Athens’ Declaration

Autor: administrator <secret(at)>, Téma: International, Vydáno dne: 03. 11. 2005

Declaration adopted by the European Left 1st Congress, Athens, 29-30 October, 2005

We, the European Left, gathered in Athens on the 29th and 30th October 2005, acknowledge that the crisis which crosses Europe has no borders, but has responsibles: the neo-liberal policies decided in Brussels and the ones decided by the national governments. These choices have been made year after year, and the outcome is in front of our eyes now.

We also acknowledge that the peoples who have been the victims are also the ones that fight back and look for alternatives. Europe needs to be refounded on the basis of peace, democracy and the full respect for social and human rights. This is our commitment and our hope: the European citizens must take their destinies in their own hands.

This action and solidarity declaration is also an appeal to the convergence of all movements and left political forces, who strive to reverse the priorities and to change the policies that have been followed till now.

The European Left and its member parties are committed to fight together with social movements, trade unions, and political forces of the Left for another Europe, which is possible. In this sense we fully support all European mobilizations and initiatives against neoliberalism and war, particularly the 4th European Social Forum to be held in Athens.

We are committed to eradicate the tragedy of both unemployment and employment precariousness.

We are committed to fight against social exclusion and for the support of employment programs, for new jobs and the reduction of working hours, for the conversion of precarious employment into steady and decently remunerated jobs. To this end the European Left will develop an own set of proposals.

We stand for all the policies that strive for stopping job cuts. We condemn fraudulent bankruptcies and delocalisations. We believe it essential to preserve and rebuild social welfare systems (including public pensions), to take life-long learning as a priority.

We demand a new model of production, distribution and consumption.

We fight for the immediate withdrawal of the Bolkestein Directive and the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).

The deregulation of employment in Europe and the social dumping in the developing countries are the heads and crowns of the same coin. Both are exclusively to the benefit of the multinationals, increasing the competition among the employees and affecting women. A specific program is necessary to establish a new relationship between productive and reproductive work, equal wages to overcome the sexual division of work.

Instead of delocalisation we propose the improvement of time and working conditions, of the welfare and wage systems as well as the compliance with environmental standards on production. Fundamental prerequisites are more transparency, the promotion of democracy and new worker’s power in the working place.

It is through the defence of rights and not against them that we can achieve a fair world.

We insist on an urgent reorientation of the budget and monetary policies of the EU.

The European Central Bank should be democratically controlled and placed at the service of employment as well as of a development free of the financial markets’ demands and paying particular attention to the less developed EU regions. We demand an end of the stability pact in favour of social policies at the European level.

We promote the strengthening of public services in the local, regional, national and European levels.

We resist privatizations and neo-liberal directives that are aiming at the commoditisation of common goods like water, energy, culture, education and health care. Basic services must not be regulated by profit but by the quality levels demanded by the population.

We oppose migration policies oriented to police or anti-terrorist figths.

The recent Lampedusa, Amsterdam and Melilla events, the situation of hundreds of so-called boat people in Italy and Greece, and the unbearable conditions in the migrant detention centres reveal the cruelty and bankruptcy of the Fortress of Europe. A new policy based on respect of human dignity, equal labour rights, being an essential achievement of the workers’ movement in Europe, has to be built on the legalization of all migrants and demands a strategic support to development.

We stand for a world without war and demand a European peace policy against the military superpower's warfare logic.

We fight for the development of an all European cooperation and solidarity to promote peace. Europe does not need an aggressive alliance which disrupt and challenge the role of the UN to secure peace and to establish peaceful relations between all countries of the world. We call on the European peoples to demand the European countries to give up their membership in the NATO military structure and the abolition of all NATO and US military bases. NATO in its present form is unacceptable and the demand for its abolition highly necessary.

Disarmament has to become the main issue of a Europe based on peace. The European Left demands a reduction of national military expenditure. Europe has to be a continent free from weapons of mass destruction. All European armies must withdraw from Iraq immediately. The peace movement must not slow down its actions. We are fully committed to its objectives, namely the mobilization of public opinion for solidarity with the Palestinian people and the Israeli pacifist forces.

There will be no peace in the region without a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, based on the UN resolutions. This must be the priority of Europe within the framework of the Middle East Quartet responsible for the “Road Map” as well as the destruction of the wall and the immediate withdrawal of the occupied territories.

We oppose the authorities' offensive against civil liberties, social, labour and democratic rights

The extraordinary legislation that is being approved by the governments is an offensive against individual and collective rights, which are the result of a long democratic struggle. We will fight to stop this dangerous trend, for no security can be built against freedom and democracy.

Yes, we can change Europe!

We, the European Left, are fully committed to this challenge.

Our perspective is peaceful, socialist, ecological and radically democratic.

Our perspective is also feminist, for gender equality and democracy in all life domains is far from being real.

Our perspective recognises diversity of individual life options.

Our perspective is that of internationalists, opens Europe to the world, promotes cultural exchanges, cooperation and a new solidarity.

Our perspective considers the Mediterranean to be a fundamental space for peace.

Change is necessary. There is a deep gap between the citizens and the political elites. The victory of the “No” against the Constitutional Treaty expresses the degree of this fracture. The majority of the population is not against Europe. The majority voted against the liberal and arrogant policies that have set the crises on an every day basis.

Today, the European Constitutional Treaty is politically dead. This is the basis for an enlarged debate on the present of Europe, so that it can have a future in prosperity.

We will participate in a broad citizens’ movement striving for a manifesto or charter of the social and political rights fitting to the Europe we want.

Yes, we can change Europe!

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Czech translation can be found HERE.