Dear Commissioner, Dear Colleagues,

The past financial crisis and the answer EU has given to it show how cuts in public services had a negative impact on the economic, environmental and social recovery.

No progress in poverty reduction and social inclusion shows that many of our social welfare systems are not resilient and robust enough in order to absorb social shocks during a crisis and a transition.

This is why we, socialists and democrats, urge Member states to stop considering public services as a cost but – a contrario – as an investment to guarantee a decent life for all of us in the Union.

And a decent life means well-being that includes access to quality education and jobs, as well as social security, healthcare, housing, justice and social services, also and especially for vulnerable groups.

To achieve this, it is important to change the mind-set of many EU leaders and to come forward with a model that puts social and environmental challenges at equal footing with economic ones.

This is the only way to align our EU policies with the three dimensions of the SDG’s and to avoid a lost generation.

If we want our next generation in Europe to be strong and resilient, we must invest in their future and therefore must consider the child guarantee and the youth guarantee amongst the most precious instrument we have.

Dear colleagues, child guarantee and youth guarantee can only be successful if we allocate sufficient financial means and if we are able to show creativity when it comes to shaping and implementing them.

Let me finish with thanking Ms Dobrev and Mr Schuster and the shadow rapporteurs for their excellent report.

Thank you very much!

copyright picture: European Union /2020