Another Europe is possible

Declaration following the European Semester Conference 2017

01/02/2017

A group of GUE/NGL MEPs and Members of National Parliaments who participated in the European Semester Conference yesterday as part of European Parliamentary Week 2017 have issued the following declaration that calls for a new set of economic, social and environmental policies in favour of the people and workers of the EU - and to replace the current neoliberal and austerity-driven framework, structure and priorities of the bloc:

Declaration following the European Semester Conference 2017

The declaration states:

The economic governance framework and the European and Monetary Union have been working as tools to impose a neoliberal agenda: privatisation and deregulation, structural reforms, loss of social and labour rights, cuts in labour income and in public welfare.  All these have led to greater divergence amongst member states and regions and greater income inequalities - thus less territorial, social and economic cohesion.

The establishment of a pan-European banking oligopoly is one of the major consequences of the Banking Union that does not tackle the ‘too-big-and-too-interconnected to fail’ problem, but rather, it magnifies it.  Moreover, the Capital Markets Union will foster shadow banking and asset stripping of public infrastructure by insurers and pension funds via securitization as opposed to strengthening local banking and public control.

The Panama Papers and LuxLeaks are but one example of how the wealthy and multinational companies have been using legislative opacity to launder money, avoid and illegally evade taxation owed to society. The concentration of wealth also drives a criminal economy of drug and human trafficking as well as terror finance.  

We, the undersigned, who participated in the European Semester Conference and in the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union 2017, on January 31, call for:

•             A new set of economic, social and environmental policies in favour of the people and workers which would replace the current framework, structure and neoliberal priorities of the EU, enshrined in the EU Treaties as well as the European Semester and the Fiscal Compact;

•             Public investments into the real economy which will focus on the creation of decent and secure jobs with rights, at the same time increasing the standard of living and social protection of workers, especially strengthening collective bargaining and collective agreements and extending the right to strike;

•             Active policies against the economic disparity and poverty created by the neoliberal austerity policies, strengthening the welfare state for the benefit of the people;

•             Call for a rupture with neoliberal policies which have been damaging for the people of Europe and have contributed to the rise of the far-right and xenophobic forces - both of which threaten democracy and peace;

•             The repeal of the Fiscal Compact, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance and of the European Semester and their replacement with policies of  social convergence, inclusive growth and employment;

•             The creation of an emergency plan to support the economy of those countries that have suffered from the Troika’s intervention;

•             The public control and the decentralisation of the banking sector as opposed to the consolidation of the Banking Union and an immediate halt to the Capital Markets Union; strengthening local banking under public control would also serve SMEs;

•             The strict regulation and public control of the financial and banking systems;

•             The EU Institutions and member states to support and promote of the establishment of an intergovernmental tax body under the aegis of the UN, provided with adequate resources and the mandate to develop a UN convention on taxation and international cooperation in tax matters, a road map and a Joint Action Plan to put an end to tax havens.

Members of National Parliaments:

Stefanos Stefanou (AKEL, Cyprus)

Skevi Koukouma (AKEL, Cyprus)

Andrej Hunko (Die Linke, Germany)

Miguel Tiago (Partido Comunista Português, Portugal)

Athanasios Athanasiou (SYRIZA, Greece)

Gerasimos Balaouras (SYRIZA, Greece)

Nikolaos Manios (SYRIZA, Greece)

 

Members of the European Parliament:

Neoklis Sylikiotis (AKEL, Cyprus)

Marisa Matias (Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal)

Fabio de Masi (Die Linke, Germany)

Rina Ronja Kari (Folkebevægelsen mod EU, Denmark)

Patrick Le Hyaric (Front de Gauche, France)

Paloma López Bermejo (Izquierda Plural, Spain)

Miguel Viegas (Partido Comunista Português, Portugal)

João Pimenta Lopes (Partido Comunista Português, Portugal)

João Ferreira (Partido Comunista Português, Portugal)

Xabier Benito Ziluaga (Podemos, Spain)

Miguel Urbán Crespo (Podemos, Spain)

Tania Gonzalez Peñas (Podemos, Spain)

Matt Carthy (Sinn Féin, Ireland)

Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin, Ireland)

Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin, Ireland)

Dimitrios Papadimoulis (SYRIZA, Greece)

Konstantinos Chrysogonos (SYRIZA, Greece)

Konstantina Kouneva  (SYRIZA, Greece)

Stelios Kouloglou (SYRIZA, Greece)

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