European, Latinamerican and Caribbean Social Encounter

17 November 2005
Article
 
Conference Poster

European, Latinamerican and Caribbean Social Encounter
Linking Alternatives
Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 25-29 May 2004


Invitation

On 28-29 May 2004, Mexico will be the stage of the 3rd Summit of Heads of State and Government of European, Latin American and Caribbean countries. According to official information, the agenda of the Summit to be held in Guadalajara will address the central theme of "social cohesion", including "democratic governance, fighting poverty, social development policies and the role of regional integration.

The Summit is happening at a time when Latin America is facing a new offensive on the part of the United States to impose its hegemony through an hemispheric agreement - the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA), the proliferation of "free trade" agreements and pressure for political and military control. At the same time, the region is witnessing the multiplication of economic agreements and investments on the part of the European Union countries, in favour of their transnational corporations.

The relation with Northern Powers, including the European Union, is one of subordination, and stems from antidemocratic and unfair basis, social exclusion and the elimination of our fundamental rights. The people of Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union itself suffer the consequences of neoliberal globalisation, given that the quarrel between the Great Powers for natural and human resources and the competition between the transnational corporations themselves are imposing miserable living and working conditions on the people.

The increasing predominance of transnational corporations, the migration explosion, the unemployment raise, the decrease of social security, the privatisation of social services, the permanent burden of external debt, the desperate and unjust situation in the countryside, the absence of transparency and democracy, the violation of integral human rights, among others, are diverse expressions of the same global policy, where democracy, sovereignty, social justice, economic relations and peace are at risk. Those are some of the subjects of interest for society with regards to the official agenda.

What will be the social and environmental impacts of the European Union agreements and investments in Latin America, in the North as well as in the South? What would be the specific impacts on women? How can transnational blackmailing be ended? What types of solidarity and cooperation can the people of America and Europe build together?

To respond to these and many other questions and to make the voice of excluded people heard are the reasons why we are inviting the social and civil organisations of both continents to meet in the city of Guadalajara, Mexico, during the official LA-EU Summit, with three basic purposes:

  1. To revise the implications of the pretended content of this "social cohesion", by demonstrating the impracticability of the model, reaching conclusions and formulating proposals which will allow us to approach with greater support and strength the construction of peace, democracy and an inclusive, just and sustainable development.
  2. To analyse the ways we organise to face the struggle while defining diverse strategies to articulate it from our own space, in order to achieve significant progress in giving voice to the proposals and decisions of the excluded.
  3. To carry out actions and mobilisations to demonstrate social disagreement as a public means of popular pressure.

As a possible programme, we are proposing to begin with preparatory activities by sectors and themes on 26-27 May (seminary, workshops, forums, meetings). These would be organised by interested organisations. Some of the themes which have been indicated until now are: water, militarisation, external debt, labour, among others. The deadline to register events and request information on installations is April 26th.

28-29 May would be dedicated to united meeting, mobilisations and creative actions, with articulated plans and common strategies. The central event could possibly be divided in three main areas: a) Sovereignty, democracy, peace; b) Economic, social, cultural and environmental rights; c) Economic agreements impacts.

Our invitation is to convert this encounter in an opportunity to advance our relations and build alternatives from the perspective of European, Latin American and Caribbean social and civil society organisations, as well as academics, intellectuals, members of parliaments, or any person from those regions with interest to contribute to the themes of the meeting.

Co-conveners

Guadalajara: Promotion group "Another May in Guadalajara", Mexican Institute for Community Development (IMDEC), National Revolutionary Union of Euzkadi Workers, (SNRTE), Jalisco Ecologist Collective (CEJ).

Mexico: Mexican Action Network on Free Trade (RMALC), DECA-Pueblo Team, Miguel Agustin Pro Juarez Centre on Human Rights (Centro Pro), Authentic Workers Front (FAT), Mexican Union of Electrical Workers (SME), National Gender and Economy Network (REDGE), World March of Women-Mexico, Citizens' Movement for Democracy (MCD), National Association of Agricultural Product Trading Enterprises (ANEC), Labour Investigation and Trade Union Advisory Centre (CILAS).

Latin America and Caribbean: Hemispheric Social Alliance (HSA), Chilean Alliance for Just and Responsible Trade (ACJR), Friends of the Earth (Uruguay) Brazilian Network for the Integration of the People (REBRIP), Jubilee South, Latin American Network "Women Transforming the Economy" (RMTE).

Europe: Latin American Collective (France), Transnational Institute (Netherlands), Copenhagen Initiative for Central America and Mexico (CIFCA), ATTAC.