Progressives all over the world gathered for a three-day Global Progressive Forum event to discuss the challenges and solutions to the most pressing problems the world faces today. As the event is coming to an end, Andreas Schieder, S&D Member of the European Parliament from Austria and co-chair of the Global Progressive Forum, concludes:
“Today, three days of intense talks and debates come to an end.
“The 35th president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said it well: ‘I don’t want to be an algorithm, I want to be a human being.’ With all the benefits that technology brings, we must also consider the threats it poses to people. Vibrant democracy, a functioning economy, new technologies, the fight against climate change – all these have to work in the interests of the people. And only we as progressives put people first in all our policies.
“The American technology ethicist Tristan Harris has named the dangers we face from too much state control in the context of digitalisation. At the same time, we cannot leave the digital world unregulated, because we can already see the dangers this poses for democracy and society. What we, the progressives, want is more citizen participation and protection for the rights of all citizens, including online. Then we can also improve the digital interactions between institutions and citizens, and deliver better results.
“Ylva Johansson, the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, has made a clear statement against xenophobia. Migration is a fact, there will always be people fleeing war and persecution, and there will always be people who want to improve their economic situation. They are not a threat, they are people with the right to a better life and their skills can be of great benefit to our societies.
“Our budgetary policy must make the fight against inequality a top priority. Enrico Letta, former Italian prime minister and current leader of Partito Democratico, has stressed that with NextGenerationEU we are taking the first step on this path. Thanks to this policy, European citizens can see the direct benefits of being a member state of the European Union, as economic recovery from the pandemic would not be possible without the support of EU funds.
“I am proud of the interest shown in the Global Progressive Forum by so many participants all over the world. Not just Europe, but the entire world needs a progressive turnaround after the years of populism. If we take action now, we will live in a better world in two years when the next GPF will take place. And I hope to see many of our wonderful participants from this year again and meet many new ones.”