The S&D Group have set up their Relaunching Europe initiative, asking for opinions and questions about Europe and their policies, so I thought I'd ask a few questions.
1. It's a good idea for Europarties and the groups in the European Parliament to reach out to citizens and include them in the European debate. Will there be many Relaunching Europe events outside of Brussels?
2. How should tax evasion and avoidance be tackled at the European level? Barroso mentioned saving tax agreements in his State of the Union speech: are these effective and would the S&D Group propose any other measures?
3. If there was a Social Compact inserted into the EU Treaties, what would it do? Would it oblige Member States to maintain a certain level of social protection or would it create an EU support mechanism for social protection?
4. You argue that Troikas undermine democracy, so it seems that the current rules for the Eurozone are unjust. If the S&D and PES win the next election, will you push for repealing or reforming the 6-Pack (and 2-Pack if it's passed) of legislation and propose changes if you win the next election (as your candidate would become Commission President)?
5. Hannes Swoboda has mentioned the creation of a class of working poor in Germany. Would the S&D push for a European Minimum Wage (or a band of minimum wages to take into account the different economies)? (Or what other measures would you propose?).
6. It's great that the PES has committed itself to proposing a candidate for the Commission Presidency at the next election. Do you think the Commission should reflect the European Parliament better - ie. reflect the make up of any coalition or majority after the European elections?
7. There seem to be problems with finding projects for the regional funds to fund in crisis-hit Member States. Should the regional funds be reformed to also support national social spending in crisis situations to help the country reform?
8. Hannes Swoboda also said that we need an adequate EU budget to promote growth. How much should the EU budget be increased by, and what should the money be spent on?