European Marches against unemployment

Text prepared for the meeting of 21 and 22 September at Paris


A) Aim of these marches:


  • These marches will open new lines of communcation between different European organisations concerned with the struggle against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion.
    These marches should result in the establishment of a durable European network of the participating organisations .
  • During these marches and the preparatory meetings scheduled for January , information will be exchanged on different unemployment compensation systems at the European level as well as initiatives to combat social exclusion. The goal is to present a coherent, common program of demands which will include both structural solutions and emergency progosals.
  • The goal is to gather at Amsterdam more than thirty thousand demonstrators from the different European countries.


B) The Calendar:


The situation in September 1996

In June 96, in Florence, different delegations called for the organisation of these marches and the holding of preparatory meetings.
This appeal was taken up by organisations in different European countries. Thus, we may look forward with a certain realism to the organisation of these initiatives.
The collection of signatures must nevertheless continue.

The modalities of the preliminary meetings in Brussels and the calendar of the march itself are to be set out in Paris on September 21 and 22.

Preliminary European meetings on unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion

It is anticipated that these meetings will be held at Brussels on January 17 and 18.
The secretariat of the Marches (or the Belgian Delegation) must make sure of the availability of the European Parliament for this reunion).
500 persons are expected to be present.

This reunion has three objectives.

  • The adoption of elements that are programmatically complementary to the Florence Appeal.
    In November and December various programmatic commissions will have elaborated propositions along thematic lines.
  • Institutitonal partners will have officially confirmed their support to the organisation of the marches.
  • Publicity launching. An appropriate and effective strategy is to be worked out and gotten under way starting January 1997.

The European marches against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion

During April, May and June 1997, committees in each country will work on organising initiatives. These may take the form of press conferences, reunions, local gatherings, demonstrations, human chains, concerts, marches ...
Symbolic actions such as occupying vacant buildings and unemployment insurance agencies and sit-ins before ministries might be scheduled for the same day in different countries.

The Amsterdam demonstration of 28 June 1997

It would be effective to coordinate with the marches, the massive European demonstration against unemployment, job insecurity and social exclusion.
The objective is to gather more than thirty thousand people from different European countries.
The demonstration can wind up with a concert or a super festival.

October 1997 evaluation conference

In October 1997 a meeting will be held to draw conclusions, prepare further European initiatives, and consolidate the network exchange.


European Marches


Appeal from Florence




    Coordination meeting
    21-22/09/96 in Paris
  1. Aim of these marches
  2. The Calendar
  3. Organisation of the marches
  4. Communication structure
  5. Le secrétariat de l'organisation
  6. Conclusion

C) Organisation of the marches


Two methods:

La première méthode consiste à concevoir les marches de façon linéaire, sans qu'il y ait obligation de continuité pédestre.
Différentes marches sont organisées à partir des villes les plus éloignées pour converger vers la destination finale d'Amsterdam. Elles sont accueillis lors de leur passage dans les villes étapes et sont l'occasion d'organiser des événements.
Cette méthode a été utilisée lors des marches d'AC ! d'avril et mai 94, en France.
Cette méthode nécessite l'organisation des marches sur trois mois et la montée au puissance au fur et à mesure de l'approche d'Amsterdam.

La seconde méthode consiste à organiser dans un délai d'un mois des marches dans chaque pays. Ainsi, chaque pays est maître de son organisation. La cohérence du projet est la simultanéité des initiatives et les propositions programmatiques communes.
C'est une conception plus circulaire des marches, la convergence est assurée par l'organisation de la manifestation d'Amsterdam.
Durant ce mois, il est organisé de façon programmée en commun des événements médiatiques d'ampleur européenne.

En septembre, il faudra dresser l'inventaire des forces et des moyens dans chaque pays, pour donner corps au projet. The first is to think of the marches in a linear way, except for the obligation to keep walking.
Different marches are organised, originating in the most distant cities and converging at Amsterdam. They will be met in the towns on the way , providing occasions for socialisation, communication, information, further mobilisation perhaps and social festivities.
This was the method followed by the marchers of AC! in April and May 1994 in France.
This method demands three months of prior organisation and a significant influx of participants on the way to Amsterdam.

