"Common Appeal for the European Parliament Elections"

Europe faces one of the most severe crises of capitalism that can entail serious consequences and dangers for the workers and peoples.

A crisis that is the result of the European Union's neoliberal policies – enshrined in the treaties and in the "Lisbon Strategy" -, of promoting the unregulated free circulation of capital, of liberalizing markets and the increasing financialization of the economy; of reducing public investment; of increasing exploitation through the loss of wages' value and the deregulation of labour relations; and of pushing for the liberalization and privatisation of the public services.

Policies that promote the accumulation of colossal profits by the big economic and financial groups, the formation of big monopolies and the deterioration of the living standards of workers and peoples.

The measures which the European Union recently adopted and implemented by most governments have as their main goal to socialize losses and benefiting the interests of the big economic and financial groups.

These measures are accompanied by an intense demagoguery of governments and institutions of the European Union dominated by conservatives, liberals, social-democrats and right wing greens, that seeks to conceal their responsibilities for the European Union's neo-liberal policies, posturing a false distancing from neo-liberalism, but preserving their political guidelines in the so-called "refounding of capitalism". But the very essence of capitalism cannot be reformed, regulated, humanized. Proof of this, is the process of integration of the European Union into the Strategy of USA and NATO, and the embodiment of militarism, interventionism and interference in its "European Security Strategy”.

At the same time, disrespecting the democratic and sovereign will expressed through referenda by the French, Dutch and Irish people, they insist on a more neo-liberal and militarist European Union, under the domination of the big powers, namely through the persistent attempt to bypass the Lisbon Treaty's rejection in the 2008 Irish referendum.

It is through the workers' and peoples' struggle that one can respond to the situation and open the paths of the necessary change, rejecting that those who most suffer be the ones to pay for the effects of the crisis, and by demanding better living conditions, more democracy, cooperation and peace among peoples. It is the aim of the signing parties to give this struggle a voice in the European Parliament, together with other democratic left and Nordic green parties and in close cooperation with social organisations and movements.

The times are confronting the workers and peoples with a major challenge: to achieve a profound social transformation, overcoming exploitation and oppression. In continuity with previous commitments, the June 2009 elections for the European Parliament are for us, progressive and left-wing forces, an opportunity to reaffirm that those alternatives to the European Union's neo-liberal and militarist policies do exist.

Our goal is a Europe of cooperation, social progress, equality, that promotes the environment, respects democracy, solidarity and peace. Only another course for the European Union can contribute to that.For this reason, the political forces that subscribe the Appeal reaffirm the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty and demand that it be cast aside, for it institutionalizes neo-liberalism and militarizes the EU within the framework of NATO, it adopts a “security-first” approach for the internal affairs in the EU countries and stands in contradiction with the urgent need for change, for social progress and for a new role for Europe in the world.

We the parties that subscribe to this Appeal are bearers of these values and these demands. We reaffirm our determination to act for a different Europe that effectively takes into account social and democratic demands, the demands for peace and solidarity, which are the legitimate aspirations of the peoples. In striving for a different Europe, we propose to work along four axes of proposals:

. For a Europe of employment with rights and for the improvement of the workers' and peoples' living conditions.

. For increasing the value of wages, namely the national minimum wages, for social protection, for unemployment subsidies, retirement plans and pensions, for a just distribution of income, against families' growing indebtedness and for a stimulus to social and economic development and education.

. For the rejection of the proposed working time directive, for the end of the job market's liberalization, for the creation and promotion of jobs with rights, and for a policy of first employment, based on the development of economic activity; to foster public employment where necessary; to eradicate precarious jobs, and to reduce working time without wage losses.

. For the reinforcement of public services and for public investment in social infrastructures that guarantee dignified housing, health, education and social security for all.

. For the reversal of the processes of liberalization and privatization, for a greater role of public services in strategic sectors and areas, namely in the financial sector, energy, communications and transports, developing, in accordance with the needs, cooperation at a European level; to promote public investment in research.

. For a Europe of economic and social progress.

