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« For a democratic Europe,

of citizenship, social rights, equality and peace »

Declaration proposed to the European Network for Social Rights in Europe (RED)

The democracy in Europe can only be based on a double foundation

European democracy can only rely on two foundations: the sovereignty of its peoples and of the citizens they consist of. It will grow from its representative local, national and European assemblies, the only ones who have the legitimacy to elaborate, propose and validate a Constitution of the European citizens. The fundamental and social rights are indivisible and universal common goods for everybody and include the right for a healthy and sustainable environment. They have to be respected as much by individuals as by groups and peoples.

We want a Europe where citizens participate in promoting peace, social rights, justice, equality, freedom and openness to the world.

  1. We, the citizens of Europe want a democratic Europe, a Europe which practices the values that it pretends to defend. A true charter of rights should be open to debate by all citizens who affirm the principles of universality, indivisibility and effectiveness of the civil, economic, political, social and cultural rights of all European residents, regardless of their nationality or origin.

    This Europe must adopt all international instruments that protect freedom and economic and social rights. It should finally create a real democratic system that adopts whatever the parliament legislates, the executive governs and the judicial institutions decide. This is why it needs a real constitution that will guarantee and safeguard its peopleís rights and their freedom. Europe has to create institutions that allow the active expression and participation of its citizens.

  2. We, the citizens of Europe, want a society based on equality and the respect for its diversity. Thatís why the constitution has to go beyond the recognition of equality between all women and men recognizing an equality that also respects their diversity and in particular on the professional level.

    The women must be able to dispose freely of their bodies, especially with regard to contraception and abortion which should be free in access and cost. Sexual preferences should by no means be a pretext for discrimination. Social equality can only prosper in a Europe where the national and the Unionís legislation seriously fight the endemic violence against women. We want a Europe that guarantees the right for asylum of every woman who has become victim of sexist violence in her country of origin.

  3. We, the citizens of Europe, want a social Europe. Thatís why we reject an economic model which opposes the sustainable development of the Union. We reject an economic model that produces unemployment, marginalises millions of people, considers competition and profit as its supreme values and disregards the environment. Europe has to stop accepting the reduction of social minima giving way to the claims of those who intend to instrumentalise the Union for their own economic interests. The economy has to be put in the service of a social development. This implies the design of an economic, social and fiscal policy which no longer contributes to institutions like the European Central Bank who fulfil their task without any democratic control. Europe has to recognise the need and the role of public services which are essential for its social and territorial cohesion and to the satisfaction of the basic needs of its citizens.

    We want a social Europe based on the respect of fundamental social rights, such as:

    • The right for work, the right for a salary and the right for decent working conditions. Particularly we oppose the imposition of precarious and part-time-jobs.
    • The right for means of existence. Every person has the right for a minimum income defined by European standards according to the wealth produced by the Member-State he or she lives in.
    • The right for shelter and housing. Common goods such as water should be recognised as public services and not be left to the market forces.
    • The right for health care and the right for social protection.
    • Family rights and children rights.
    • The right of older people for a pension.
    • The rights of the handicapped.
    • The right for education.
    • The right to culture.
    • The right for free expression, demonstration and free circulation.

    All of the social rights have to be guaranteed on the entire territory of the Union with the objective to improve the living and working conditions on the basis of achieving progressively their equality between the Member States of the Union. Each of the social rights has to be protected legally and factually.

  4. We, the citizens of Europe, want a Europe open to the world. It is our responsibility as Europeans to promote an international system based on the globalisation of rights, equality and solidarity. For this purpose Europe has to open up to the world changing radically its image of a besieged fortress. The Union has to respect everybodyís right to circulate freely and has to put at the disposal of the citizens the necessary means to guarantee, as soon as possible, an effective freedom of settlement.
    • The citizenship of residence therefore will be the indispensable guarantee for the social cohesion on the territory of the Union. This implies the recognition of an equality of rights of all its residents regardless of their nationality. From now on Europe has to recognise the citizenship of residence to all foreigners living on its territory and has to respect fully the right of asylum.
    • The cultural identity of Europe is already a reality which should be broadened and diversified, especially in order to avoid the hegemony of a culture based on a dominant model. It is the responsibility of all of us to create a public space where this plurality of cultures which is the outstanding feature of our epoch is reflected.

     
  5. We, the citizens of Europe, want a Europe of peace and want that this peace should be recognised as a fundamental value. Europe has to be a subject of peace and justice not only for the peoples of Europe, but for the entire planet.

    We, the citizens of Europe, raise our voice to call for full recognition of all associations and trade unions as societal counterparts of the Unionís institutions; because there cannot exist democracy without the active participation of the citizens and without the desire and the means for their participation. To conceive civil counterparts on the European level, to promote the representation of citizens beyond the boundaries of their national interests should be one of the priorities of each of the Unionís institutions and of the European civil society as a whole.

    This is why we, the citizens of Europe, conscious about the European challenges and the impact Europe already has and will have on our every day life call on all citizens of Europe and all organisations to mobilise in order to build a truly democratic Europe who respects the rights and freedom of all of us.

    We therefore call to undertake a collective construction process aimed at the constitution of « Assemblies for another Europe » based on universal and indivisible rights for the citizenship of residence, equality, peace and democracy.

    The participants of the conference have expressed their wish that a real right to strike at European scale be integrated in the list of the demanded social rights.

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