Declaration following the European Semester Conference 2016
A group of GUE/NGL MEPs and Members of National Parliaments who participated in the European Semester Conference 2016 yesterday have released a declaration condemning the European Union's current economic and fiscal policies, and calling for alternative policies.
The declaration states:
"The economic and fiscal policies of the European Union have had catastrophic effects on the lives of many of its citizens. At the core of these policies are the Fiscal Compact, the economic governance, the Banking Union and the European Semester. These institutionalise neoliberal policies, assault democracy, attack social rights and undermine European solidarity, as demonstrated during the current refugee crisis. The gap between the rich and poor in the EU is constantly increasing, social rights are being dismantled, unemployment (especially youth unemployment) remains at high levels and the people of the member states are being subordinated to poverty and stagnation.
We therefore call for a process to revoke any efforts for a deeper economic integration within the current EU policy framework, the structure of the Fiscal Compact and the economic governance, in order to move towards policies of social justice, social development and social equality. Alternatives to the current structural reforms must ease the huge burden imposed on the people. Domestic demand must be stimulated via real public investment, higher wages, stronger wage bargaining, stronger collective bargaining, combatting tax avoidance and tax evasion, and promotion of progressive taxation. Democracy must be strengthened through an increased role for the national parliaments and the European Parliament, also through greater accountability, transparency and supervision of European policies.
We call on the EU and member states to use the opportunity of the revision of the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020 to finally commit to policies of real convergence, based on social progress and on the safeguarding and promotion of each country's potential, job creation, sustainable use of natural resources and protection of the environment, with the goal of true economic and social cohesion. We call for policies that pay heed to the development needs of each member state, and reduce the development gap between member states as well as the existing economic, social and regional disparities.
We welcome the growing resistance against austerity programmes from people across Europe, (especially in those countries which have suffered from structural adjustment programmes - Greece, Ireland, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal), who are calling for the joint fight against neoliberal policies to continue, alongside a progressive development plan for all European citizens.
We, the undersigned, who participated in the European Semester Conference 2016 on February 16, call for a new set of pro-people economic, social and environmental policies, which would replace the current framework, structure and priorities of the European Semester and the Fiscal Compact."
The declaration has been signed by:
Members of National Parliaments:
Skevi Koutra-Koukouma (AKEL, Cyprus)
Arthur (Tuur) Elzinga (Socialist Party, Netherlands)
Bastiaan Van Apeldoorn (Socialist Party, Netherlands)
Isabel Pires (Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal)
Alberto Montero Soler (Podemos, Spain)
Anastasios Kourakis (SYRIZA, Greece)
Nikolaos Manios (SYRIZA, Greece)
Gerasimos Balaouras (SYRIZA, Greece)
Members of the European Parliament:
Gabriele Zimmer (Die Linke, Germany)
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (SYRIZA, Greece)
Neoklis Sylikiotis (AKEL, Cyprus)
Marisa Matias (Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal)
Cornelia Ernst (Die Linke, Germany)
Tania Gonzales Peñas (PODEMOS, Spain)
Paloma Lopez Bermejo (Izquierda Plural, Spain)
Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Fein, Ireland)
Fabio De Masi (Die Linke, Germany)
Kostadinka Kuneva (SYRIZA, Greece)
Stelios Kouloglou (SYRIZA, Greece)
Kostas Chrysogonos (SYRIZA, Greece)
Younous Omarjee (L'Union pour les Outremers, Réunion)
Jiři Maštálka (KSČM, Czech Republic)
GUE/NGL Press Contact:
Nikki Sullings +32 22 83 27 60 / +32 483 03 55 75
- Gabi Zimmer
- Dimitris Papadimoulis
- Neoklis Sylikiotis
- Marisa Matias
- Cornelia Ernst
- Tania González Peñas
- Paloma Lopez
- Liadh Ní Riada
- Martin Schirdewan
- Kostadinka Kuneva
- Stelios Kouloglou
- Konstantinos Chrysogonos
- Jiří Maštálka
- Younous Omarjee