FEPS Newsletter 17 Nov 2023 – EU treaty changes, US, Africa & Gaza

📅 FEPS Newsletter: EU treaty changes, US, Africa & Gaza
Upcoming Events
As you might already know (maybe we’ve even seen you there!), last week, FEPS was at the PES Congress in Málaga. Our side events and the whole congress were such a success that we still feel energised! With the high motivation for a more progressive and social Europe, starting from its foundation: let’s change the EU Treaties.

In such hard times, with new wars rising, our commitment to more progressive policies goes beyond the EU. This week, we looked West at the US and its future elections, gathered opinions on the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, and got ready to dive into the African view of the Just Transition and discuss the future of Ukraine.

By Maria João Rodrigues, Vytenis Andriukaitis, Giovanni Grevi, Mercedes Bresso, Stefan Collignon, Daniela Schwarzer, and many others

War in our continent, geopolitical rivalry, climate emergency, cost of living crises, pandemic, tensions about migration, misinformation… The EU is confronted by many challenges and this new context asks for a stronger European capacity to act. The current Lisbon Treaty shows its limits. The time has come to reassess it and identify some targeted changes.

With the debate around EU treaty changes back on the agenda, FEPS launches an innovative report by a group of renowned European experts from different countries and disciplines.

Among many other proposals, the report identifies the policy fields requiring an extension of the qualified majority voting and the co-decision with the European Parliament; as well as the policy fields requiring an upgrade of EU competencies, such as health or industrial policies, energy and food security, etc. and identifies a list of new European public goods, such as a European electric grid, public digital infrastructure, etc. Read more.

EU Treaties
Why they need targeted changes

16 November – EP, Brussels

Ahead of next week’s vote on the European Parliament report on treaty changes, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and FEPS organised this debate that gathered S&D MEPs and authors of FEPS report on EU Treaties changes. Read more.
10 November – Málaga, Spain

Socialists and social democrats have revived Social Europe and kept it high on the EU’s political agenda. However, the pressing question remains: what lies ahead for Social Europe after the current Commission’s mandate expires next year?

This interactive discussion by the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions and FEPS, counted on the participation of prominent progressive politicians such as: Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Right; José Luis Escrivá, Spain’s Minister of Inclusion, Social Security and Migrations; Ana Mendes Godinho, Portugal’s Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, among many others. Read more.
10 November – Málaga, Spain

Full room at the seminar which looked at the ways the Party of European Socialists can be a pioneer in the sphere of transnational politics in 2024 and beyond, organised by S&D and FEPS.

We heard the views of the S&D Group MEPs leading the dossier ‘Strengthening and deepening of the political union’ and reflected on the potential avenues for PES to continue being a champion and innovator regarding representative and participatory democracy on the EU level.
18 November – Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The annual Africa Day is back! For 25 years, this has been the largest event about Africa in the Netherlands. The day will be full of workshops, debates, lectures, literature, films, music, a fashion show and more.

This year’s focus will be on climate justice. Nowhere is the challenge of the climate crisis as great as in African countries, even though they are not the big polluters. Politicians, activists, trade unionists and experts will be part of the programme prepared by FEPS and the Foundation Max van der Stoel.

EU policymakers have proposed many digital laws to strengthen the transparency and accountability of each firm and the digital infrastructures they control. However, our public institutions and our jobs are reshaped to serve Big Tech’s profits and power.

With the EU elections nearing, the question is whether the EU can do things differently. Join us for this conference by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and FEPS to shape the European digital agenda! We will open with a keynote from Evgeny Morozov, founder of The Syllabus, and John Thornhill, the Innovation Editor at the Financial Times.
It’s time to reshape EU ambitious digital agenda and decide on how to turn it into reality. In the last few years, the EU has indeed made strides in setting a comprehensive regulatory framework to curb the power of Big Tech. However, significant challenges remain.

Join this full-day conference by the S&D and FEPS if you also think we must address the power imbalances between workers and employers that new technologies exacerbate.
29 November – Helsinki, Finland

What does “build back better” entail in the case of Ukraine? How can the recovery process be implemented in a way that strengthens civil society and improves democratic resilience?

More than one year and a half into Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, when emotional fatigue and disengagement may start showing up, FEPS and the Kalevi Sorsa Foundation invite you to get stimulus for an informed debate about Ukraine’s future in Europe.
State of the Unions
Ties that bind: Testing the resilience of US-EU relations in an age of turbulence

15 November – Online

FEPS and the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) brought together leading European and US experts and policymakers for the 6th State of the Unions conference to critically reflect on what we can expect from the US presidential race in the coming year and the impact the elections may have on the transatlantic partnership and on collective security across the Atlantic. Read more.
European Forum 2023
7th Edition of the European Forum of Left, Green and Progressive Forces

10-12 November – Madrid, Spain

FEPS, in collaboration with Transform! Europe and Green European Foundation, organised two workshops on the occasion of the 7th edition of the European Forum, which provides a framework for dialogue and exchange of ideas between political parties, trade unions, civil society players and progressive foundations. The first one focused on the role of the state, arguing that forging a socio-ecological welfare state defined by wellbeing within planetary boundaries could be the chance to face the polycrisis we are faced with. The second one explored the political and social potential of distributive measures in energy policy.
US-EU relations: back on track, but for how long?
By Jack Thompson

What will happen to transatlantic relations in the upcoming future, with the US presidential election in 2024 and against a backdrop of growing international tensions? This is the question that this Progressive Page tries to answer.
Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Alexandros Michailidis
By Nimrod Goren

Over a month since the Hamas-Israel war started, Nimrod Goren, President of the Mitvim Institute, gives a reason for hope: leadership changes on both sides may take place and induce the will to search for peace. However, it won’t happen overnight and it will require dialogue, as well as international and EU support.
Read more.
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ Anas-mohammed
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