For the democratic refoundation of Europe

Submitted by Knut Unger, Witten Tenants Association/Habitat Net

A reunion of the Attacs of Europe has been held on June 16, 2005 in Brussels on occasion of the last European Council of the Luxemburg presidency. A declaration has been adopted, which envisages the putting into place of a Convention of the Attacs of Europe and the putting into place of a plan ABC for the EU. This declaration fixes the content and the calendar of the common actions of the Attacis of Europe for the months to come.

The Convention of the Attacs of Europe and a plan ABC for the EU

The French and Dutch “NOs” to the Constitutional Treaty and the positive impact they have had on public opinion in Europe signify a categorical rejection of the neoliberal policies conducted for decades at the European level. This situation constitutes a historical opportunity for launching a vast democratic debate on the nature of the European project that we want.

In order to give a concrete content to the immense hope provoked by the defeat that neoliberalism has suffered on May 29 and June 1, the representatives of Attac Europe reunited in Brussels on June 16, 2005, on occasion of the European Council, announce the call for a Convention of the Attacs of Europe. This Convention will propose a plan ABC which will develop itself in the short and middle term. Its work programme will start today. It will follow the institutional agenda of the European Union, while at the same time developing its own.

Plan A: actions and mobilisations against liberal policies in Europe

A democratic re-foundation of Europe implies in the immediate a series of urgent measures to break with neoliberal policies:

1.. Appeal to the Council and the Commission to retract all the projects of European directives for liberalisation in progress (in particular the Bolkestein directive, the one on work time, on railroad transports.) as well as the action plan on state subsidies.

2.. Urgent reunion of the Euro group so as to demand of the Central European Bank a substantial modification of the monetary policy including the lowering of interest rates.

3.. Demand for a commitment to a real employment-oriented policy, passing in particular by the elimination of the Stability Pact.

4.. Substantial increase of the European budget in order to be able to lead a social policy and to increase the level of structural funds destined to the newly entered states so as to help them in their development, instead of encouraging fiscal and social dumping, as well as relocations.

5.. Organisation of an economic restart of Europe, including by way of credit – the borrowing taking place on the basis of investments in public infrastructure aimed at improving the environment, railroad transport, education, health. and targeted at the creation of jobs.

6.. Moratorium on the negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services at the World Trade Organisation.

7.. Putting into place of measures serving to eliminate fiscal paradises and to promote global taxes and fiscal harmonisation in Europe.

8.. Starting from scratch the agenda of Lisbon (European Council of 23 and 24 March of 2000) and of the social agenda 2005-2010, with the goal of putting them at the service of social and ecological progress.

9.. Increase of public developmental aide to 0.7% of the GDP of the member states of the Union; stronger engagement in the “Millennium objectives” and annulment of the debt of the poor countries.

10.. End to the support of the occupation of Iraq and immediate withdrawal of all the troops from member countries of the Union from that country.

This Plan A will consist of a series of actions carried out at the national and European level and which will culminate in Brussels in December 2005 by a large mobilisation on occasion of the last European Council under the British presidency.

Plan B: for really democratic European institutions

The Attacs of Europe are attached to the project of authentically democratic European constitutions, which were not foreseen to the fullest in the project of the Constitutional Treaty. There is a need, in particular, to give a more important role to the national parliaments, while at the same time enlarging that of the European parliament, to withdraw from the Commission the monopoly on legislative initiatives, as well as the exorbitant powers which it has in the matter of competition legislation; to give the citizens a real right for popular initiative; to facilitate reinforced cooperation. All the Attacs of Europe will discuss among and between themselves the content of a new treaty aimed exclusively at the European institutions. The first reunion of the Convention of the Attacs of Europe will draw the balance sheet of these proposals.

Plan C: For another possible Europe

As important as they may be, the measures of institutional democratisation of the Plan B respond but very partially to the expectations of vast segments of the population, who also want to give a democratic, political, pacifist, social, cultural, ecological and feminist content to European construction. It is the sum total of the policies of the Union that should be the subject of a re-evaluation.

The ambition of Plan C is to permit the birth of a vast democratic building site for an alternative to neoliberal Europe. It is a matter of elaborating a European project of solidarity; solidarity within the EU; solidarity between the EU and the rest of the world; solidarity with future generations. The measures demanded in Plan A are but one first indispensable stop on this road.

All the components of all the Attac organisations in Europe will be associated to the elaboration of this plan C: national structures, regional and local ones. Starting this autumn, this dynamics starting from the basis will converge in the preparation of the reunion of the Convention of the Attacs of Europe in Decembers 2005. This work will then continue to prolong itself over a longer period.

The Convention of the Attacs of Europe will also examine the ways and kinds of associating itself to the various initiatives that are likely to be taken by the different European social movements and networks, in particular in the framework of the European Social Forum in April 2006.

Another Europe is possible. We shall construct it together!
Brussels, June 16th 2005

Translated by Carla Krüger for Babels, 17/6/05