. For the defence of the productive sectors and employment, namely those that are most vulnerable to the crisis and those with potential for an ecologically and economically sustainable development, profoundly reforming the common policies for agriculture and fisheries, ensuring the food security and sovereignty of each country, promoting public projects and supporting micro, small and medium companies, cooperatives, and the local municipalities; concentrating community funds in this direction and correcting regional asymmetries.

. For measures of defence against aggressive exports or dumping, reclaiming safeguard clauses, if necessary.

. For the implementation of measures that stop the relocation of companies, namely by making community assistance conditional to the fulfilment of obligations, such as job protection and local development.

. For a new credit policy that responds to the situation of home-owning families in debt, and that of small businesses in difficulty from the strangulation of the internal market and the high prices of productive factors.

. For a political control and democratization of the European Central Bank profoundly reviewing monetary policies so that they favour sustainable development; for the immediate suspension of the Stability Pact and the review of the Lisbon Strategy, replacing it with a Pact for Social Progress and Employment; for the right of the member states to regulate high prices especially those of basic goods and products.

. For the end of tax havens and of the unregulated free circulation of capital, and for an opposition to, and the taxing of, the movement of speculative capital.

. For the use of the community budget that, given the just contribution of each country based on its Gross National Income, gives priority to policies of real convergence, based on social progress, and the safeguard and promotion of the each country's potential, the sustained use of natural resources and protection of the environment.

. For a Europe with democracy, rights and equality,against all discriminations.

. For the respect of the will of the peoples and the promotion of citizens’ rights, for control of Community-level decisions through democratic participation and a stronger role of national Parliaments and of the European Parliament.

. For the right of control of the use of public funds, of the management of economic groups, including multinational corporations, and of layoff plans by employees, by elected representatives and by social organisations. This is only feasible by democratising processes in the work places, in the regions, at the national and European levels.

. For the respect of citizens’ rights, freedoms and guarantees and the firm rejection of “Security-prone” policies and measures that threaten or curb them, under the pretext of fighting terrorism; fighting terrorism does not mean promoting war and curbing freedom or civil and human rights, but rather enhancing democracy and social justice.

. For the upward harmonisation of social standards and legislation and the legal enforcement of the principle of non-regression.

. For true gender equality at work starting from equal pay for equal work in all spheres of society.

. For the protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation.

. For the protection and promotion of child and youth rights; against child labour.

. For the protection and promotion of disabled people’s rights.

. For the respect and enforcement of migrants and refugees’ rights, particularly in the framework of right to employment, the right to be educated and access to health services, which requires the rejection of a “Security-prone”, repressive and exploitative Fortress Europe and of its mechanisms such as the “Directive on Return”; For the respect of rights of minorities;For the combat against all forms of racism and xenophobia, sexism, homophobia, neo-fascism, chauvinism, nationalism, anti-communism and against all forms of intolerance or authoritarian and anti-democratic practices.

. For the respect for cultural diversity and identity and the guarantee of everybody’s access to culture, by promoting it in a perspective of openness, co-operation and equality among peoples.

. For co-operation in the prevention and fight against organised crime, arms trafficking, the drug trade and money laundering, against international networks of economic and financial trafficking, prostitution and human trafficking.

. For a Europe that promotes peace and solidarity with all peoples of the world

. For the respect of international law, of the United Nations Charter, of the principles of sovereignty and non-interference, of the peoples’ right to self-determination and independence, of the peaceful resolution of international conflicts; for the respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the States and against the recognition of the self-proclaimed independence of the Serbian province of Kosovo.

. For the rejection of the European Union’s militarization, within or outside the NATO framework, against the NATO expansion towards Eastern Europe and Balkans; for the dissolution of all political-military blocks, for disarmament, the banning of the manufacture or use of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, promoting their full and complete dismantling, for the re-launch of talks on disarmament; for the strict implementation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, as well as the progressive and negotiated downsizing of conventional arsenals and of military expenditure.

. For the rejection of the militarization of space, against the installation of the “National Missile Defence” system in Czech Republic and Poland; for the creation of nuclear-free zones, for the end of foreign military bases.

. For the effective enactment of a security and co-operation system in Europe, based on the principles laid down in the Helsinki Final Act.