The second method is the organisation within one month of marches within each country. Thus each country is in charge of its own organisation. The coherence of the project lies in the simultaneity of initiatives and common program propositions.
It is a more circuitous sort of march, convergence being assured by the Amsterdam demonstration body.
During this month, publicity campaigns on a European scale will be organised in a programmed manner.

In September, it will be necessary to draw up an inventory of the means and capacities of each country , so that this project may take on real substance .

Intercommunication and exchange of ideas

Since the objective is exchange between the different organisations of different countries, the organisation of the marches must be conceived in such a way as to facilitate and encourage such exchanges.
To that end, a common material, translated into several languages, will be written and distributed at each event in the different countries.
Groups of marchers will be transnational, so that at rest stops meeting participants can hear the opinions of those of other countries.
Important publicity events as well as press conferences should be organised in a transnational manner so that the participants can readily appreciate the European aspect of the organisation.


So that a French marcher (for example) can participate during one month in a Spanish or German march, it might be possible to organise a sponsorship, say with a union, association, or muncipality which can pay for food and transportation expenses.

Similarly, for necessary financing purposes, publicity events can be organised with the support of associations, towns, unions and mass media.


European Marches




    Coordination meeting
    21-22/09/96 in Paris
  1. Aim of these marches
  2. The Calendar
  3. Organisation of the marches
  4. Communication structure
  5. Le secrétariat de l'organisation
  6. Conclusion

D) Communication structure:


In September, the coordination will give its opinion on the various proposals for emblems or insignia.
A letter-head and a poster presenting the project will be distributed to each national secretaryship.

The March Newsletter:

From January to June a monthly paper can be put out which will report in several languages the various initiatives, the viewpoints of the different organisations, historical background in each country and programmatic propositions.
Financial backing should be obtained for this project (the European Parliament, for example).

Pertinent publications:

The publication in several languages of books concerning the propositions as well as books outlining the different systems currently in use in Europe.
These books provide background and support in press conferences and for organisers.

internet link-up:

Starting in September an Internet server can be established - EUROPEAN MARCHES AGAINST UNEMPLOYMENT, JOB INSECURITY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION - setting forth initiatives, historical background on organisations calling for the March, programmatic propositions ...

The mass media:

Communication with the media is indispensable for the success of this project.
In addition to press conferences with the media in each country, it is essential to maintain relations of partnership with certain printed or televised media in such a way as to ensure continuity of information.
An example ­ assurance of a regular weekly program on ARTE.


E) Organisation secretariat:


The Coordination :

At this time, the work of the secretariat is being carried out by the French delegation, and Christophe is in charge of coordination.
In September, however, the balance sheet of secretariats of each country should be drawn up and the role of a European secretriat defined.
In particular, access to telephone conference facilities and message boxes must be made available for all.
In September, it will have to be decided if secretariat mailings are
  • to be sent in single copy to the secretariats of each country who will take charge of distribution to all member organisations
  • to be distributed directly by the European secretariat to all organisations that have signed the Appeal.


Since information exchange is one of the objectives of this operation, translation of texts put out by the Secretariat must get maximum priority.
Therefore, a list must be drawn up of languages used, translator availability and practical estimation of time needed.

Starting in October, language training sessions should be set up so that organisors and future marchers can communicate more easily.

Filing system

The European secretariat keeps up to date the file of signatory associations and organisations.
In particular, it also regularly issues a list of all these associations with a one-page description on the activities and history of each one.
This list is distributed in the various languages used by the coordination.


In September, a commission will be set up to look after financing.

Actually, apart from expenses undertaken by each country, there is a certain amount of spending which cannot be reduced.

  • travel and lodging of the coordinations
  • mailing and telephone costs of the European secretariat
  • financng of international publicity
  • the preliminary meetings in January
  • the Amsterdam demonstration


F) Conclusion:

This document has been drawn up by the French delegation in order to serve as an opening for the discussions of the coordination meeting in September. It complements the agenda. It is distributed to each association which is currently signatory of the Appeal of Florence.
It can certainly be enriched or amended, is open to criticism, it is to be used ...

Translation: Cynthia Powsner

french original



Coordination 11/96

The Marches



    Coordination meeting
    21-22/09/96 in Paris
  1. Aim of these marches
  2. The Calendar
  3. Organisation of the marches
  4. Communication structure
  5. Le secrétariat de l'organisation
  6. Conclusion







European Marches