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Call of the Social movements for a solidarity East / West

Call on the initiative of the network of European Marches against Unemployment, Job insecurity and Exclusions.

On the 1st of May 2004, The E.U. will open to ten new countries. Once again, the E.U. construction gives priority to financial stakes rather than the rapprochement of the people of Europe, the most elementary rights and freedoms, more particularly the rights and liberties of the most underprivileged, precarious people, immigrants, and unemployed. Indeed, while capital and wealth are free to move in any direction, workers from the new countries are in advance suspected of « Social tourism » and greeted by the EU'15 governments by a « you are not welcome »

We, activists of the European social movements, associations and trade unions, on the contrary declare our will to break up all the borders and to establish active solidarities between the social movements of the E.U.'15 and the 10 new countries.

We refuse indeed, any attitude of withdrawal, which would lead to the closure of the EU15's to the workers of the new EU countries; we refuse also all the attempts aiming at relying on Enlargement to lower the existing social rights whilst overexploiting the workers of the EU’s new members.

We demand:

  • the levelling up of all social rights in Europe
    which means not only the respect of those rights existing in the different countries but also a democratically controlled process of extending the best social rights to the less privileged countries.
  • The enlargement of social rights everywhere in Europe in order to defeat precariousness and misery.
    Elementary social rights such as the right to housing, to employment, to health, to education, to culture, to real gender equality, the rights to transports and fluids, the right to land have to be recognized and implemented throughout Europe. The right to a guaranteed income to live must be recognized in all the EU For an East – West solidarity of the social movements countries; a mechanism of wealth redistribution, according to a common percentage of GDP per head in all states, (this would take into account the disparities in terms of wealth production and unify demands and rights, we suggest this percentage could be of 50% of the GDP)
  • The freedom of movement for all human beings living and working in Europe
    We demand a full freedom of movement, activity and settlement in all E.U. countries, for the inhabitants of the new member states as for those of all the countries of the world. We refuse to suffer the consequences of the competition between Eastern and Western legislations; therefore, we firmly demand the general development of social rights, in opposition to the EU construction logic, a liberal logic of obedience to capitalist interests.

    We are extremely critical of the current draft Constitution, which, if adopted as it is, would have disastrous consequences for social rights, for its contents and because it does not guarantee: unemployment benefits, pension schemes, social benefits, the right to housing, access to social services and health care would not be guaranteed anymore.

Only the emergence of a European social consciousness and of a European social movement, only a massive and active mobilization of populations, workers, unemployed, insecure workers and the development of grassroots social struggles will enable the building of a new future. This way, an active solidarity between the social movements of the 15 and of the 10 becomes with the 1st of May 2004 enlargement an imperious necessity.

That's why, we, activists of the European social movement, NGO's and trade unions of different European countries, are committed to follow this path.

How to implement it?

Some clues for the implementation of the call

In order to make the objectives of this appeal progress, the Euromarches is willing to contribute following several directions.

First of all, we must work to give to the European assemblies of the social movement issued from the process of the For an East – West solidarity of the social movements social forums more efficiency, to get the basic means necessary to ensure an effective convergence of the struggles for social rights in Europe, particularly, all the struggles aiming at causing a fall of the unemployment, precariousness and exclusion policies.

The network will also work on the process of preparation of the European social forums in order to make more involved in issues concerning workers, unemployed, insecure workers, immigrants and all social issues concerning the vast majority of the European citizens.

Given the fact that European citizens are not much informed about the stakes of the draft Constitution, the network will take part in initiatives aiming at redressing this situation and will plead for a European campaign on two demands:

  • The Constitution cannot be decided without any consultation of the people
  • It must include social rights and must not assert as a principle the current ultraliberal direction as an essential principle of E.U. , almost non revisable.

In order to make progress mutual knowledge and cooperation between Eastern and Western European movements, the Euromarches organization committees will develop twinning between Eastern and Western committees.

In this spirit, the network will endeavour to develop exchanges and common initiatives with the European Antipoverty Network (EAPN) and ENU.

At last, the networks of ENU and Euromarches are launching an appeal towards the Irish Presidency of E.U. to consider unemployed associations as representative in regard of the European institutions.



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