Europe: Gotenburg – Fight the bosses EU/EMU – For a Socialist Europe

On the one hand Bush and the bosses’ EU and on the other thousands of demonstrators. The battle lines are drawn in Gothenburg. The EU is a capitalist bloc formed by multinationals in Europe and politicians representing the interest of the rich.

Gotenburg EU/EMU summit

Fight the bosses EU/EMU! For a Socialist Europe!

The CWI (Committee for a Workers’ International) is fighting for another Europe, a workers’ Europe – a democratic socialist Europe. Before coming to Gothenburg all heads of governments in the EU received a letter from European Round Table of industrialists (ERT), an organisation made up of all the main bosses in Europe. The letter urged the politicians to stick to the old agenda of cuts, "job flexibility", deregulation and privatisation. Does anyone really believe that the bosses will not get what they ask for by the heads of states in Gothenburg?

No to the euro

Behind a democratic facade the EU and EMU are run in the interests of the bosses. Nationally different governments and the bosses used the setting up of EMU as a means of continuing their attacks on young people and workers across Europe. These attacks take place in order to generate more profits for the European monopolies at the expense of wages and social welfare. Despite recent economic growth EU governments have continued to cut public spending while the European labour market becomes more in line with the US labour market: You are hired one day and fired the next. Leaving today’s generation of workers less protected than the generation before. The so-called "Stability pact" and its straightjacket are tending to speed up the process towards a new crisis of European capitalism. At the same time an increasing number of struggles are developing in Europe. Sometimes these involve workers trying to get a share of their bosses increased profits. In other cases they are against the cuts and attacks followed in the wake of the Euro. Greece this spring is the latest example. A general strike in April brought Greece to a halt and forced the government to give in to the workers demands by dropping its proposal to cut pensions.

This victorious strike has been followed by other strikes and a new general strike in May, all showing the strength of the working class when it moves into action.

A fight back has begun

The forces which can create an alternative to the bosses’ Europe are starting to emerge in the struggles that have taken place against job losses in France, to save pensions in Greece, to warn the new right-wing government in Italy, in the many demonstrations against global capitalism and so on. All-European actions and campaigns (including strikes, days of actions, blockades) need to be organised against the bosses’ onslaught on jobs and welfare, and in defence of workers’ rights and environment. But the mostly pro-market and pro-EU/ EMU leadership of the European trade union movement generally act as a brake on struggle.

Even when, as in Greece, action takes place these leaders often agree to a rotten compromise. Most of the present trade union leaders are incapable of organising a serious fight back on a national, let alone an international, level. A struggle needs to be waged to give the trade unions a fighting leadership.

Workers can only rely on their own strength, action and solidarity. Those working in the multinational companies need to come together to discuss and agree on joint demands with the aim of cutting differentials in wages and working hours, improving workers conditions, social protection, environmental standards etc.

Fight racism and Fortress Europe

The EU is building a Fortress Europe. Borders go down for goods, services and capital but new borders are built against immigrants and refugees. The right of asylum is under serious attack. There are already one million immigrants in Schengen’s database who cannot enter into EU. Even Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, has said that the EU is setting up a "Brussels-made wall". The bosses and the established parties have not hesitated in playing the race or asylum card to divert attention from the capitalist roots of society’s problems and divide the working class and communities.

Racism cannot be stamped out by hypocritical campaigns organised by the state and sponsored by politicians and society’s elite. One minute they pay lip service to the need of taking a stand against racism and the next minute they carry out an anti-working class policy which in turn allows the extreme right to spread their poisonous demagogy.

The rise of Haider in Austria and the coming to power of Berlusconi and Bossi, for the second time, in Italy should act as a dire warning. The racists blame minorities for job losses, cuts and the housing scandal. That is why the fight against racism is bound together with the struggle for jobs, social welfare, decent housing, free education and living pensions for all pensioners. Only a united movement of workers, young people and immigrants can drive out racism from schools, workplaces and communities and combat the menace of the far-right and the fascists.

Stop the EU army

The launching of a Euro army of 225.000 troops armed to the teeth with combat aircraft, submarines and warships marks a new sharp twist in the EU history as it prepares itself to take military action. The next step will be an increase in military spending as the EU is trying to close the gap with the US as far as military technology and intelligence are concerned. This development partly reflects growing rifts within the imperialist camp, particularly between the EU and the US. After declaring war on workers rights and forming a Fortress Europe, the EU governments feel ready to announce a more independent, aggressive foreign policy backed up by more military muscle. The CWI campaigns against a Euro army and for an immediate cut in arms spending.

EU moves eastward

Enlargement of the EU is on the EU summit agenda in Gothenburg. Contrary to the misplaced hopes of many East Europeans that EU membership will raise living standards, enlargement is used by the rulers of the current EU countries to rob and plunder Central and Eastern Europe. They also see this as a means of strengthening the position of the EU vis-a-vis US and Russia. "The enlargement process" really outlines a ’hard-core’ EU of the rich and bigger nations and a second-rate periphery.

Any newcomers from Central and Eastern European countries will be held to ransom and turned into second-rate members by the dominant powers within the EU.

For a Socialist Europe

The CWI is totally opposed to the bosses’ EU/ EMU, which is and cannot be anything else than a capitalist bloc formed in order to protect the interest of the ruling classes in Europe and that cannot be fundamentally reformed.

The struggle against the bosses’ EU/EMU has to be used as a lever for bringing workers and young people together across Europe, building the basis for an alternative Europe run by the working people and not the capitalists.

The CWI aims to build an international socialist organisation that is arming the struggle with a socialist programme and policy for the ending of capitalism. We stand for genuine socialism which has nothing to do with the totalitarian one-party dictatorships that existed in the former USSR and Eastern Europe.

The CWI fights for the complete socialist transformation and the replacement of the bosses’ EU/EMU with a voluntary, democratic socialist confederation of Europe of independent states within which there will be full respect of every democratic right and for the culture and language rights of all national minorities. This will be the first step towards a socialist unification of Europe and a socialist world.

CWI fights for:

  • Fight the bosses’ EU/EMU – For a Socialist Europe!
  • Scrap Schengen – Defend the right of Asylum! Workers and Youth unite against racism!
  • Stop privatisations and social cuts. Re-nationalise the public utilities that have been sold off.
  • Abolish all school/student fees. Free education for all!
  • No to a Euro army. No to Nato – Cut military spending NOW!
  • For a living minimum wage and shorter working week!
  • End the dictatorship of the market. Bring the multinationals, major companies and the banks into public ownership. For a democratic, socialist planned economy.

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June 2001