Wednesday, May 30, 2012

German call for renewal of EU


Founding Europe anew!

Frank Bsirske (Ver.di)
Annelie Buntenbach (DGB)
Prof. Dr. Rudolf Hickel (Wirtschaftswissenschaftler)
Dr. Steffen Lehndorff (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Urban (IG Metall)

Stop the March into Ruin! Overcome 
the Crisis with Solidarity!

This way of austerity cannot and should not continue. The project of Europe is in impasse. Europe finds itself in an existential crisis. Even before the outbreak of the crisis the directions were set in a wrong way, because the Euro-construction was fixed unilaterally on monetary stability and flawed debt- and deficit criteria, through a wrong economic and political coordination and a grave neglect of the social union. The crisis was pushed forward through neo-liberal deregulation politics and unscrupulous greed of the financial elite speculating against countries in crisis and wanted to force a financial market conformity.

With the neo-liberal model of subordination under the dominance of the (financial)markets, the EU does not add to a solution but an aggravation of the crisis. Instead of naming political mistakes and greed for profits as the causes of the crisis, state deficits are
being redefined into at (social) sovereign debt crisis in order to legitimise a disastrous politics. Public expenditures as well as work- and social incomes are radically cut through by injunctions; wage earners, unemployed and pensioners are made to carry the costs of bank saving procedures.

Thereby especially the economic regulations (»Economic Governance«) and the fiscal pact pushed through by the German government follow an agenda which threaten to endanger social democracy of member states in irreparable ways. This kind of politics is irresponsible and must be terminated immediately.  It is economically and politically contra-productive because it strangles private and public consumption as well as public investments and thus growth and development; socially irresponsible because it deepens the gap between member states, also within countries themselves.Its effects on democracy are destructive because it dismisses democratic procedures and attacks achievements of social democracy long struggled for such as autonomy in wage bargaining and social protection systems.

In the case of Greece the catastrophic consequences of this politics are appearing in sharp focus here, the economy was forced into a recession while large parts of the society are impoverished, more and more people turn their backs from Europe with feelings of bitterness, and democracy is choked in the grip of the “Troika”.This development in Greece must be stopped and shall not – by no means whatsoever –  be repeated in other countries! Europe must embark on a new road of development. If it wants to have a future as a project of democracy and solidarity, political directions must be set in completely new ways. As the economically and politically strongest member state, Germany carries a special responsibility. We are demanding from German politics that it may no longer not act as the thriving force of a destructive crisis politics but as a marker of a change of path which is long overdue.

The following economic and political measures are most urgent:  

Financial transactions must be taxed drastically.

Financial market players must, as culprits of the crisis be held accountable 
for the financing of a solution to the crisis.

The financial markets must be regulated and the banking sector must be restructured .  

For government bonds the Euro-zone must jointly guarantee and state finances must be decoupled from capital markets.

European monetary politics has to become entrusted, aside of money-stability as a goal, with targets of growth and employment political goals.

German unions and the political sphere are being challenged. In Germany. Wages must increase again as they have done in previous years, in order to put an end to the steady redistribution in favour of income of financial,bank and shareholder profits and to work against the imbalances within the EU. Equally important is an encompassing re-regulation of the working markets and a reduction of the low- income sector as well as precarious work (working conditions).

However, these measures do not suffice. A change of path has as a prerequisite a set of fundamental changes:  

In order to enable cooperation of differently productive economies under a common roof of
the Euro, it is necessary that the EU develops further into a transfer-union. Equalization
payments help to decrease existing economic imbalances within the Euro-zone. 
Thereby duties and rights of giving- and taking states must be commonly agreed upon.

New developmental perspectives must be opened for states with high debts through aid programs.  Europe needs a democracy-offensive. The EU will have no positive future as a detached elite- project. Political directions of change must be executed solely under the strict adherence toEuropean treaties and institutions. Governments have no mandates to promote crisis politics aside of avoiding parliaments. Europe‘s populations must be involved concerning all core questions.  

Europe must found itself anew! The unification process needs a guiding idea constituting identity. More and more people associate Europe today with state debts, social decline, and bureaucracy .They divert their sympathy and consent from the EU. If Europe is to have a future at all, Europe must work actively for the consent and sympathy of the people. In European public life most main actors have to negotiate the guiding ideas for a social and democratic Europe.

We plead for a European social movement of citizens which embarks on a radical change of path, and acts against the current disastrous crisis politics. A first step on this road must be the rejection of the Fiscal Pact in its current form, and new negotiations on fiscal and political frameworks. We appeal to all main political actors responsible,  to unions and civil society: The path of Europe into ruin must be stopped – through more economic wisdom, social justice, and democratic courage! Europe needs a public debate about a new democratic future of solidarity!


Prof. Dr. Elmar Altvater (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Hans-Jürgen Bieling (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Bosch (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Ulrich Brand (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Busch (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Frank Deppe (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Dörre (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Christoph Ehlscheid (IG Metall)
Prof. Dr. Andreas Fisahn (Rechtswissenschaftler)
Edith Großpietsch (IG Metall)
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Habermas (Philosoph)
Dr. Dierk Hirschel (Ver.di)
Dr. Martin Höpner (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Dr. Gustav Horn (Wirtschaftswissenschaftler)
Alexander Kirchner (EVG)
Prof. Dr. Birgit Mahnkopf (Sozialwissenschaftlerin)
Claus Matecki (DGB)
Franz-Josef Möllenberg (NGG)
Jürgen Peters (IG Metall)
Klaus Pickshaus (IG Metall)
Wolfgang Pieper (Ver.di)
Prof. Dr. Dieter Sauer (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Armin Schild (IG Metall)
Dieter Scholz (DGB)
Dr. Thorsten Schulten (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Prof. Dr. Michael Schumann (Sozialwissenschaftler)
Michael Sommer (DGB)
Franz Steinkühler (IG Metall)
Ulrich Thöne (GEW)
Dr. Alexandra Wagner (Sozialwissenschaftlerin)
Detlef Wetzel (IG Metall)
Klaus Wiesehügel (IG BAU)
Bernhard Witthaut (GdP)
Dr. Frieder Otto Wolf (Philosoph)
Prof. Dr. Karl Georg Zinn (Wirtschaftswissenschaftler)

Áth Cliath/Dublin 30 Bealtaine/May 2012.

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