In 2022, we were all shocked to see war return to the continent of Europe. These holidays, our thoughts are primarily with the people of Ukraine as they fight for their freedom. So far, Europe’s response to this crisis has been marked by unity.
Our political family led calls for strong support for the Ukrainian people, their future membership of the EU and tough sanctions on Russia. We want this support to continue in 2023, because the security of Ukraine and the protection of European citizens are interlinked.
Russia’s invasion had knock-on effects that have affected us all. Particularly with regard to the European energy market, which is why we led calls for a pan-European response that delivers an energy shield for citizens and businesses. We successfully campaigned for a Europe-wide windfall tax on the supernormal profits of energy companies.
The forest fires and droughts in the summer of 2022 showed the scale of the climate emergency we face. In 2023, we will continue to campaign for investment in renewables and faster permits for renewable energy projects, while reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.
Tackling climate change through fast emissions cuts, protecting Europe from dangerous climate effects, and halting and reversing biodiversity loss are interlinked challenges and we remain committed to delivering on the ambition of the Green Deal.
The war in Ukraine, combined with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, have negatively impacted the purchasing power of EU citizens. We have developed an action plan on food security to alleviate stress in global food supply chains.
At a time when multiple global players, like China, and even our closest allies, like the U.S., are adopting nationalistic economic policies and deepening trade disputes, the EU must adapt, by strengthening trade agreements and by securing open strategic autonomy.
In 2023, we will prioritize the semiconductor chips act and a new European law on critical raw materials, to reduce our dependence on ‘third countries’ — non-EU member countries, or those without free movement in the Schengen zone — for resources and products that we will rely on in the future. We will be relentless in arguing for a more prosperous and competitive Europe, based on modernity and an awareness of the importance of harnessing the technologies of the future.
We cherish the European Union for the peace and prosperity that it has delivered, but we do not accept the status quo: the EU, its institutions and its polices must adapt to the developments around us. We want to see the reforms proposed by citizens during the Convention on the Future of the European Union implemented, including through changes to the EU treaties.
We see that the liberal democratic values are increasingly under pressure. Even in our Union, populist leaders continue to work to undermine liberal democratic institutions. Taxpayers’ money needs to be protected against those who undermine the EU’s values, and investor confidence need to be restored.
We believe the best antidote to those who wish to dilute fundamental rights, for women, for the LGBTQ+ community, is to empower citizens and expand existing rights. The conclusion of an ambitious directive on pay transparency is high on our 2023 agenda to end gender discrimination in the workplace. We want to tackle gender-based violence. Following the recent creation of the European Child Guarantee, Renew Europe wants member countries to step up their efforts in the fight against child poverty.
We want to finalize the asylum and migration package to guarantee a migration policy that regulates, is fair, human and based on logic. It must protect especially women, children and LGBTQ+ people, and present new legal channels for labor migration.
In external affairs, we will continue to fight for a stronger voice for the European Union on the world stage and for a Europe that defends and protects. To ensure that the EU is able to defend itself and ensure the stability and security of our region, the EU should broaden and modernize the use of its collective defense clause. The EU must reinforce its presence in and strengthen its partnership with key allies.
A strong Europe is one with zero tolerance for corruption and one that tackles foreign interference. In the wake of the ‘Qatargate’ scandal, we want justice to be done, but also real reform to protect our democracies from foreign interference and to achieve enhanced transparency within our democratic life.
In 2024, European citizens will cast their votes in European elections. Voters will face a ‘sliding doors’ moment: an offer from Renew Europe to unite and build a stronger, more autonomous European Union for the world of tomorrow, or a risk of a retreat to fragmentation.
We must make sure Europe, together with its allies, shapes the world of tomorrow, not dictator Putin and autocrat Xi. 2023 cannot be a moment to rest on our laurels, we demand a Europe that is in sixth gear, not neutral. We are ready to make 2023 a year of delivery for European citizens!