In the run up to the elections for the European Parliament, election manifestos have been published and debates have commenced. In the newspapers and on social media, the election campaign is intensifying. This article briefly summarizes the election manifestos of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats of Europe (ALDE) and the Greens.
Overall, the media reacted mellow: recognizing that it is a challenge of proportions to organize a debate in English on complex European issues, the debate was slammed for a lack of passion and incomprehensible content. So what were they saying? This article provides a summary of the political manifestos of the main political parties in the European Parliament. By clicking on the name of the candidate, you are automatically redirected to the website of the campaign, so that you can inform yourself on the details.
Jean-Claude Juncker (EPP)
Jean-Claude Juncker of the European People’s Party (EPP) sums up his vision in 5 priorities on his website. The most important one, as with other candidates, is to restore economic growth and create jobs. This is followed by themes on energy, the Transatlatic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US, the reform of the monetary union and an answer to the “British question.” Additionally, he presents a five point plan on immigration: a proposal to come with a European approach to solve the increasing problems with immigration currents to Europe.
Martin Schulz (S&D)
Martin Schulz, the candidate to become President of the European Commission on behalf of the Socialist & Democrat (S&D) party puts emphasis on job creation. He presents 10 goals on his website, advocating a more social Europe. Apart from jobs, a more social Europe refers to working conditions, combating tax fraud, strengthening consumer rights and more public participation in the European debate. Mr. Schulz frequently cites that the European Union is the most important instrument in achieving peace and stability on the European continent in the aftermath of the Second World War.
Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE)
Guy Verhofstadt of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) focusses on three main issues. First of all, the economy should focus on setting the right conditions for the private sector through European funding. His second theme concerns civil liberties and transferring human rights issues, such as gay marriage, to the European level. Finally, Verhofstadt’s campaign focusses on reforming the European institutions to have a more efficient policy making apparatus.
Ska Keller and José Bové (European Greens)
The Franco-German duo of José Bové and Ska Keller issue 5 main themes. First of all, they seek binding rules to curb CO2 emissions. The new jobs that are to be created should also adhere to green standards, proposing a “Green New Deal” over austerity. Their third theme is to focus more on social rights, end social dumping and fight against poverty by having a European level of social protection. Fourthly, the Greens want to invest in youth employment and education. Finally, in the digital sphere, they want to give citizens a stronger voice when it comes to online rights.