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EU election line-up: Socialist People’s Party

The Socialist People’s Party fights for a left and green political agenda in the European Union

Social justice, a focus on climate and environment issues, and increased transparency and political participation for its citizens. These are the main goals of the Socialist People’s Party (SF), explains Christine Sidenius, one of their European Parliament candidates, in our interview.

“My party’s approach to the European Unions is to solve cross-border issues, if suitable, at the EU-level. As a left wing party our goal is also to get as much influence as possible and to change the agenda”.

The Socialist People’s Party is one of the six danish parties that is likely to obtain a seat after the European Parliament election on Sunday, May 25, 2014. Until January 2014, SF was a member of the Danish national government.

Close to the green family

Christine explains that the European Green Party has shifted their political focus.

“Before, in the 80s and 90s the focus was much on putting climate and environmental issues on the agenda. In the recent crisis the green group has developed a lot, and labour market issues, social issues have been incorporated.”

“It’s a political family that is very close to us. The Socialist People’s Party has been associated with the group, and we have just agreed to join the European Green Party”, explains Christine.

Improving access and recognition

For Christine, the Erasmus program is a tool for creating cross-national understanding and improving access to labour markets in foreign countries. SF supports better funding for the programme.

“The whole idea of having exchange students is a way of creating more knowledge about the other member states, and maybe improving European integration,” she says.

There is also a role for the EU in improving recognition of courses and degrees.

“The EU can and should promote recognition of educations and courses from other countries.”

National, but open systems.

However, beyond extending funding for mobility support, student finances should remain a national prerogative.

“In principle, financing should stay at the national level. The EU could support the promotion of better financing, as a value, but the EU shouldn’t impose solutions,” she says.

SF is in principle in favour of granting foreign nationals access to student benefit systems.

“There needs to be some adjustment not to undermine the Scandinavian systems, but in principle, I support the idea that everybody should have access to the benefit systems.”

Research policy and development

Asked for future directions in European research policy, Christine proposes to take note of Europe’s foreign policy.

“We need more research in developing green technologies and renewable energy solutions. The EU also needs to be on top of high-tech research. Another area is of course in development policies. As one of the largest donors in the world, the EU could spend its money more wisely, by using research means to figure out how to do better development policies.”

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