Ten years have passed since the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty by the European oligarchy. The European dream has become a nightmare. The European Union, through its treaties and its internal market, is all about social dumping, economic strangulation and Coups against the people. The EU austeritarian policies are creating divisions between the peoples of Europe and even territorial tensions inside European countries. The answer cannot be repression and authoritarianism but democracy and the free expression of the people. European federal authoritarianism grew at the expense of retreats in the social and political achievements of workers and peoples. The July 2015 Troikas’ Coup against the sovereign decision of the Greek people to say NO to more austerity has shown the EU will not accept any procedure other than “the rule of the Eurogroup”. We do not accept the strangulation of democracy and the TINA (There Is No Alternative) dogma regarding the Eurozone and the EU.
On the 21st and 22nd of October, we political and civil society activists, gathered in Lisbon to debate an Alternative for Europe, a Plan B. The peoples of Europe have suffered a brutal attack to their democracies and their fundamental rights, including civil, political, social, economic and cultural rights.
The construction of a Plan B for Europe is an imperative necessity to defend the people of Europe against the authoritarian neoliberalism, feeding neo-fascist, ultranationalist and reactionary forces. We reaffirm our common commitment to both individual and collective rights and freedoms and social rights.
Our political forces and social movements must commit themselves to an alternative political program to break up with these treaties in favour of an area of peace, democratic cooperation and solidarity. We stand for:
• Auditing public debt and abolish illegitimate, illegal, odious and unsustainable parts of the debt that the governments accumulated in order to save the private banking system. We call for a European conference on public debt;
• A process of full transparency and accountability, civil and criminal, for the damages caused by the Troika to EU Member States and peoples, starting from the grave damages caused to Greece by the memorandum regime;
• A reform of the missions of the ECB in favour of employment and an option for direct financing of the Member States without conditionality linked to austerity measures. We must defend the right to collective bargaining. We must break with the attacks of the EU Court of Justice and European Commission on the right to strike, collective agreements and domestic social legislations. We reject the Posted Workers Directive, which fuels xenophobia by organising social dumping. We fight for a harmonisation from above of social rights, in particular for minimum incomes. The “Social Pillar” proposed by Brussels is a whitewashing for the ruling elites from the consequences of their austerity policies. We need to defend a right for a country to maintain the most favourable legislation, a “social preferential principle”;
• Replace the policy of internal devaluation by increasing wages and public investment in public services, welfare systems, health, education, housing and public transportation, that will promote the increase of employment and social inclusion;
• Eliminate the European Semester: A single currency is no end in itself and a threat to international cooperation if its architecture demands permanent assaults on wages, pension and public investments. We fight for a cooperative monetary regime eliminating economic imbalances: either via a fundamental reform of the euro zone or, if not attainable, via managed and adjustable exchange rates and selective controls of capital flows. Between saving the EU and the Euro and saving our peoples from the clutches of austerity, we choose our people;
• One planet for all, one general interest: Our “golden rule” is green! Ecosocialism is our common target. In every policy, we should respect a simple principle: to not take more than what nature can renew. Starting with an investment plan for energy promoting the energy transition to renewables and the fight against energy poverty;
• Fight against tax evasion, tax elision and tax dumping as well as support a better redistribution of the tax system;
• A Europe based on solidarity and peace, providing all the necessary measures and support system to all the people who are forced to leave their homes while trying to eliminating the deep causes of emigration such as wars, unfair trade policies and austerity, for which EU policy bears a major responsibility;
• A Europe based on gender equality, against violence and discrimination.
If this plan fails, due to the predictable hostility of the European institutions, the outcome will not be the capitulation to Brussels and Frankfurt. In such case, that country or countries should open the way for a breakup with the Eurozone and the EU Treaties and launch a new system of European cooperation based on the restoration of economic, fiscal and monetary sovereignty, the protection of democracy and social rights and social justice.
The European Union must not have the monopoly over Europe. The Plan B offers new perspectives with our neighbours. New spaces of cooperation exist.
If our conditions are not fulfilled, we will apply it unilaterally in each of our countries. The 2019 European Elections are an opportunity to confront European neoliberals with our project. Fetishism of EU institutions or a specific currency cannot take precedence over the concrete interest of peoples. That is the whole point of the Plan B for Europe.