A group of left-wing MEPs and members of national parliaments who participated in the European Parliamentary Week 2018 have issued the following declaration that demands a new set of economic, social and environmental policies for people and workers. It calls for a Pact for Employment and Growth and for greater territorial, social and economic cohesion. A reversal of the EU elite’s neoliberal agenda which has destroyed the welfare state, workers’ rights and led to more privatisation is also highly necessary.

Declaration following the European Parliamentary Week 2018 (EPW18)

The economic governance framework and the European and Monetary Union were used as the backbone of the EU’s neoliberal agenda in order to promote policies benefiting the economic elites and impoverishing the peoples of the EU. Privatisations, destruction of the welfare state, great levels of tax evasion and tax avoidance from the economic elites and the abolition of social and workers’ rights have led to greater divergence amongst member states and regions and greater income inequalities – thus less territorial, social and economic cohesion.

The unwillingness of the EU economic and political elites to tackle efficiently and sustainably the social problems caused by their neoliberal austerity policies has been repeatedly reaffirmed allowing Member States to avoid policies of social change and social security.

We, the undersigned, who participated in the European Parliamentary Week 2018 (European Semester Conference and the Interparliamentary Conference on Stability, Economic Coordination and Governance in the European Union), on 19-20 February 2018, call for:

  • A Pact for Employment and Growth encompassing a new set of economic, social and environmental policies in favour of the peoples and workers, which would replace the current framework, structure and neoliberal priorities of the EU enshrined in the EU Treaties as well as in the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance, 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, increasing at the same time the standard of living and social protection of workers, especially strengthening collective bargaining and collective agreements and ensuring the right to strike and the right to participation in the company’s decision-making in a democratic and fair context;
  • A common set of minimum social rights and standards through a revised European Social Charter, bolstering upwards social and economic convergence and cohesion between peoples and territories and combating social dumping, while guaranteeing that Member States have an inalienable right to apply higher rights and standards;
  • Active policies against the economic disparity and poverty created by the neoliberal austerity policies, strengthening the welfare state for the benefit of the peoples through a Social Investment Plan, an Integrated Anti-Poverty Strategy and a comprehensive Social Protection Programme;
  • A rupture with neoliberal policies which have been damaging for the peoples of Europe and have been contributing to the rise of far-right and xenophobic forces, which are threatening democracy, human rights and peace;
  • The creation of an emergency plan to support the economy of those countries that have suffered from the Troika’s intervention;
  • An international summit under the United Nations’ framework with a view to defining a road map and a Joint Action Plan to end tax havens, tax evasion and avoidance, asking also for a real political commitment in taxing the actual holders of wealth, regretting the insufficient response in the EU to tax scandals.
  • The public control and decentralisation of the banking sector as opposed to the consolidation of the Banking Union and an immediate halt to the Capital Markets Union; for strengthening local banking under public control, protecting depositors and also serving SMEs development;
  • The increase of the EU budget, which will focus specifically on social development and upwards social convergence reiterating also the importance of cohesion policies, addressing the specific needs of Member States; however, acknowledging that an increase of the EU budget itself does not constitute a change of the current neoliberal EU priorities;
  • Greater democratic accountability, transparency and supervision of European policies and institutions by strengthening the role of the National Parliaments and the European Parliament, as well as the stronger participation of the European citizens.

Members of National Parliaments:

Paavo Arhinmäki (Vasemmistoliitto)
Gerasimos Balaouras (SYRIZA)
Andrej Hunko (DIE LINKE.)
Nikolaos Manios (SYRIZA)
Stefanos Stefanou (AKEL)

Members of the European Parliament:

João Ferreira (PCP)
Eleonora Forenza (L’Altra Europa con Tsipras)
Takis Hadjigeorgiou (AKEL)
Stelios Kouloglou (SYRIZA)
Kostadinka Kuneva (SYRIZA)
Merja Kyllönen (Vasemmistoliitto)
Patrick Le Hyaric (Front de Gauche – PCF)
Paloma López Bermejo (Izquierda Plural)
Marisa Matias (Bloco de Esquerda)
Dimitrios Papadimoulis (SYRIZA)
João Pimenta Lopes (PCP)
Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE.)
Neoklis Sylikiotis (AKEL)
Miguel Viegas (PCP)
Gabriele Zimmer (DIE LINKE.)