Sigmar Gabriel: People Must Feel that Europe Helps Them

Chairman of the German Social Democratic Party and Federal Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. (Photo by TASR/AP)

Bratislava, October 22 (TASR) – Social Democrats in Europe should promote the ideas of freedom and solidarity, and strive to see ordinary people feeling that Europe helps them, chief of the German Social Democratic Party and Federal Vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said at Smer-SD’s programme conference in Bratislava on Saturday.

“The life is getting ever harder for the people. We’ve got many unemployed among the young. People in general fear that Europe will make it even harder for them and that they won’t be able to build their lives and families. We must strive to see people feeling that we help them,” said Gabriel at the programme conference of the Slovak Social Democrats.

Among the EU’s chief goals to be further pursued, Gabriel named peace, democracy and welfare. He also stressed that it won’t be possible to keep Europe together if the gap between the rich and poor continues growing, however. At the same time, Europe needs more fairness and justice. When it comes to some specific issues, Gabriel highlighted the need of a joint European security and foreign policy and digitisation.

Austrian Culture Minister Thomas Drozda concurred with Gabriel in naming peace, democracy and welfare as Europe’s three fundamental principles. Apart from that, it’s necessary to boost people’s trust in Europe by providing good prospects for them, stated Drozda.

“We must ensure stable incomes and employment,” he said, adding that this must be done in a common Europe.

Among other issues, Drozda highlighted the need of achieving sustainable inclusive growth, securing higher incomes and introducing a progressive innovative economy. European Social Democrats’ cooperation will be instrumental in this endeavour, believes Drozda.