In 2004, seven ex-socialist countries from central and eastern Europe will accede to the European Union with all the positive and negative consequences that will bring for the lives of their citizens. Hopes, illusions and scepticism intermingle in these ‘emerging’ Eastern societies. The existence of strong nationalistic and anti-globalist feeling are a threat to attaining civil and human rights and liberties. One section of the social movement opposes accession to the EU, even the EU itself. Other social movements are involved in the complex reality of the EU and are working to transform Europe from a neoliberal and monetry community into a social union of the people. There is a new opportunity for the movements from East and West to work together to drive this social change, be it at national or international level.
How and with whom? Will it be enough? Can the movement as it stands change the draft European constitution, or is it part of a wider reality in which it must find its place and open up to other social and political forces? These are life’s challenges and those of our movement. Steering the right course between sectarianism and opportunism is imperative. We envisage a transition in society from primitive socialism to renewed socialism. (Democratic liberties, mixed economy, direct participation by the workers in the management of companies, democratization of the relationship to production, priority of collective interests over private, individual interests, expansion of social rights.)
Short and medium term tasks:
Strengthen our movement by being open to alliances based on fighting for peace and human and social rights.
Strengthen the position of the Left and progressive forces as a whole, on the basis of the debate on the European Consistitution, in view of the elections to the European Parliament in 2004.
Prepare to establish a section of the European Left that can take the political struggle into the heart of the European institutions, with the European Social Movement as its principal ally.
By coordinating our struggle among ourselves and other progressive forces.