From Socialist Voice, August 2010

Opposing the EU’s anti-working-class agenda

Statement from the European Seminar of Communist and Workers’ Parties, London
29–30 July 2010

The propaganda myth about a “Social Europe” lies in tatters as EU member-state governments are slashing and privatising public services, supporting labour flexibility, abolishing social security and labour rights, imposing austerity measures, and destroying jobs.
     Through this attack they express the interests of the capitalist class of their countries and comply with EU treaties, from Rome to Lisbon. The Lisbon Treaty extends and consolidates the main features of the EU as an imperialist economic, political and military bloc opposed to workers’ and people’s interests.
     These harsh austerity measures are being imposed as monopoly capital aims to make the working class and the people generally pay to resolve a crisis they did not cause, a capitalist crisis of over-accumulation of capital. The real way out in favour of the people is to deal with its cause, that is, with capitalism itself, and not a variant of its management.
     In many EU member-states too, anti-trade-union laws and judgements are being used to try to restrict workers’ resistance to this onslaught, to attack the right to strike, to sharpen anti-communism, revealing the class character of bourgeois democracy.
     Nevertheless, workers across Europe are fighting back against the harsh cuts and privatisations being carried out by their governments. Claims about the existence of a “social Europe” and the value of “social partnership” have been exposed as a cruel lie, created to buy off sections of the working-class movement and decisively promote the anti-working-class plans of the monopolies.
     The European Union is using the crisis to exercise additional powers over member-states’ finances, to boost capitalist profits, and to attack the conditions of life of the working class and other strata of the population. Competition between the monopoly capitalists of the member-states is sharpening, while the disputes between them confirm the law of the uneven development of capitalism.
     The terms imposed by the EU and its mechanisms benefit the monopolies at the expense of workers, the self-employed, the poor, and small and medium-sized farmers.
     We therefore support the calls for national and international initiatives by the working-class movement in defence of jobs, public services and living standards against austerity measures.
     We believe the time has come for workers across Europe to launch a sustained campaign of mass protest—including industrial action—to defend their interests, paving the way for a more fundamental challenge to the EU.
     Through liberalisation and commercialisation the EU seeks to impose flexible working relations and low pay and hand over the public services to private monopoly capital in order to extract more profits at the expense of the working class.
     Workers must demonstrate against EU-driven austerity measures, the dismantling of social security, the extension of labour flexibility and casualisation, the massive spread of unemployment and poverty. Objectively, this struggle is opposed to the power of the monopolies and to all the imperialist organisations, such as EU, NATO, and the IMF.
     In this struggle, communists urge workers to organise and mobilise—
• for permanent and stable employment with full rights and dignity
• for substantial increases in salaries
• for increased taxes on wealth and monopoly profits.
• for the people to take into social ownership the natural resources and strategic sectors of the economies of their countries
• for all public services, including free and upgraded health care and education systems for all
• for the reduction of retirement ages and substantial increases in pensions
• for full and equal rights for immigrant workers
• for the support of small and medium-sized farmers and food security
• for substantial protection of the environment, which is sacrificed for the profits of monopoly capital
• for the right of the peoples to choose their own path of development for their country, including the right to disengagement from the EU and NATO as well as the right to opt for socialism
• for peace, for the withdrawal of NATO and US military bases, against “Partnership for Peace and the EU army, against participation in wars and military interventions
• for solidarity with peoples in struggle: for an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital; for the defence of socialist Cuba and the abolition of the “common position” of the EU.
     We call for and support protests against the war on Afghanistan around the NATO summit in Lisbon on 19–20 November.
     We also reaffirm our view that the only alternative to capitalist exploitation, crisis, militarism and imperialist war is socialism. In a socialist society, natural and human resources will be nurtured and used in a planned way to benefit the working class, which will have the power, and society as a whole—rather than being exploited by the monopolies, whose system generates capitalist crises such as that today.
     Either it’s backwards to a social and economic wasteland in the interests of bankers and speculators or forward to the democratic national control of natural resources and finances directed for the benefit of working people, their families, and the mass of the population.
     We therefore call upon trade union organisations and communist and workers’ parties to intensify their co-operation, co-ordination and solidarity, not only against the current offensive of capital but also in the struggle for a revolutionary transformation of society, for socialism and communism.

           Workers’ Party of Belgium
           Communist Party of Britain
           Young Communist League of Britain
           Communist Party in Denmark
           Communist Party of Greece
           Communist Party of Ireland

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