Social Democrat Lídia Pereira, who will lead the Youth of the European People’s Party, believes that the right-wing center has to fight against populism, although she says her departure from the Hungarian Fidesz party is not a priority.
The young economist, a native of Coimbra and current vice-president of the Youth of the European People’s Party (YEPP), is the only candidate for the leadership of this structure, whose electoral congress takes place on Saturday in Athens with the participation of some 250 delegates representing 70 organizations from all over Europe.
Having as its motto “Together we go further”, Lídia Pereira assumes that it is necessary to ensure cohesion in the European Union and to evaluate the role of the European right-center with the growth of populism in Europe, namely in the east of the continent, considering that the YEPP will be “an active voice in the fight against populism”.
However, when questioned about the presence of Fidelitas, the political structure of the youth of the extreme right-wing Hungarian party Fidesz, in the YEPP, Lídia Pereira considers that “as long as the party is represented in the PPE [European People’s Party], it does not make sense to start any type of due diligence. ”
“For the time being, we do not feel this need. This discussion has never been done openly and is not our priority,” said the Social Democrat, although she said it is a situation that “has to be taken into account” and of raising awareness to ensure that European values are respected.
In recent years, Brussels has criticized some of the decisions of the Hungarian government, led by Viktor Orban of Fidesz, such as the refusal to accept refugees, limitations on freedom of the press and the adoption of laws on the control of non-governmental organizations and universities, as well as the institution of a new law punishing with one year of imprisonment who help illegal immigrants.
Regarding migration policy, the young woman from Coimbra argues that Europe’s doors can not be closed to refugees, but considers that there must be “control of who enters and leaves”.
“We have to ensure that people who enter have resources and are treated in a dignified way and are integrated into society. We can not leave them to abandon, because that is what creates a fragmented society,” he said.
For the two-year term at the helm of the YEPP, Lídia Pereira intends to advance the discussion on the future of the work associated with the digital revolution process, considering that, on the one hand, it is necessary to ensure that young people have the necessary tools to be successful in this transition, and, on the other, to discuss the direct impacts of digitization on labor income.
“We do not want this new revolution in work model issues to be ignored or postponed. It has to be on the agenda,” he said.
Another priority for the next two years will be the discussion on climate change and the need for future generations to be “aware” of this challenge, he said.