A Social Europe?
Jean believes that the UK should remain an active member of the EU, but that the EU should be reformed to make it less of a free market area and more a supranational force for social good – in short, a Social Europe based on the principle of international solidarity.
It was formed in the wake of war in Europe, and has remained a force for peace: it must remain a beacon for the defence of human rights and democracy, good welfare standards, decent housing, access to health and social care and, crucially, fairness and the common good.
Jean has worked tirelessly on this agenda, Jean is a member of the Intergroup on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights – which saw 2010 named European Year for the the Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.
Jean has supported food banks and advice centres in London, and has promoted the creation of job creation – and for fairer settlements for workers, often alongside trades unions.
Jean has pushed repeatedly for International Labour Organisation treaties and conventions to be incorporated into EU law.
In 2012 Jean worked with Green MEPs from across Europe to produce a publication entitled ‘Social Europe’, gathering essays and thoughts on social policy as applied across the EU – this has fed in to Jean’s work with civil society NGOs on poverty reduction and homelessness.
Jean believe all workers should be entitled to a ‘Living Wage’ – not just a minimum wage, and have joined campaigns for all to be paid accordingly, specifically campaigning for more pay for cleaning staff at universities in London and, alongside the group ‘Just Pay’, at all FTSE 100 employers.
She was instrumental in persuading the European Commission to include poverty-reduction targets in its EU2020 Strategy, working with UNICEF on child poverty, and on getting the EU to adopt a homelessness strategy, shamefully a strategy opposed by UK Conservatives.