We organize a moment of debate for the EuroMayDay Network within the General Assembly of the Precarious.
These are some introductory points for the discussion.
1. The European situation is serious, very serious. Europe is moving towards a populist drift, which sees ,first, immigration under attack (in the name of security-paranoia) and the policies of deportation (see France and Italy on the first line) growing on their shields. Second, the economic choices are more and more supine and subordinate to the interests of financial markets and the oligarchy of big business and lobbies in Brussels. Regressive fiscal and social policies (implemented in recent months by the national budget laws, after the high public expenditures to cover the debts of financial institutions) require sacrifice, of which the sacrificial victims are migrants and precarious 2. Speculation about Greece and Euro has bared the fragility of Europe. National and corporate interests, in particular by Germany, played an important role. The temptation to take advantage of the Greek crisis to test the possibility of a two-speed Europe (and Euro) was very strong. The construction of a 1° division Europe, based on Franco-German axis, and a 2° division Mediterranean Europe has never definitively disappeared from the political scene, especially in a context where Europe is likely to be crushed in/by the competition between U.S. and China.
3. And it is this temptation to justify the construction of Europe only on the monetary pillar and on national fiscal policies. The non-existence of a common European budget, nevertheless, is becoming a boomerang. The delay of European intervention in the Greek fiscal crisis (only after the IMF pressure) and the imposition of “blood and tears “budget policies has allowed the speculation to expand to the exchange market, targeting Euro. The Greek crisis, the attempt to extend it to other countries with certainly more political weight, the lack of a common European fiscal strategy: these factors have weakened the image of the Euro and created expectations of devaluation. For several months after the approval of the package of extraordinary measures (the sc. European plan) worth 500 billion euros, despite all the assurances, the euro is not able to catch up, and stock exchanges markets are in a stage of uncertainty. Speculation on the European welfare state was, thus, added to speculation on euro.
4. The major financial operators dictate the rules. It is necessary a change and new proposals in economic policy cannot be postponed. At the moment, there are no conditions for reform. Proposals such as the establishment of an independent European rating authority, the introduction of a sort of Tobin tax, the presentation of a European coordination of national fiscal policies (that is, moderate and compatible proposals with the dominant economic structures) are not now present in the European political agenda. From our point of view, they are totally inadequate and insufficient, since they theoretically and formally implement measures that improve the current European governance, without eliminating the structural causes of the crisis and corroding the political and economic power. Nevertheless, myopia, ignorance and bad faith of European governments is such that even such small steps can be undertaken.
5. At present the dominant political will is not able to establish at European institutional level a sort of new “New Deal” so as to fulfill effectively drive economic and social development. We do not believe that there are the conditions to implement this target. Almost all European governments have liberal and socially liberal matrix (Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece) or, even worse, national-populist (France, Italy).
6. At the social level, the already modest economic recovery produces no benefit to the world of labour. The precarious condition is generalizing, it is already structural and it resents now increasingly existential connotations. The migrants and precarious are still the main source of European wealth creation, but little or nothing they are redistributed to. The prevalence of individual bargaining (after the dismantling of collective bargaining), blackmail and need, the inadequacy of the existing unions (more concerned to sign poor agreements than to widen the sphere of rights and improve the income), the presence of imaginary stereotyped and individualistic success: they are all factors that prevent the emergence of a process of awareness/consciousness and action aimed not only to defend the (few) existing rights but also able to propose and attack the financial centers of economic power.
7. What Europe lacks is, first of all, a cultural and social vision, able to intervene, investigate, analyze the new forms of accumulation and exploitation and the new composition of living labor, more and more constrained by insecurity and uncertainty (precarity). The field of action and political struggle is the definition of a welfare state, able to build an anti-liberal social front and at the same time to overcome the stage of opposition and resistance to the regressive measures that today are to implement on behalf of the stability of financial statements.
8. The future welfare is necessarily beyond the post-war Keynesian public welfare and workfare: it is the common-fare, that is the European welfare of commons. Assume a commonfare today means a policy which can:
• guarantee an unconditional income to individual residents (not just citizens), the amount of which depends on the degree of social conflict and bargaining. The basic income is financed by general taxation (and not by social contributions), thanks to progressive taxation of intellectual property, space as a productive and speculative factor, of financial income/rent (unconditional access to the basic income continuity)
• remove from the hierarchies of free market the basic goods and public utilities over the last 15 years have undergone extensive processes of privatization following the adoption of the Europe Agreements in Cardiff on de-regulation of the market for goods and services (access materials to the common property)
• require forms of control and monitoring on the credit market, its costs and possibility to bestow forms of financing to those who do not have permanent contracts with the guarantee and the assurance of public agencies, both local and transnational (access to money as a common good);
• regulate intellectual property rights and legislation on increasingly restrictive patent in favor of greater freedom of movement of knowledge and the ability to have free information infrastructures, through appropriate policies and innovative industrial (access to intangible common property).
• allow the free movement of persons entering and leaving Europe, by eliminating the detention centers for migrants and forced expulsions. Anf to provide the right of citizenship (in addition to the original) to all s those born on European soil (jus solis rather than jus sanguinis) (access to freedom of movement).
9. Such a proposal of welfare is now a possible tool not only to implement a more equitable distribution of income but also to develop a real choice of labor, life and social sustainability with a potential positive impact on economic system. It is the only antidote to fight speculation and escape from the ford of the crisis. A proposal that aims to use the quality of public expenditure in order to foster economic growth can, in this way, partly to reduce the deficit / GDP, exactly the opposite of the restrictive fiscal policy adopted by many countries Europe with the aim to satisfy the appetites of financial speculation and to create a deflationary situation with outcomes that are likely to further worsen the current economic situation.
10. This proposal must necessarily be accompanied by the ability to organize a European network that can mobilize the European insecurity. Labor rights and welfare are the two lintels and which now may be the creation of a socialist alternative to today’s European economic power, characterized by nationalistic interests oligarchic elite and the bureaucracy and lobbying in Brussels.
11. We are just beginning. Not enough to resist, should propose an alternative social and economic perspective, tackling the heart of the European establishment. Only in this way, independently and as EuroMayDay, we can create a capacity contracted by fielding from protests in recent months.