. For the end of the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan and for the restitution of sovereignty to their respective peoples.

. For the establishment of a sovereign, viable and independent Palestinian State, side by side with Israel, in the territories occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with United Nations resolutions.

. For the support to the reunification of Cyprus and its people, for the solution of a bi-zonal and bi-communal Federation as set by the relevant UN Resolutions and on the basis of the High Level Agreements, international and European law. For the support to a solution by the Cypriots for the Cypriots and the withdrawal by Turkey of its occupation troops, that will lead to peace and stability and to a common prosperous future for all Cypriots.

. For the reform and democratisation of the United Nations Organisation, as an essential arena of international co-operation, valuing the role of the General Assembly and its resolutions, rejecting the predominance of NATO over the UN regarding security issues.

. For the respect of the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including all civil, political, economic and social rights, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.

. For the development of more just and equitable international economic relations, ensuring access to food, water and energy and the preservation of those resources, the fight against poverty and diseases, the rejection of the ruinous policies and diktats of international financial and trade organisations (World Trade Organisation, International Monetary Fund, World Bank).

. For the effective enforcement of the Kyoto protocol on the environment, despite its shortcomings, and for the implementation of the decisions adopted at several Summits organised under the auspices of the UN.

. For the cancelling of the developing countries’ foreign debt and for policies of active support and solidarity to those peoples, namely by allocating at least 0.7% of GDP as aid to these countries.

. For the cancelling of the Free Trade Agreements promoted by the EU, namely the Economic Partnership Agreements, and for the promotion of a policy of co-operation, based on equality, notably with the African and Latin American countries.

Changing the course: a different Europe of co-operation, progress and peace is possible!There is a real alternative to the European Union’s neo-liberal and militaristic policies. Recent developments demand a permanent assertion of the possibility of a Europe of the workers and peoples and of the goal of creating new societies, with justice and social progress.

From the Middle East to Latin America, all over the world the peoples are fighting to be the protagonists of their present and of their future. Solidarity is our strength.

The political forces that subscribe this Appeal reaffirm that the time has come for profound change that makes the workers and peoples, European men and women - and not the markets and the ruling economic forces, which are the multinational corporations and financial capital - the true subjects and beneficiaries of the policies that are implemented in their name.

Another Europe is possible through broader and stronger struggles, uniting all those who in each country reject the policies of the directorate of neo-liberal and militaristic powers and who wish to jointly work, for the democratic transformation of society and for an alternative to the capitalist society.

Another Europe that respects the values and ideals of the youth, expressed through their struggles all over Europe; that will provide the youth with opportunities for a hopeful and progressive future. A Europe that will offer new perspectives for personal and collective achievements and a peaceful world for the new generations.

As left-wing parties, we are an integral part of this movement. We reaffirm that we want to act within and outside the European Parliament, in every struggle to build another Europe.

Therefore, we are decided to continue and develop our co-operation on the framework and the basis of the experience and work carried out in the Confederal Group of the European United Left / Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL), while respecting the differences, national specificities and searching convergences between all the progressive forces that constitute the diversity of the group and wishing to act together so as to change Europe, and work for a Europe of the peoples, of social justice, solidarity and peace.

In subscribing to this Appeal, we commit ourselves to defend these goals and guidelines, in each of our countries and on a European level, in the 2009 European elections campaign and subsequently, through our respective elected members of the European Parliament.

Parties signing the Common Appeal:

1. Austria
Communist Party of Austria

2. Bulgaria
Communist Party of Bulgaria

3. Cyprus

4. Czech Republic
Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia

5. Denmark
Red-Green Alliance

6. Finland
Communist Party of Finland

7. France
French Communist Party

8. Germany
Die Linke

9. Germany
German Communist Party

10. Greece

11. Hungary
Hungarian Communist Workers Party

12. Italy
Party of Italian Communists

13. Italy
Communist Refoundation

14. Portugal
Portuguese Communist Party

15. Romania
Socialist Alliance Party

16. Slovakia
Communist Party of Slovakia

17. Spain
Communist Party of Spain

18. Spain
United Left

19. Spain
Party of the Communists of Catalonia

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