In the capitalist world economy, recovery is not on the agenda.
The recovery is always announced for tomorrow, but for the great majority of the countries there is stagnation, even recession. The so called emerging countries are also gripped by the crisis.
In the European Union, the governments, either conservative or social democratic or coalition governments are imposing severe policies of austerity and the European Commission is in charge with controlling their strict application. In the euro zone, the commission exercises control a priori of the budgets of the different governments, in order to be sure that the governments comply with the neoliberal criteria of lowering of the budgets and of reducing the state debts.
This neoliberal dogma of state debt reduction at the level of 3% of the GDP has transformed itself into the iron rule and is at the core of the Merkel-Sarkozy treaty (Fiscal Pact) which is a true weapon against the social rights, social protection and public services.
The offensive of the bosses, the government and the European Commission is concentrating on the drastic lowering of the wages and the increase of productivity, which are combined and permits increasing the profits of the monopolies. The crisis is a huge pretext to extend the flexibility and the mitigation of the workers’ rights and the workers’ movement. The policy of mega-austerity imposed on Greece by the troika (European Central Bank, EU and World Monetary Fund). A policy which is applied by the coalition government of conservatives and social democrats is provoking huge social disruptions, a lowering of the standard of living never seen before, a decrease of the life expectancy and the health situation of the entire population. The country is drained of the youth and the skilled workers who are forced to emigrate in the hope of finding a job in other countries. The same is happening in Spain, Italy and Portugal where the unemployment rate reaches new peaks, especially among the young workers and where millions of families are living under the official poverty level.
For the workers and the peoples, for the youth, for the women in the broad masses, the EU is synonymous to the policy of austerity, social regression, concurrency of “everyone against everyone”, social dumping, of massive unemployment and misery. In all the countries of the European Union, the working class and the toilers are at the core of resistance against this policy… massive resistance with strikes and demonstrations, events that mobilize millions of people, workers from the cities and the countryside, of pensioners – which is to say – all the victims of this policy. The mass media controlled by monopolies are silent about it because the financial oligarchy, the governments at the oligarchy’s service, the European Commission which is its instrument, fear above all that these struggles against the same policies reinforce each other; that the working class and the toilers become conscious of their strengths and of their common interests and that they drag all the sectors of society, that are also suffering from the austerity policy, along into the struggle.
To impose these policies of austerity and of competitivity , financial oligarchy, monopolies, banks, etcetera don’t hesitate to install unelected governments and coalitions with right extremist parties and to impose norms and European directives [Direktiven der Europäischen Kommission] which have the force of a law, which imposes itself to governments and to parliaments and national institutions. So in Italy, the troika began to impose the first unelected government and it has supported a third unelected government in a row, lead by a liberal reformist who wants to impose measures against the working class and an authoritarian presidential system rapidly. Austerity goes along with more reaction, more repression against those who oppose it, more criminalization of social resistance.
All of this stresses the antidemocratic and antisocial character of the European Union. The true power is in the hands of statesmen, governments and an unelected European Commission which decides and elaborates the directives which are imposed on the states under the pressure of the representatives of the monopolies. The overcrowded European parliament is discussing but its decisions have little effect. It serves as a “democratic” cover for the EU, which is not democratic.
The European Union protects itself by the mean of laws, military vessels and walls to impeach the immigrants embarked in overcrowded vessels. Thousands of them have drowned in the Mediterranean Sea. With Frontex, retention camps like Lampedusa & barbed wires “Fortress Europe” wants to defend itself against men and women who are fleeing misery and wars that the EU is responsible for. Indeed, the European Union is interfering militarily today in Central Africa. An intervention which has been decided and performed first by French imperialism which has asked for help by its allies of the European Union. Some governments have sent troops, other give logistical support. But nobody has condemned this intervention which will have a disastrous outcome – just like all the imperialist military interventions in Africa. Their main objective is to maintain the neocolonial domination and the control of raw materials, especially uranium. The most aggressive imperialist powers in the EU, especially French imperialism, British imperialism and increasingly German imperialism play a dangerous and reactionary role in pushing the EU to increase its military capacities in order to defend “its interests” especially in Africa which they consider their private property [back alley/Hinterhof]. This policy which is waged in strong collaboration with the US imperialism costs billions of euro and stimulates the militarization of the EU countries. It is directed against the struggles of the African peoples who are fighting to get rid of the imperialist domination and their ruling reactionary cliques which are instruments of this policy.
