Foreword by the President of the S&D Group

Tuesday, 15 November, 2016

As progressives, we believe that politics makes a difference. We strive to make life better for people all over Europe. Making things better demands a healthy economy. Europe is now taking timid steps towards economic recovery, but it is still lagging behind when it comes to investment and innovation. Without these two elements, there is no recovery. To create the right conditions for a healthy economy, we need an active state that is creating and shaping markets instead of just fixing market failures. That is why we need a constructive progressive politics for the future and not a dogmatic neoliberalism with a blind belief in the market.

At the 2016 Progressive Economy Forum – with keynote speaker Professor Mariana Mazzucato of the University of Sussex - we looked into the interaction between investment, innovation and growth, and the role played by the entrepreneurial state in promoting them.  The idea of the entrepreneurial state is the state as a strategic actor that can shape and create markets via an innovation-driven economy. The growth we need today must meet key challenges such as climate change and the technological revolution. At the same time, it must be both socially inclusive and sustainable. It is a historic challenge, but as progressives we are naturally optimistic, facing the future with hope and a willingness to adapt our principles to changing times and for the common good.

The way forward in dealing with these challenges is to have a closer interaction between politicians and experts, so we become stronger in finding solutions for the future combining principles and policy.

This special edition of the Journal intends to present the range of opinions expressed at the Annual Forum and can hopefully be an inspiration for progressives, whether it is on a European, national or regional level. The challenges we are facing are the same and our responses should be interlinked and coherent.

Hoping to see you next year at the fourth Progressive Economy Annual Forum.

Gianni Pittella MEP

President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament