of reality but the European workers who see their jobs threatened, the small farmers being priced out of the market, the unemployed for whom nothing is being done see a different reality”, said French MEP Patrick Le Hyaric.

Le Hyaric proposed to transform the so-called Juncker fund into a real social and environmental development fund that could create thousands of jobs and kick-start new projects to protect the livelihoods and ambitions of all Europeans.

“Europe needs to stop being focused on competition and focus on eliminating precarious work, sharing wealth fairly, equality between men and women, fighting tax fraud and tax evasion”, he said, calling for a Europe of solidarity. “Its high time to listen to the people – democracy is knocking at the door, its time to listen and let it in!”

Danish MEP Rina Ronja Kari called Juncker arrogant for claiming progress when millions in Europe face poverty, welfare cuts, social dumping and high unemployment, especially among young people.
”People are experiencing an EU that does not solve their problems, but on the contrary, makes them worse!”

“Instead of dealing with the real problems, you and the rest of the EU elite in your ivory towers are trying to grab ever more power for yourselves with proposals for an EU Finance Minister and a de facto undemocratic carte blanche to the Commission to sign off on free trade agreements. These are both examples of a worrying lack of respect for democracy!” she said.

“This decade will go down in history as a lost decade, or as the decade of cuts in Europe” according to Spanish MEP Miguel Urbán.

“With your speech, Mr. Juncker, you insist on advancing along the same path that has brought us here. The crisis of the European project will not be solved with new neoliberal trade treaties, more border outsourcing, greater military budgets and more austerity policies that respond to the agenda and interests of multinationals and lobbies.”

“We need a change of direction, a 180-degree change in foreign, economic, social and environmental, policies,” he concluded.

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