An Appeal by 200 Europeans
The ratification process of the European Constitutional Treaty in the 25 member States suffers from a terrible lack of discussion and of democracy. It deprives a major part of the European citizens of any possibility of expressing their views by voting.
In the face of this neo-liberal Constitution, imposed from above, criticisms, protests and the search for alternatives are growing throughout Europe.
In order that Europe may take another road, that of democracy, of social justice, of solidarity, of human rights, of actions for peace and for a new type of development, we most vigorously hope the French Left NO will win the majority during the referendum there on 29 May.
Following on the »Appeal of the 200« (1) that, in France, has encouraged the development of a united campaign and a very strong dynamism, we are launching an »Appeal of 200 European citizens«.
In solidarity with the French Left NO.
To encourage, throughout Europe, the necessary mobilisation against this Constitution.
A majority for the Left NO, with a strong anti-liberal component, in France on 29 May would constitute an opportunity, a hope for the whole of Europe.
- It would constitute an important base for the necessary and continuous mobilisations of the citizens of the Union. It would tilt in a positive manner a balance of forces at the moment unfavourable for the world of working and creative people, for the majority of the population. Fresh negotiations would then necessarily have to take them into account.
- This NO would respond to the anxieties and expectations of all the European peoples, would liberate considerable forces, would encourage the progressive and anti-liberal forces to develop concrete struggles and demands while articulating them with criticism of the Constitution.
- Such a NO would be a signal - it would stimulate a critical discussion in the organisations, trade unions, movements, institutions, and media of our societies. As in France, it is the recognition that this Constitution is clearly neo-liberal that will increase its rejection and the demands for another orientation to the building of Europe. Thus a constructive public debate could be launched on the direction and meaning of the construction of Europe, which would be the only way to find a positive way of overcoming the unease so strongly expressed at the last European elections.
We share the criticisms of the french left No when they say:
This treaty is unacceptable for the men and women who want:
- A democratic Europe, because the Constitutional Treaty contains a veritable political programme - that of neo-liberalism. Because its revision is subjected to conditions that make it illusory (IV-443). Because the democratic deficiency is maintained, the role of the Parliament and the citizens remain very restricted (III-173; III-304; I-40; III-376/377).
- A social Europe, because the document as a whole is ruled by »free and unfettered competition« (I-3; III-177/178). Because choices like the stability of prices (I-3; I-30; III-177 and 185), the Stability Pact (III-184) are embodied into the Constitution. Because a multitude of articles install rules that favour delocalisations (III/144), the liberalisation of public services (III/148), the generalisation of competition (III/151/6b). Because it condemns the public services when it refuses, unlike the Nice Treaty, to include them in »common values« (I-2), when it only accepts a restricted concept of »services of general economic interest«.
- A Europe of Rights, because the stated in the Charter of Fundamental Rights (Part II) are not only insufficient but regressive (»the right to work« instead of the »right to employment«, II-75, the right to social assistance instead of the right to a decent wage, II-94), because the Charter does not create any European social rights capable of balancing the rights of competition, the application of any such rights being referred to »national legislation and practices«. Because its social policy excludes from future laws any social harmonisation (II-210). Because the Treaty's patriarchal and neo-liberal orientation is weighted against women's rights, particularly the right to abortion.
- A peaceful Europe of brotherhood with all peoples of the world, acting for another world, because the treaty locks European defence into NATO (I-41/7), compels the countries to militarisation and rearmament (I-41), does not include the recognition of the UN Charter, and commits the European Union to the full liberalisation of world trade (III-314).
The French Left NO will be our NO!
That another Europe may become possible.