“People of Europe rise up”: this has been the refrain of protests from Madrid to Athens.
“They are the crisis, we are the hope”, is the awareness emerged in Genoa in 2011. The hope for another Europe - pacifist, ecological, democratic, federalist, open to the rest of the world and based on the dignity of every person, native or not. A Europe refusing all discrimination and founded on the recognition of difference. A Europe willing to ground its international role on the values of pacifism and cooperation with the global South.
Networks, coalitions, and movements have emerged against the commodification of people and natural or immaterial common goods, defining a project of a Europe based on the fundamental rights of people and animals and on the preservation of nature. We must promote the democratic management of common goods and an economy of equality and social justice.
Only a European-level struggle will enable us to seriously address the crisis and respond to the blackmail of financial markets. The speculative attack on the euro is first and foremost an attack on the welfare state and on the living and working conditions of European citizens. Far from effectively combating speculation, the measures taken by the European elites incentives it and satisfy its expectations.
Our struggles must be addressed against the neoliberal policies of the European Union and of its main actors - governments, technocracy, and supranational elites, all of which actively exclude citizens and political representatives from decision-making. Only a democratic Europe will redress the excessive power of European elites.
Genoa 2011 strengthens the commitment for a new dimension of conflicts, conducted through European campaigns able to make full use of the European Citizens’ Initiative, a new tool of participative democracy allowing to bring a legislative proposal directly to the European commission by collecting one million signatures in at least seven member states.
The European campaigns currently being programmed are:
Guaranteed basic income
European citizenship based on residency, and a mobilisation for the EU to sign up to the 1990 UN Convention on the rights of migrant workers
Water as a fundamental right, as a first step towards a European statute of common goods backed up by a European directive
The social use of goods seized from organised crime
A plan of social and ecological reconversion, to be supported by the transaction tax and a carbon tax.
The right to information, and the freedom and pluralism of the media
These campaigns, promoted by different networks and coalitions, naturally do not encompass all the problems raised by the economic crisis. But they are concrete and significant components of another possible Europe, and serve to incentives new campaigns able to propose in every field of action real alternatives to the Europe of financial markets.
With these campaigns continues the commitment to build a democratic Europe and to find the way to surpass the Treaty of Lisbon through a rebirth of participatory democracy.
Genoa, 22 July 2011