European Marches
against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusions

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Jean-Guy Dufour

The European Union is now at a crucial time in its history. On 1st May, the E.U enlarges to include ten new countries, of which most are in a very difficult economic and social situation, and talks are now on for the E.U. to be governed under a Constitutional Treaty based on very liberal schemes. Therefore, a recurrent issue comes out with more strength than ever: Will the European Union still be for a large number, an abstraction so far from our daily lives, and thus, the place where social damage, more and more deeply suffered by a large number of people, is planned?

Then, people may turn away more and more from it at the risk of all xenophobic withdrawals...

Or instead, will the E.U. bring about hope in a huge space of liberty for all women and men who are living whatever their origins; women and men who keep on with a fair relationship with the rest of the world, a place where the economy serves the man and preserves our planet? Then people will really feel concerned.

To pose the question of the reality and the future of social rights in an enlarged Europe is then a really burning issue! The Conference –was a debate held in Brussels on March the 19-20 2004, whose report is the purpose of this book, it did not have the pretentiousness to cover the topic in its entirety. Though, it was an opportunity to exchange information and thoughts which will, we hope, be of interest to all those who For an East – West solidarity of the social movements struggle everyday, throughout Europe, as much in Eastern as in Western Europe, to make prevail the material and spiritual needs of all women and men, and to recognise the urgency to care for our fragile planet, and not the opposite.

During these two days, a hundred activists from organisations of the unemployed and organisations who struggle against unemployment and job insecurity from several eastern European and western European countries, trade unionists, and other experts made a statement on their view of European employment and social policies; on the treatment of the issue of unemployment and their consequences in each country. They had kept themselves informed on the situation in eastern countries, more specifically in Poland. They attempted to bring out the crucial issues and common perspectives for action.


2. A step in our marches: Enlargement: a new issue for Euromarches >>