Declaration of Brussels
Euromarch against unemployment, insecure work and exclusions
European Social Movements: for their unity in action
- Those Social Movements who oppose EU neo-liberal policies will face their greatest challenge in the next few months. Only a strong converging response can defeat this assault. The Summit of Nice has unleashed new dynamics, which will change the face of Europe before 2004, with the adoption of a EU Constitution, the enlargement to the East and the redefinition of power between European, National and Regional levels.
- The new direction of EU economic and social policy serves the interests of the ruling class and capitalist groups by working against the interests of the majority of the people, particularly workers and the unemployed. This neo-liberal trend finds expression in a »workfare« policy, in the demolition of our achievements in social justice, the privatisation of public services, the repression of Social Movements, restrictions on the rights to free expression and freedom of movement, the development of insecure work, and the creation of a European Labour Market.
- The EU Charter of the Fundamental Rights remains on the table even if it was not adopted at Nice in December 2000. Intended as the preamble of the EU Constitution, this Charter sets down those existing rights deemed acceptable to the Convention. These rights are inferior to the rights many already possess in their National Constitutions. Rights to benefits (pensions, unemployment benefits and a minimum income) do not appear in the Charter. If the Charter, written as it is now, became law, it would herald a new era of social regression, which would inevitably lead to a real »levelling down«.
- If no voice is raised in opposition, the European Council at Gothenburg in June 2001 and in Laeken-Brussels at the end of the year will go on to reinforce the progress of liberalism. Additionally, the switch to the Euro, in twelve countries, at the beginning of 2002 will also mark a new step in this direction.
- It is a matter of urgency that the Social Movements around Europe come together, in order to agree a common strategy and objectives, so that this relentless progress towards liberalism can be stopped.
- We suggest that all the EU Social Movements, trade-unionists, workers and farmers, the unemployed, insecure workers, organizations for the homeless, campaigners against liberal globalisation, women, youth, students organizations, migrants and asylum seekers' support groups, anti-racist and anti-fascist movements, environmentalists, the anti-militarist movements, the peace movements, groups opposed to the militarisation of Europe, rights activists, the intellectual networks where research workers and the activists in the Social Movements work together, that all these movements join together and CONVERGE.
- The Summit of Laeken-Brussels in December 2001 gives us an opportunity to advance in the direction of greater cooperation. We propose a few objectives:
- The drawing up and adoption of a Charter expressing the demands of the EU Social Movements. This Charter would constitute an alternative to the Charter written by the EU institutions and would be a real reference and real incentive for future international social struggles. Representing the vision of a Social Europe, drawing an alternative perspective on how one can live and work.
- An inaugural meeting for European Social Movements to be convened at Brussels in December 2001, during the Summit of the Heads of State and Government in Laeken-Brussels
- The organization of mass action against EU neo-liberal policies for December 2001, in Brussels (encircling of the Heads' meetings and reaffirmation of the demands of the Social Movement)
- It is a matter of urgency that the EU Social Movements find common objectives and draw up their demands for a real change in society; that they initiate a concrete and coordinated campaign, which can enable all EU citizens, beyond the national borders, to put the future back in their hands. The marches and demonstrations that took place during the Summits of Amsterdam, Cologne and Nice, as well as the other European movements of struggle (workers, unemployed, women, farmers or asylum seekers) have already proved that international social struggles are possible.
- The existing networks feel a growing need to bring all the Social Movements together at a European level. Having regard to the special interests and the differences of each, while participating in what already exists, we want to initiate debates and actions in order to advance the development of a European Coordination between networks, which would remain adaptable, non hierarchical, democratic and decentralized.
- Finally, we have to keep in mind that acting on the European level does not mean staying within the walls of Fortress-Europe and forgetting about the global stakes. The EU policy appears indeed to be pivotal for liberal globalisation. It seems important then to link together the Social Movements and the movements of struggle that have appeared on the international stage during the actions against neo-liberalism, from Seattle to Porto Alegre. These events have thrown light on some new activist movements, especially among the youth. After the successful mobilizations in Seattle, Washington and Prague, Nice proved in December 2000 that it is possible to make European social issues and the anti-liberal, anti-globalisation struggles converge in the same mobilization. The next events, Gothenburg on 13-16th June 2001, Barcelona on 25-27th June 2001, Genoa on 19-21st July 2001 and Laeken-Brussels on 12-15th December 2001 will offer an opportunity to begin building greater convergence.
Après les succès des mobilisations de Seattle, Washington et Prague, Nice en décembre 2000 a montré qu'il était possible de faire converger dans la mobilisation les préoccupations sociales en Europe et les mouvements contre la globalisation libérale. Les prochaines échéances, Göteborg du 13 au 16 juin, Barcelone les 25 / 27 juin 2001, Gênes les 19 / 21 juillet 2001 et enfin Laeken / Bruxelles du 12 au 15 décembre 2001 seront l'occasion concrète de renforcer ces convergences.
Brussels, 22nd April 2001
Coordination of the Euromarch
against unemployment, insecure work and exclusions.