SOLIDAR Weekly Round Up 02-12-2016
DIVERSITY OR DIVISION?
In the light of – again – the US election and the ascension of far right populist movements a discussion has started amongst progressives as to whether it is necessary and possible to counter their anti-establishment discourse by focusing on different target groups. Among the critics of the Clinton campaign there are commentators who claim that she focused too much on minorities when targeting her campaign messages. For us in Europe the Anglo-American approach of using personal data for electoral purposes can seem quite shocking. This is more than a cultural difference, although data protection is also an ambiguous reality in Europe due to what too many citizens are ready to put out there in public on so-called social media.
Nevertheless questioning whether it would be better to focus on the so-called white male worker than on the minority groups is a dangerous and wrong approach. A democracy that is not able to protect its minorities is not worth the name. Anti-discrimination networks and social NGOs have achieved a lot at European level, this is undeniable, but faced with the onslaught of conservative revisionism and shrinking civic space it would be terrible to give up our values and reference paradigms like equality, social justice, democracy, economic, social, cultural and human rights.
There is no good reason for trade-offs because this would only deepen divisions within in societies and encourage the conservative roll-back. Nevertheless it is clear that too many citizens are tempted or seduced by the siren call of the right wing populists because they feel neglected, not taken into consideration by the policies of the classical popular parties. Whether this feeling is justified or not, our challenge in Europe now is to refocus policies on social and territorial cohesion through social and sustainable investment. The credibility of policies, also of progressives, has to do with delivery. And they need to deliver to cut short the discourse on the division of “us and them”. In a way people on both sides, with different social backgrounds, have a feeling of (un)fairness and inclusive societies are simply the most fair. The problem remains that we need more than delivery and services, we need to mobilise and regain the public space. In these times progressive political messages need to be anchored within societies, in its social layers rather than its social media. This means also rethinking our organisational model and a certain degree of re-politicisation complementing the service delivery. We have to become popular against populists!
World of Work (WOW) for youth – Final report will to be presented next week during the final WoW Conference on ‘Perspectives for a decent future for today’s youth’
The Erasmus+ project ‘WOW’ (World of Work) is a project where informal learning and peer-to-peer learning empowers young individuals to engage in social and democratic processes that enhance their self-esteem and hence their employability.
The European Pillar of Social Rights: tackling gender inequality?
On 6 December SOLIDAR is organising the public event “European Pillar of Social Rights – Achieving upward social convergence with a rights-based approach?” to present our recommendations to strengthen the Pillar of Social Rights and make it the driving force behind Member States’ efforts to improve their social protection systems and guarantee social rights up to the standards of their international commitments. Our recommendations will be based on the findings of the Social Progress Watch Initiative 2016, a tool implemented by SOLIDAR members and partners for the third consecutive year in 15 countries all over the EU. The same evening from 18:00 – 20:00 we are co-organising a high-level debate together with the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK Europa) and Diakonie Deutschland with the support of the European Social Observatory (OSE) on “How to build the European pillar of social rights?”.
SOLIDAR Mobilising for Social Justice Days: Engaging with Members, Researchers and Decision-Makers to Promote Sustainable Development
Next week, between 6 and 8 December, SOLIDAR Mobilising for Social Justice Days will take place: SOLIDAR members, young researchers, policy-makers, and experts on different areas of sustainable development will meet together in Brussels to discuss and explore alternatives to the current development model, move towards Sustainable Development, and promote systematic changes. Among other events, the Progressive Lab for Sustainable Development (PLSD) will provide the space to discuss alternatives to tackle the root causes of our current political, cultural, social and environmental problems.
European pillar of social rights – Achieving upward social convergence with a rights-based approach?
Organised by SOLIDAR
06 December 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
How to build the “European pillar of social rights”
Organised by SOLIDAR, the German Trade Union Federation (DGB), the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK Europa), Diakonie Deutschland and with the support of the European Social Observatory.
06 December 2016 | Representation of NRW Brussels, Belgium
Registration is closed
Perspectives for decent future of today’s youth – Final conference of world of work for youth project
Organised by SOLIDAR and FIC
07 December 2016 | Brussels, Belgium
Registration is closed
2030 agenda for sustainable development: A paradigm shift within a reach?
Organised by SOLIDAR, Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D Group)
08 December 2016 | European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
Registration is closed