The General Assembly took place amidst growing anger at the failure of the EU and Member State Governments to adopt solidarity measures to protect people rather than markets in response to the current crisis. The delegates warned that Europe will not have the support of its citizens, if it is seen to be undermining the foundations of the ‘Welfare States’.
“Across the European Union the ‘rescue’ and bail out plans, are putting people deeper into poverty and threatening social cohesion while reinforcing the dominance of the financial markets and speculating agencies” said Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN. “While enforcing unsustainable austerity programmes, the EU and Member States have persistently refused to impose economic discipline or financial accountability on the rapacious speculative trading systems that caused the crisis both internationally and across the EU” added Mr Horemans.
EAPN does not accept that that there are no alternatives to the draconian austerity measures that are been imposed. EAPN will convey today in a letter to Prime Ministers, in advance of their Council meeting this week, the seven following proposals for an alternative way out of the current crisis:
- Putting social and sustainable development, respect for Human Rights and solidarity at the heart of the EU’s response to the crisis.
- Demonstrating that the Poverty Reduction target adopted at the Council in June 2010 is a serious commitment.
- Defending and promoting the ‘welfare state’ and social rights.
- Defending public common goods (e.g. Water, health, transport, social services) as a fundamental right.
- Strengthening the real economy, including support for social economy.
- Curbing and regulating the destructive system of speculative trading.
- Fighting tax evasion and avoidance including through abolishing tax havens and strengthening cooperation in the fight against organized crime.
- Creating the conditions which will allow Member States, particularly those subject to compliance with EU/IMF financial agreements, to borrow at reasonable interest rates.
- The promotion and implementation of measures to reduce inequality in incomes and wealth.
- See the full version of the Final Declaration of EAPN’s 2011 General Assembly here.
- The final declaration is also available in French – Hungarian – Slovak – Polish
- EAPN’s letter to Prime Ministers ahead of their June Council