We, 600 workers, labour activists and youth from Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey, meeting in Strasbourg on 11 May 2019 within sight of the European “Parliament” (1) , hereby declare:
This Europe is not our Europe!
As we said at the European Workers Conference (Paris, 12-13 May 2018), this Europe is the Europe of big capital and war. it is the Europe of privatisation, of insecure work, of the witch-hunting of immigrants and of repression! It is a tool for serving the interests of the powerful, of the big multinationals, of the US administration and its military arm, NATO!
Throughout the continent, from north to south and from east to west, all the workers have experienced the same thing: whatever the political colour of the governments – whether they call themselves “left-wing”, right-wing, far-right, “populist” or “grand coalition” – they have been implementing the programmes and measures demanded by the institutions of the European Union, with the result that the same anti-working-class and anti-democratic policies are being carried out in every one of the European countries.
Meeting 15 days before the European elections on 26 May, whatever our particular position may be on this subject, we hereby declare:
The workers can only rely on their own strength!
To the European policy of privatisation, deregulation and insecure work, we counterpose the defence of labour gains and the defence of the working-class organisations!
To the European Union of privatisation, deregulation and insecure work, we counterpose a united fraternal Europe of the workers and democracy!
It is on this basis that we hereby constitute ourselves as the European Liaison Committee Against Privatisation, Deregulation and Insecure Work.
We are unanimous in noting that:
It kills with the closure of thousands of hospitals, maternity clinics and health clinics, putting the lives of patients in danger.
It kills with the deregulation of rail, air and road transport, increasing the number of accidents.
It extends deregulation, insecure work and superexploitation, sometimes pushing people into acts of desperation.
It hits the public schools and universities system, depriving young people of any future.
Privatisation is the European Union
Every privatisation comes from the same source.
From Article 129b of the Maastricht Treaty, which laid the foundation of the European Union as an institution imposing “an open market economy with free competition” on the peoples.
From the European directives that flow from this, privatising every sector of the economy.
From “a reduction in public spending”, which leads to the closure of hospitals, maternity clinics, schools, universities and public services.
Democracy is in danger
Every time the workers and peoples have rejected this policy of “free and undistorted competition” in referendums, this democratic will has been flouted.
This was demonstrated with the votes in May-June 2005 in France and The Netherlands, and the vote in July 2015 in Greece. Just as they would like to flout the majority vote in June 2016 for Brexit.
This policy and these institutions are incompatible with any degree of democracy.
*The following spoke at our rally:
This is about the class struggle
On one side, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the governments are threatening every single gain of civilisation for the sole benefit of the capitalist class.
On the other side, the workers together with their working-class organisations – particularly the trade union organisations – the rural workers, the youth and the working-class populations are all seeking to resist.
This is shown by the thousands of strikes and demonstrations in which we, together with the working-class organisations, are engaged in each of our countries.
Our European Liaison Committee Against Privatisation, Deregulation and Insecure Work, which we invite you to join, has the following ambition:
To prepare in each country the indictment of the policy of privatisation;
To circulate in a newsletter – under the responsibility of the comrades from Germany – information and news on
the resistance by the workers and youth in each country;
On this basis, to convene another European Conference of workers, labour activists and youth in the coming months.
Cemal Bilgin (Turkey), trade unionist and member of the leadership of the Workers’ Own Party (IKEP); Thomas Bruchez (Switzerland), member of the Geneva Jeunesse Socialiste [Socialist Youth]; Ciaran Campbell (Ireland), on behalf of Mandate Trade Union; Gaétan Coucke (Belgium), teacher and trade unionist; Constantin Cretan (Romania), energy-sector trade unionist, formerly jailed for his union activities; Andreas Gangl (Germany), trade unionist at Amazon; Daniel Gluckstein (France), co-coordinator with Nambiath Vasudevan (India) of the International Workers Committee Against War and Exploitation, For a Workers’ International (IWC); Monica Grilli (Italy), teacher and trade unionist; Christel Keiser (France), National Secretary of the Democratic Independent Workers Party (POID); Doreen McNally (Britain), trade unionist and former spokesperson of Women of the Waterfront (partners of striking dockers in Liverpool, 1995-8); Paul (France), student at the University of Paris 8; Sékou (France), young worker; Judit Somi (Hungary), labour activist; Gauthier Tacchella (France), railworker; Manuel Teiga (Portugal), labour activist; Dimitris Vasiliou (Greece), member of Popular Unity (LAE) in the Argolida region.