There is a pertinent, reoccurring question: can one govern in a distinctive progressive manner in turbulent times such as the contemporary ones?
It is often suggested that it is difficult. A paste of profound changes in the global context, many external and internal pressures alongside various crises (amounting even to a ‘polycrisis’) would make it close to impossible. And as if these factors were not sufficiently disruptive, there is also the fragmentation of the party-political spectra, radicalisation and vulnerability of various coalition governments, whose members have to perpetually seek compromises that disappoint their respective electorates.
But against all these odds, Social Democrats in power managed to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic and went beyond just managing the situation. Progressive governing parties co-designed recovery according to their political principles, which was not only about simply rebuilding but about paving the way forward to accomplish social progress for all. In that same spirit, they have also been approaching the other major challenges head-on, trying to ensure the primacy of progressive ideas when it comes to coping with the triple transitions – digital, climate and demographic. The records are remarkable and should be recalled, even if the electoral results of the last years have not been the most encouraging.
In this super-electoral year, there are a lot of signals that the political map in Europe will be changing again. But though the centre-left has had some hardships and is looking at some tough national elections again, there is a certainty that what may elevate them and keep them in power is the Progressives’ integrity and daring political imagination. When they are in power, their inspiring and innovative ideas and determination are what allows them to continue bringing a sustainable, socially just and democratically endorsed change for all.