Build a just and sustainbable society - by seizing green opportunities
Europe must be at the forefront of a green economic transformation to reap its benefits and lead the fight against climate change. The world only has 12 years left to fight climate change and fulfill the Paris Climate Agreement. For this to happen, the shift towards sustainability needs to be much faster and bolder than it is today. While the EU cannot address global challenges alone, it can and should lead the way in trying to reduce the immediate and future effects of climate change and set an example for other regions. Only then will it be able to position itself in the green industries of the future.
- Grow the green economy, by introducing an EU-wide carbon tax and other forms of carbon pricing along the entire production chain and by ending subsi- dies on fossil-based fuel. The funds gained will be used for relevant climate mitigation and adaptation projects and to create new jobs.
- Use energy in a smarter way, by introducing smart electricity grids, by setting more ambitious energy-saving targets, and by creating incentives for green and low-energy public transportation.
- Truly kick-start the circular economy, by stimulating the provision of goods and services that are renewable and sustainable. This will be done by harmo- nizing tax incentives, speeding up the regulatory processes and providing funds to rethink the design and digitalisation of organisations, goods and services.
- Stop plastic-based pollution and reduce waste in general, by taxing the use of plastic, single-use products and polluted recyclables, and by banning the export of waste into non-EU countries.
- Move towards sustainable consumption and government spending, by introducing a Circular Economy Label, by adopting a green public procurement standard and by supporting resource sharing and product longevity.
- Support sustainable agriculture, by refocusing the Common Agricultural Policy away from larger producers and towards smaller producers that use eco- logical approaches.
- Increase product quality and biodiversity, by supporting farms that manage land in accordance with local ecosystems, by focusing on connecting natural habitats, and by banning the use of pesticides and neonicotinoids.
Build a just and sustainbable society - by managing migration humanely and responsibly
The EU is undergoing a political crisis in its management of migration flows. Undoubtedly, the refu- gee crisis is a political crisis. Europe has a legal and moral responsibility to help, it has the capacity to absorb refugee flows, and Volt will turn this into opportunities for everyone. Accommodating a diverse group of labour migrants into the European labour market can contribute to both the wel- fare of European countries and that of the migrants’ home countries.
Asylum Seekers and Refugees
- Manage refugee flows from outside the EU, by setting up a Unified EU Refugee System. The Dublin System must be reformed and complemented by a settlement scheme which provides for penalties and sanctions against States refusing to fulfil their responsibility.
- Make the asylum system fair, effective and quick, by issuing EU guidelines that ensure shorter asylum procedures and provide for social, legal and psychological support.
- Ensure successful integration and a benefit for the economy. Asylum seekers must be able to enter the job market from day one, and their skills must be more easily recognised. In addition, language training must be offered to all asylum seekers.
- Uphold asylum seekers’ and refugees’ rights, by monitoring and sanction- ing Member States who breach these rights, e.g., by detaining asylum seekers when unnecessary and under inhumane conditions.
- Protect those in need, by classifying famine and climate migrants as refu- gees under European law and by strengthening the use of humanitarian corri- dors.
- Protect both domestic and foreign workers against the negative effects of economic migration, by applying minimal harmonization among all Euro- pean countries ensuring that access to basic social, legal and medical services is guaranteed.
- Turn Europe into a talent and innovation hub, by making it simpler and more attractive to obtain an expert visa, especially after acquiring a university degree from an EU Member State.
- Increase legal pathways into Europe, by developing a specific visa that will be made available to temporary foreign workers.
- Ensure that countries of origin and European countries benefit from tem- porary economic migration, by aligning the interest of both and by involving all relevant stakeholders (e.g., employers and trade unions) in the policy making process.
Build a just and sustainbable society - by pushing for fairness and equality
People are still subject to discrimination and social exclusion because of their gender, sexuality, disability, appearance, origin, or beliefs. The EU needs to adopt a comprehensive approach, seek- ing to end all forms of discrimination. Everyone has to be guaranteed equal rights and opportuni- ties, and human rights need to be respected, applied, and upheld. Let’s make Europe equal by 2025!
Equality & Anti-Discrimination
- Break the glass ceiling, by legally enforcing representation of women on publicly-listed corporate boards by 2025 and requiring businesses to report on gender pay and gender balance.
- Ensure that women’s rights are upheld, by legalizing and providing access to free abortion until the end of the first trimester, and providing free contra- ception everywhere across Europe.
- Guarantee equal rights to all, by ensuring access to the same procedures, rights and unions to every individual in society, including marriage for all.
- End police violence and discriminatory treatment of minorities, by provid- ing police training and revising laws, ending biased persecution and ensuring that the justice system does not discriminate against minorities.
- Aim for full equality and diversity for underrepresented groups in the public sector in Member States and in EU institutions, by putting in place preferential treatment, reporting on diversity and accommodating special needs.
- Ensure equal gender representation in EU politics and encourage female participation, by having gender-alternate lists of candidates and by other means, such as mandatory reporting on gender representation.
- Make housing affordable, by integrating social and shared housing into the EU cohesion policy. Use available funds for social housing to improve the situa- tion of low income groups, including marginalised groups, and urge Member States to subsidise shared social living.
- Alleviate child poverty, by implementing a minimum standard for universal child benefits across the EU.