30th OCTOBER 2002
Here, in the wealthiest continent of the world, in the European Union,
poverty and social insecurity are the rule for one inhabitant in three,
because citizens cannot access the fundamental rights to work, income
Therefore we call for a day of
Universal Declaration of the Human Rights: Article 25
Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
Today, the right to a decent standard of living implies the right to an
A right is a right. But the EU policies intend to turn this right into what they call »a right to social aid«, into optional charity (Charter of the fundamental rights, article 34-3)
This point, like the Charter as a whole, is to be part of the Constitution in 2004.
Following the lead of the European Commission, governments are turning
unemployment benefits into conditioned social assistance.
The end of a work-contract and redundancy mean a progressive reduction of income.
For young people, it often means no income at all.
Public pension schemes are being put into question as well.
A two-tier labour market is being organised through low-status, forced part-time work, so called insertion policies, activation of so-called »passive« social spending.
Governments are subsidising companies that create very low-paid jobs.
Women, even more than men, are the first victims of this policy.
Migrants, and specially the undocumented migrants, are the first prey.
We do not accept the unemployed being made responsible for their situation.
We refuse any workfare measures and we demand from the European Union, from our governments and the employers to implement a guaranteed individual income, without any condition of sex or origin, throughout Europe
Such harmonization is necessary, especially as social and wage dumping is occurring throughout Europe and as enlargement could even worsen this process.
The organizations of the unemployed and insecure workers of the different EU countries have established the levels of income under which one is unable to live decently.
Because of the disparity of income between each country, we cannot produce a single figure for all the European unemployed.
But a common demand is still necessary and possible.
We propose a common method of calculation of a guaranteed income, that can be used in each country, whilst taking into account their specificities and integrating a few parameters to determine these minimum levels:
These incomes have to be indexed every year to increase in GDP, which implies a fairer distribution of wealth.
Let's fight the spiral of poverty!
Let's impose minimum levels of income: a guaranteed individual income, a minimum wage and a minimum pension benefit as well as the recognition of the principle that a job is a right and an income is a right as well.
Let's mobilize throughout Europe!
Wednesday 30 October 2002, 12 pm: casserolados (symphony of saucepans) in
The displacement of a cacerolada by Santiago Sierra