Engaged in the democratic, social and ecological future of Europe

Policy Study


How to set a future PES coherent programme to address pollution and climate change?

The family dilemma is not something new and it results from the heterogeneity that has characterized the social democratic family from its inception. The purpose of this paper is to argue that the environmental and climate change issues represents one of the most suitable policy area, where the Social Democratic members of the PES will be able to build a more coherent progressive programme. The PES Manifesto for European elections in 2009 and 2014, as well as the progressive integration of the principles of sustainability in the core values of many European Social Democratic parties, result in this will. Despite some differences that are existing in the response proposed by European Social Democratic parties to tackle climate change (e. g. the consensus in the abandonment of nuclear energy), there are common orientations in their national programmes, that are shared by the family. Concrete recommendations on how to build a more coherent progressive programme related to climate change at the European level are presented in the end of this paper. The article is based on primary sources: on the study of the PES Manifesto of 2009 and 2014 and on the comparative analysis of national programmes presented by four selected Social Democratic parties in Europe, respecting the diversity of historical constituents, the geographical differences and the participation in government during that period. That is why the study is focused on the Czech Social Democratic Party for Central and Eastern Europe, the Walloon Socialist Party in Belgium and the Portuguese Socialist Party for Western and Southern Europe and the Social Democratic Workers’ Party of Sweden for Northern Europe.

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Karl Renner Institut
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