Thirty representants of belgian sociale movements (Attac, Masereelfonds, climate-movement, anti-warmovements, feminist movements...), left political organisations and parties (PVDA, Groen!, Socialisme21, SP.A-rood, SAP...), trade unionists and academicians launched before summer an appeal for action towards the Belgian EU-presidency and the EU-summit of Brussels on 16 and 17 december 2010. The appeal is called: Turn The Tide Now! For a Europe that puts people before banks! (http://www.keerhettij.nu/english.htm or french: http://wwwkeerhettij.nu/francais.htm) ).
After two general meetings the plans become more concrete: we will concentrate on the day before the start of the EU-summit, wednessday 15 december. We organise an action/demonstration on that day probably at 4 or 5 PM, starting at the Luxemburg-square, in front of the European Parliament. From there we start a tour trough or close to the european area of Brussels. The demonstration can go from the Parliament to the building of the European Commission and the European Council. We will end in a meeting place, called Maalbeek, very close to the building of the Commission, where a Meeting for another Europe can start at 7PM, with national and international speakers.
We are thinking about 3 central demands:
1. Stop the cuts! In defense of our social security
2. Stop speculation, shut down the fiscal paradises and hedge funds
3. 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
At this moment we don't have the support of the big trade-unions for this, it is rather an action of the more radical movements and organisations. We want to be very realistic in our goals and are thinking about an action of 1500 people, with a meeting afterwoods with several hundreds. International support can of course help to build the action, make it more massively and to have a usefull political meeting afterwoods. That's why we propose to put this mobilisation on the agenda of the meeting in Paris on 23 and 24 of october. We prefer to have it on the agenda on sunday.
The Belgian presidency of the EU takes place in a very specific context of financial and economic crisis, large social cuts all over Europe, crisis of the euro and the continuity of the neoliberal policy with the EU-20/20 strategy. In this context it looks extremely important to us that European social movements put up the pressure and seize the opportunity of the Belgian presidency to come out and to demand another Europe, a Europe that puts people before banks.
(below you can find the appeal)
Derk Davids, ÷zlem Barin, Matthias Lievens, Anneleen Kenis, Filip De Bodt, Sara Hutse...
Letís mobilise for a Europe that puts people before banks...
First, financial markets flooded the world with junk credits, threatening the savings of millions of people. Then, governments, which for many years have preached liberalisation and privatisation, dug up billions of euros in order to save the banks. They heavily indebted themselves, and will try to pass the bill to normal people, while many thousands of people have already lost their jobs as a result of the crisis. And finally, speculators and other financial actors started to gamble against countries and governments, accusing them of profligacy. While the world of finance caused this crisis, the mass of the people risks to have to pay for it twice.
Belgian presidency of the EU
During the second half of 2010, Belgium is president of the Council of the European Union. The EU is going through the deepest crisis of its history. Greece is on the verge of an abyss, and also the Spanish State, Portugal, and Ireland are severely threatened. For the first time, the IMF had to intervene in the eurozone. Other eurocountries offered emergency loans at high interests and imposed severe austerity policies. The financial markets were rescued. But in exchange for government aid, they were scarcely tamed, regulated, controlled, let alone put under public command.
For years it was told the euro and the EU provided the best protection against crises. Today, it turns out that the European Union, with its neoliberal treaties and principles, its ideology of free market and competition, its lack of social rules, and its strict budgetary precepts, is not armed to avoid crises. It lacked the mechanisms to protect monetary union, and did not allow the Central Bank to intervene. This European Union did not protect us against the crisis, it made the crisis possible.
Towards a European mobilisation
The Belgian presidency of the EU will be wholly determined by the ramping budgetary problems of member states and the question what the political answer to the eurocrisis should be. Therefore, it is of the greatest importance that the left, the social movements, trade unions and left political organisations put up the pressure and seize the opportunity of the Belgian presidency to take to the streets in massive numbers and to demand another Europe, in particular during the European Summit in Brussels in December 2010. Shortly before, a new climate summit will be taking place in Cancun, Mexico. With its objective to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% before 2020, the EU remains far below the recommendations of the scientific world. Also on this level, we should increase the pressure on the EU.
The signatories to this appeal reach out to the Belgian social movements, trade unions and leftist organisations to get together and to become the motor of a mobilisation for another Europe during the Belgian presidency of the EU. To start a discussion on this, we would put forward the following demands:
We will not pay for their crisis!
For a Europe that regulates the markets instead of liberalising them.
$hut down fiscal paradises and hedge funds
For a European economic and monetary policy in the benefit of the people
A tax on big fortunes, and the suspension of bank secrecy
A Europe of public services, not of competition
For public and cooperative banks, staying away from the stock exchange
40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020
A tax on financial transactions
Matthias Lievens (Socialisme 21), Geertrui Daem (schrijfster), Jan Blommaert (Prof. Afrikaanse taalkunde en auteur), Francine Mestrum (auteur), Eric Goeman (Woordvoerder Attac-Vlaanderen), Sarah Hutse (VZW 't Uilekot, Herzele), Erik De Bruyn (SP.a Rood), Evie Embrechts (Vrouwen Overleg Komitee), Bruno Verlaeckt (Voorzitter Algemene Centrale Antwerpen-Waasland), Nadia Fadil (sociologe, KUL), Ludo Debrabander (vzw Vrede), Ida Dequeecker (feministe), Peter Mertens (Voorzitter PVDA), Hilde Gielen (Socialisme 21), Stefaan Van Hecke (Volksvertegenwoordiger Groen!), Rita Herbig (Bestuurslid ACOD-Antwerpen), Koen Dille (Lid Raad van Bestuur Masereelfonds), Deirdre Maes (Klimaatactiekamp), Natan Hertogen (Euromarsen), Anneleen Kenis (Feministisch&Links), Lieven De Cauter (Cultuurfilosoof), ÷zlem Barin (feministe), Roger Jacobs (co-auteur Terra Incognita), Gerlinda Swillen (Voorzitter Masereelfonds), Dominique Willaert (Victoria Deluxe), Ronald Commers (ethicus), Filip De Bodt (Gemeenteraadslid LEEF! Herzele), Remko Devroede (Muzikant/theatermaker), Frank Maerten (Gewezen secretaris ACOD-onderwijs Antwerpen), Chico Detrez (ondervoorzitter bestuur afdeling Antwerpen-Kempen van de ACOD Antwerpen), Dirk Holemans (Oikos, denktank voor sociaal-ecologische verandering), Jean-Paul Martens (Gemeenteraadslid LEEF! Zaventem), Johan Brusseleers (OCMW-raadslid LEEF! Zaventem), Evert Peeters (SP.a-Rood), Koenraad Bogaert (UGent)