FEPS Newsletter 30 June 2023 – Western Balkans, Social Democracy in Poland, Election in Greece, Ukraine and new issue of the Progressive Post

☀️ FEPS Newsletter: Western Balkans, Social Democracy in Poland, Election in Greece, Ukraine and new issu e of the Progressive Post
Thessaloniki, Ukraine, Poland, Greece, Biodiversity…
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Upcoming Events
This week, we travelled to Poland to share best practices for a progressive approach to housing, work-life balance and intergenerational solidarity. But while strengthening progressive forces in the EU, we must also look at what’s happening just a bit more East and South: the Western Balkans.

While EU leaders are still discussing at the European Council, read the statement of the Friends of the Western Balkans, because “the European Union is not whole until the integration of the Western Balkans is complete”.

Challenges for Social Democracy
24 June, 30 June and 1 July – Poland
Together with Centrum im. Ignacego Daszyńskiego, Foundation Max van der Stoel and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), we organised three training events in Włocławek, Kielce, and Dąbrowa Górnicza, Poland. Each of them has a specific focus: housing, work/life balance and intergenerational solidarity.
The ‘Challenges for Social Democracy’ series is designed to improve the programmatic debate on the centre-left in Poland, enable the exchange of best practices and provide high-quality training.
Friends of the Western Balkans Thessaloniki meeting
22-24 June – Thessaloniki, Greece
On the 20th anniversary of the Thessaloniki Declaration, the Friends of the Western Balkans held their third meeting to analyse the obstacles to the entry of the Western Balkans into the EU and examine the most recent developments in the process of enlargement.
The Friends of the Western Balkans is a network composed of European social democrats’ members of national parliaments and members of the European Parliament, representatives of progressive think tanks and political foundations from the Western Balkans and the EU member states.
Ahead of the European Council, the Friends of the Western Balkans are urging EU institutions to take action and fulfil the promises of enlargement made to the Western Balkans in Thessaloniki 20 years ago.
The European Union is not whole until the integration of the Western Balkans is complete“. They encourage the adoption of a clear roadmap, which could provide tangible incentives and foster the Western Balkan countries’ gradual and timely integration into the Union.

In our latest Progressive Page,
George Papandreou, Former Prime Minister of Greece (2009-2011) and Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs at the time of the declaration, reflects on the importance of that commitment today.

Europe and the war in Ukraine
From Russian aggression to a new Eastern policy
Edited by László Andor and Uwe Optenhögel

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has sent shockwaves across the globe, putting to an unprecedented test the peace and security architecture constructed after World War II. While not a military power itself, the EU appeared as a significant actor aiding Ukraine’s resistance against an unprovoked aggression.
Our new book ‘Europe and the war in Ukraine’, written by 23 expert authors, is an indispensable source of analysis and information for students, researchers and policymakers trying to understand the diverse global consequences of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Together with FES, Karl-Renner-Institut, Kalevi Sorsa-säätiö, Foundation Max van der Stoel, Fondation Jean-Jaurès and Fundacja Amicus Europae, our ambition with this book is to track through a progressive lens and from a European perspective the developments concerning the key aspects of the war. Read more.
The European Parliament has recently started to discuss the Nature Restoration Law, which aims to restore the EU’s ecosystems. If and when adopted, this legislation will represent a welcomed step forward for the protection of the environment and the fight against climate change. But the way to recognise the importance of biodiversity not only as a good in itself but also for the very existence of humankind is still long and tortuous. It requires a paradigm change in the mostly utilitarian relation humans have with nature. This topic is at the core of the Special Coverage of this new issue of the Progressive Post, Nature and us: why biodiversity matters.
In the Focus Regulating AI: a technological as well as a political feat, we discuss the risks of unregulated artificial intelligence, the tools to protect workers and citizens and the importance of the AI Act, recently approved by the EP, the first-ever attempt to regulate AI globally. The first Dossier, dedicated to Migration: moving away from containment, explores the shortcomings of the EU’s approach to migration and asylum management. Finally, in the Dossier Increasing social investment to fight Roma exclusion, the authors argue that the EU’s current ethnically-focused Roma policy risks to backfire. Read more.
Last Sunday’s Greek election confirmed New Democracy and Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ victory. It also marked the further decline of SYRIZA, whose leader Aléxis Tsípras resigned as a consequence of the electoral results.
Read these two timely analyses:
Photo credits: Shutterstock/ isidoros andronos
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