Improving Quality of Life for All
Our Policies

European Manifesto

Labour – and the Party of European Socialists – has prioritised social justice, especially for all children and families. Labour will take practical steps to reduce poverty at local, national and European level, so that every child has a decent start in life.

One in four children are at risk of poverty across the EU, including in Ireland, with all that implies in terms of missed opportunities to learn and develop in childhood, and the risk of personal and social problems later in life.

Decent healthcare, social protection, housing and education are issues that people care deeply about. While the EU has limited powers in these social areas, it does have influence. We will make sure that the EU’s influence in social policy is a force for good.

  • We believe that there needs to be a new Social Contract for Europe
  • Labour and our sister parties from across Europe will provide the necessary leadership by demanding a Social Europe that will prioritise equality, poverty reduction, the creation of quality jobs, security in old age, supports for people with disabilities and the best possible start for all children
  • We will make sure that EU economic policy focuses on the elimination of poverty and social exclusion with binding targets and fines for non-compliance. There must be a focus on eliminating inter-generational poverty and social exclusion by enhancing people’s opportunities
  • Labour MEPs will represent urban and rural areas. That is why we will call for a much greater economic balance between rural and urban areas, such as through investment in rural transport and broadband
  • We will demand a fair start for every child
  • We’ll demand that the EU prioritises the elimination of child poverty as part of its prioritisation of social justice and solidarity, with binding targets and monitoring of performance across member states
  • The rights of children must be recognised. That is why we want to see a European Child Guarantee that recognises the rights of a child, with the aim that every child would be free from abuse and have access to quality healthcare, childcare, education, housing and healthy meals
  • We will look to extend EU funding to support the rapid diagnosis and treatment/ support for children with disabilities to limit their loss of educational attainment and life opportunities
  • Labour will work to extend EU funding to organisations who are involved in promoting the uptake of breastfeeding, while seeking stricter rules on the advertising of replacement products
  • We will provide extra support to European workers’ families
  • There needs to be extra protections to assist transnational families; for example, ensuring leave opportunities to care for a family member in another country
  • We will call for it to be easier for children to move schools between member states
  • There must be additional measures to support inter-culturalism in mixed areas
  • Labour supports social innovation
  • We will support the development of social innovation in the European economy, and provide new opportunities for co-operatives, social enterprises and non-profit organisations to promote new solutions to meet people’s needs
  • We’ll seek increased EU funding and supports from the EIB for start-ups, SMEs, community organisations, and municipal authorities that seek to resolve social problems
  • We’ll seek EU supports for structures that facilitate greater co-operation between public authorities and private organisations seeking to resolve social problems, including incubators and innovation hubs operating at local level
  • In a Social Europe, there must be shared European public services
  • There must be a role for European funding of public healthcare and social security, building on the Youth Guarantee model
  • The Labour Party completely supports healthcare provision for all and for the provision of vaccines. We will seek a European minimum standard of guaranteed healthcare for all, including cancer screening programmes and availability of the HPV vaccine to all children
  • There must be further development of shared healthcare services of a highly specialised nature, where the populations of smaller member states would not be large enough to develop them in isolation, such as for very specialised surgical procedures, the development of “orphan drugs”, and treatment for rare diseases and genetic disorders
  • Labour MEPs will ensure that there is a European minimum standard of fair and equal access to education for all
  • We favour enhanced networks at EU level to share best practice in education, healthcare, disability services and social security