A socially progressive Europe
The CSV wants to prioritise the social dimension of Europe. We will actively work on reducing the risk of poverty and social insecurity, which are problems mostly faced by the young and the elderly. In the 21st century, poverty in Europe is unacceptable and Europe needs appropriate minimum wages.
The internal market has to become a reality for people living in Luxembourg. That means getting rid of existing concessions with other countries when it comes to product imports. We also have a lot of work to do when it comes to communications. Data transmission, just like roaming, has to be generalised. Geoblocking as well as geographical restrictions when it comes to online purchases of services and goods have to be abolished entirely.
The European Union has to support job mobility as much as the mobility of students, teachers, professors, research scientists, and artists. Initiatives like the free interrail-card for young people make it easier for people to get to know other parts of the continent.
Although electric mobility definitely means that we have made some progress, it is not a definite solution. Promoting an economy based on hydrogen could be a way of reducing carbon emissions faster and more effectively. If we then combined that with wind and solar energies, the continent could quickly switch to renewable energies – provided that we make the production and transport of such energies possible and accessible for consumers throughout the continent. Modernisation and connectivity to neighbouring countries are therefore a must.
Europe can and should be a global centre of competence and excellence in the field of medical research and in the research and fight against cancer. Europeans have to address issues around artificial intelligence in order to embed them within high ethical standards. These investments have to be accounted for in the 2021-2027 multiannual financial framework.
We want to make the most out of cross-border cooperation. Municipalities are often important cross-border actors and citizens from both sides experience Europe in the form of joint initiatives and activities. Civic involvement has to be acknowledged and appreciated more. In European politics, concerns, suggestions, and demands coming from civil society have to be taken seriously and integrated into policy-making.
The 9th May should become a public festival on which we celebrate unity in diversity and strengthen the European identity. Every identity needs a common tale, so the European success story should be playfully communicated to every European child and adolescent.
A safe and just Europe
Security is a basic human need. Europe has to protect people and give them security. We dismiss populist claims that praise security over freedom, because security without freedom and freedom without security do not exist. Furthermore, a European prosecuting authority has to be made operational and given competences in the fight against terrorism. We have to substantially improve the communication and cooperation between European security forces. It is unacceptable that a person who commits a crime in a European country can freely travel to another one and continue committing crimes.
Anyone from a non-European socio-cultural background has to be given the chance to integrate and to adopt to European culture. Europe is not only a continent of hope and refuge, but also a continent that values human dignity and human rights. People who move to Europe have to understand and accept the way we live, our values, our principles, and our norms. Someone who cannot commit to constitutional and legal systems and to equality between men and women, cannot stay.
The EU has to monitor the respect for the rule of law and sanction the countries that do not adhere to European standards. Those who seek to replace common standards with state despotism, question the independence of the judiciary, and disrespect the functioning of democratic institutions, have to be sanctioned. In this domain, we want European structural funds to only be allocated to states in which the rule of law is respected.
The digital sector will offer innovation opportunities and will create jobs. Existing jobs in classic fields might at the same time be in danger. Therefore, it is only fair that heavyweights within the internet sector pay appropriate tax to the EU. That tax could, in turn, be added to the European budget to supply the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, which helps companies and workers, who have lost their jobs to globalisation. It helps people to find new orientations by financing their new professional ambitions.
We want a modern European agriculture that guarantees the quality and security of our food and fulfils our needs. Farmers and winegrowers are a substantial part of the climate sector and actively contribute to the fields of species and water protection. We have to compensate these active contributions to society using public funds. Here, we especially want to involve young farmers. Europe has to protect its own food market by imposing higher customs on foreign products that are also grown on our proper soil. Because of European standards and higher wages, European products are, in this respect, inevitably more expensive. Unfair competition practices need to be restrained. When it comes to food production, we strongly believe in the precautionary principle. We need to be able to provide for ourselves.
A strong Europe in the world
The EU needs a budget that meets its real needs. At the moment, the budget only equals 1% of the EU's economic output and hence gradually has to be increased. As already stated in the treaty, resources acquired through a European tax are needed. These could be levied on digital transactions and on CO2 intensive products. In times of global climate movements, a European tax on flights and shipping seems legitimate.
We want more European solutions to foreign policy. This should include European defence policy. We are responsible for our security. Europe has to build defence capacities without the support of NATO partners. Therefore, we want a gradual creation of a European defence identity with a number of structures and policies. The aim of a European defence initiative is not a uniform European army, but a deployable compound of European armed forces, capable of operating together.
We need to adjust to the fact that the rules of competition have changed. European nation states and companies need not compete with each other anymore, but should focus on the competition on other continents. Traditional competition law that would forbid mergers between economic heavyweights within given sectors does not necessarily make sense anymore. Especially if such a merger were to guarantee a European champion in a bid against international competition. Europe only stands a chance if it is united.
We have to protect Europeans from the negative impacts of globalisation. Among other things, that means rigorously applying the principle of reciprocity. We cannot give a third country access to the European internal market, if we have no access to theirs. The fact that Chinese firms build infrastructures (that are paid for by European funds) but European companies have no equal access to the Chinese market, is unacceptable.
Africa is evolving swiftly, especially when looking at the demographic growth of some nations. African economies, however, cannot keep up with the rapidly growing populations. African nations hence urgently need support in building economic and government structures that could develop normative behaviour. Economies and transactions have to be formalised. Only then will it be possible for state administrations to function and for systems with a basis in the rule of law to assert themselves. Only then will it be possible to sustainably tackle problems of extreme demographic growth. When a state functions normally, demographics normalise. Europe has to offer assistance in all of the above mentioned areas.