We have been asking all non-Germans to provide us with answers to the question what they expect from the next German government. What should it do in Europe? The answers were overwhelmingly: investment instead of austerity, solidarity instead of telling the partners what to do. And, let’s have an economic policy based on rising wages, investment – in short, let’s build a social-democratic Europe. At best, in a coalition between social-democrats and the greens.
These are your answers:
Accept Eurobonds. Help establish and finance some sort of European social protection floor. Some austerity is necessary, and welfare systems need to be reformed
– Wouter van Ginneken, Netherlands, living in Switzerland
- Increase worker wages in Germany;
- Support joint emission of Eurobonds;
- Support a change in the role/statute of the European Central Bank (allowing it to lend money to the states. Of course with financial responsibility conditions).
– Pedro Cadroso, Portugal
Complete rethink on austerity. Push for a European crisis response based on solidarity instead the current conservative one blaming individual countries and making the poorest suffer most. For a new social compact and markets conforming to democracy instead of the other way around.
– Peter Schoibl, Austria
Tackle youth unemployment . Regulate the banking sector . Close the gap between poor and rich people . Invest in eductaion and youth
– Vincent van Heer, Netherlands
Realistic Eurobonds need to be created. Without this, austerity will continue, and our collective future looks bleak. The ECB should be allowed to create these bonds. Germans worry it will mean ‚bailing out‘ other countries. But this should not be the case if the ECB were allowed to issue individual countries relief bonds based on strict agreements. If a country does not agree, they don’t get relief. There is no EU without solidarty and burden sharing. PIIGS are suffering to protect the very German and French banks who were part of the crisis. The narrative that they are not part of the problem must change, because whether they like it or not, they are.
– Simon, Ireland
Fix with the principal countries in Europe ,including France, a big investment plan for activating the economy and GFP. Affect financial tax resources to investments. Regulate worker’s rights to avoid social competition between European countries . Give a real democratic way to the European institutions. Give new opportunities to charity activities and a social economy providing for solidarity.
– Philippe Harquet, France
- Be ready to open the debate on ECB status, so as to integrate growth in its prerogatives. Not to come with a non-negotiable „no“.
- Put an end to the current blocus of the anti-discrimination legislation outside of employment: it is important to show the EU can support social issues.
- Don’t ally with the UK on the next EU financial Framework and support a strong EU budget.
- Not to adopt economic policy regardless of the EU environment
– Aurélien Mazuy, France
- Create national minimum salary > rise of consumption in Germany > growth which can spread across borders.
- Enforce strong environmental and social protection.
- Support the Financial Transaction Tax and the end of fiscal paradises in Europe (and globally with G8/G20)
- Promote Europe as a strong platform for debate, democracy, changes: answers to the crisis have to be channelled through Brussels
– Agnès Leroux, France
The next German government should reaffirm attachment to the fundamental European value of social justice as the lever for sustainable development. Gaining competitiveness at the expense of the people is destroying the European Union.
– Catherine Vieilledent, France
Moins d’austérité, plus de croissance et d’investissement.
– Katleen Vande Walle, France
As the leader of Europe we look to you to now relax in the consensus of austerity and to truly put the emphasis on growth and prosperity, lead the way, create jobs, create a better society and serve the European people, this is the only way the EU will survive, we need your leadership on the way out of this mess and growth not austerity is the answer
– Richard Price, UK
- Sharing responsibility for Europe
- Taking on a leading role
- Acting in a way which is in line with European values
- Taking steps to mitigate further fragmentation between Northern and Southern EU member states
- Making sure that strengthening the EU does not mean isolating Europe from our neighbours and the rest of the world
– Lina, Sweden
At a time when even the IMF and nobel price winners see the failure of austerity politics, a change in policy is needed. We as Europeans don’t want Germans to give up their wealth, in fact the entire opposite! That is why I support JUSOS and the SPD! When there will be real wealth for workers and consumers in Germany this will have a positive influence on Europe…for all of us. A rise in wages, a cut back on mini-jobs, more environmental progress, that are my wishes to Germany. Because some even not so corrupt countries seem to be forced into a race to the bottom. Let’s race to the top instead and at least race out of this crisis as soon as possible together while ensuring the needs of every person!
– Nico De Winter, Belgium
First of all, I really hope the next government won’t be conservative. However, this seems highly unlikely. Most probably the two major parties will have to form a coalition. I really expect a change in policy, especially on EU matters. We have to consider a different economic model if we really want to break this recession cycle. Spending-cuts are stagnating our economies. We have to create EU investments. Only this way we will be able to tackle the constantly dropping legitimacy of EU in the eyes of European citizens.
– Antonios Magalios, Greece
I expect that Germany will man the helm and ensure that their policies are not socially or economically damaging. I think that the democratic nature of Europe really needs to be addressed in the meantime.
– Viki, UK