Presumably few Europeans would oppose one percent of their water bill going to international solidarity projects to help people who don’t yet have accesses to safe water and adequate sanitation. And as the Swedish proverb says, many little streams make a mighty river: the combined sums can make a real difference. In some countries a 1% solidarity levy is already common practice. It is...
Greece is the first test case of the resilience of the European single currency at a time of crisis. It is a historically established fact that a banking crisis is followed by a steep increase in public debt, due both to the fiscal support given to the banking sector and to the fall in GDP due to the on-setting recession. Although Greece did not have a banking crisis of the magnitude of other...
European Conference on 31 May 2011, 9h - 18h
In the European Parliament (Brussels) - in partnership with the GUE/NGL Parliamentary group
Since May 2010, the policies pushed by the E.U. and carried out in each country are greatly worsening the social, economic and situation and democratic situation. The austerity plans and the question of the public debt are at the heart of social and political conflicts. The “pact for Euro” marks yet another stage in the determination of the dominant forces in Europe to abolish the social model and to open the doors to social regression and taking democracy away. It removes any perspective of Europe’s emerging from the crisis.
On the pretence of fighting the crisis, budgetary deficits and State debts, the European Union and the governments of all our countries have initiated austerity policies that threaten all our populations, increase poverty and unemployment, attack all public expenditure for social solidarity and justice, all systems of social security and make unrealistic choices necessary for the environment.
Job shedding and insecurity as well as wage reductions are returning while bonuses and profits of big business and the banks are rising more than ever. The EU wants to impose regulation of wages, a drop in the level of indebtedness and to this end policy of massive reductions in national budgets and public expenditure. This will increase social inequality, call into question public services and further reduce access to basic needs and fundamental rights for everyone.
There are many mobilisations taking place against this, but they are still scattered. We hope to contribute to thinking about alternatives, to building effective solidarity and European-wide convergence of initiatives that develop in many countries.
We intend to appeal to all those who are mobilising and resisting, who want to take part in a perspective of Europe-wide struggle. We also intend to intensify the demand that Europe play another role in the world, particularly in solidarity with the Arab revolutions that are carriers of democratic and social demands as well as that of a new vision of relations between Europe and other regions of the world.
We ask you to take part in this conference, which will be broadly open (translation into different languages). It will take place in two stages:
Morning: the alternatives to austerity
Afternoon: the mobilisations in various countries and common perspectives
Since September 2010, forces involved in the European Social Forum and In European social mobilisations wished to organise this conference, a year after the European-wide hyper-austerity agreement, which will take place in partnership with the GUE/NGL Parliamentary group.
ATTAC (Germany, France, Hungary, Flanders), CADTM (France, Belgique, Suisse, Greece, Spain, Poland), Transform! Europe, Euromarches, Solidaires (France), FGTB (Belgium), EuroMemo Group, Forum soziales Europa (trade unionist network), Joint Social Conference, TransNational Institut (TNI, Amsterdam), Prague Spring II Network (CEE), Greek social Forum, Austrian Social Forum, Forum social de Belgique, Hungarian social forum network, Espaces Marx (France), Socialismo21 (Spain), Copernic Foundation (France), Mémoire des luttes (France), Patas Arriba, Nicos Poulantzas Institut (Greece), Society for European Dialogue (SPED, Czech Republic), Initiative des femmes en mouvement contre la dette et les plans d’austérité, Transform ! Brussels, World march women, Rood (Flanders), Coalition of Resistance (UK), WIDE (W omen In Development Europe), Realpe (European network of progressive local deputies); cgt-fsu-solidaires du havre de grève.
Have also already announced their participation: European Association for the Defence of Human Rights/Association Européenne pour la Défense des Droits de l'Homme (AEDH); European Feminist Initiative; Ligue des droits de l’homme (France), Fédération syndicale unitaire (FSU, France) ; trade unionists from different countries.
Attending from TNI: Brid Brennan
TNI fellow, Myriam van der Stichele in SOMO's EU financial reforms newsletter summarises defeats and partial victories against the all-powerful financial sector and opportunities for action in 2011 and 2012.Transfer of debt burden from private to public sector The austerity agenda that has swept across Europe has been promoted by political leaders who argue that debts have become unsustainable....
Finnish elections don’t usually make headlines in Europe. But this spring Finnish voters managed to spoil the mood among Brussels bureaucrats and the liberal public by giving the nationalist True Finns party the third highest number of seats in parliament. The Social Democrats secured second place by a margin of only one-tenth of a percent of the vote....