The European Commission has been negotiating the transatlantic treaty secretly for months with representatives of the US government, ministry of trade and big monopolies. It is a treaty of so called “free trade”, it is clearly neoliberal, wants to break standards in food quality and environmental standards. It wants to liberalize the market, esp. the public sector, and to open them for private monopolies. This treaty could also permit monopolies to sue states in private courts which can condemn them for having obstructed the “free” competition. This treaty is presented by Obama as a “trade NATO” in order to confront the economical power of China and other competitors of the US/EU alliance according to the idea: We must unite against the rest of the world and join in the economical war for the conquest of markets, control of raw materials and energy resources. This treaty is a weapon against peoples and workers all over the world through the competition “all against all”. The only ones who benefit from this “free” and unobstructed competition are the strongest monopolies. It is urgent to develop a large movement to stop these negotiations in all the European countries.
This policy has resulted in the dangerous situation which is currently developing in the Ukraine and the entire region. The situation may deteriorate and lead to a military escalation on a big scale. At the root of the conflict lies the interimperialist contradictions and the policy expansion of the European Union towards the east. This policy of expansion is promoted by German imperialism which attempts to reinforce its leadership in the European Union in order to be in a better shape for the competition between imperialist powers on a world scale.
Ukraine is a big country with very important resources. It is geo-strategically important for Russia. To integrate Ukraine into the EU’s sphere of influence represents a big blow to Russia and to the ambitions of its leaders of making Russia a big imperialist power. Nobody could ignore this but this is exactly what the EU leaders have done. They did not hesitate to support reactionary forces including openly fascist forces who took power in a coup d’etat.
Putin reacted immediately. US imperialism interfered openly in order to take control of the management of the crisis and to take the lead of their European allies which have developed economical ties to Russia for years. French imperialism is selling weapons to Russia. German imperialism depends in part on its gas. British imperialism needs the flow of the Russian oligarchy’s capital… and a large amount of gas consumed by the EU member states flows through Ukrainian pipelines. Taking advantage of the crisis, NATO has extended to the east, getting always nearer to the border of Russia, increasing the tensions. The big imperialist powers are directly involved and are face to face. Even though today neither of them wants a direct military confrontation, a situation of instability is developing in the region. This promotes militarization. The European Union appears more and more clearly as an imperialist block whose ambitions endanger peace. Indeed there is no total unity in this question among the members of the European Union, but it is the trend developed by the dominating imperialist powers in the name of the entire European Union.
Here we want to stress the identity of the social democrats’ and conservative parties’ views. They all have supported the reaction allied to the right extremists in Ukraine and they salute the NATO’s role eagerly. The way Stoltenberg – a social democrat leader – has been received as general secretary of the NATO by all of those forces clearly proofs it.
This whole policy is deeply rejected by the workers and the peoples. The discontent is growing everywhere. The progressive, revolutionary and antiimperialist forces, the Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations have the duty to be in the front line of this tremendous protest which involves all sectors of the people, especially the working class. To be in the forefront of this protest means to combat the policy of austerity, the governments and the European Union imposing it, with determination. This means to support the aspirations and the struggles of the workers and peoples against the antidemocratic character of the European Union, against imperialist character of its policy and against the negation of the people’s right to determine their own future.
The reactionary forces, the right extremist forces, openly fascist parties and groups would like to instrumentalize this mood of discontent in order to push it towards a dangerous path of nationalism, division and xenophobia. For them the enemy is not the capitalist system but the other peoples or “foreigners”. These forces want to use the European elections to strengthen and to have deputies elected and benefit from the financial support of the European union to develop their work. We Marxist-Leninist parties and organizations, as we sign this declaration, will develop our analysis of the EU’s nature, its policy and broadcast our positions in the context of these elections. These elections are – similarly to the European construction itself – a caricature of democracy.
In the countries where there are forces who put up lists for the election that struggle against the EU of austerity and of reaction of war, we call to elect these lists.
IN countries where the only choice is between forces who support European union and forces who criticize only certain aspects without questioning neither its foundations, nor its objectives, spreading illusions about the EU’s reformability we call for the development of an active policy in favour of abstention
In the countries where progressive forces struggle for their country to leave the EU where they have a mass base, where they are engaged in large fronts that put up lists on that base, we call to vote for these lists. We will popularize such lists on the international level in the name of the peoples’ right to decide their own future. We denounce all kinds of blackmailing, all attempts to keep quiet about them or to distort reports about the objectives and these struggles.
In any case we put the following slogans forward:
Down with the imperialist European Union!
Stop the austerity policy of the UE
Stop the EU of criminalization of social protests!
Stop the war policy of EU!
No to the transatlantic treaty [TTIP]!
No to the banking union!
No to the United States of Europe!
No to the imperialist Europe!
For the international solidarity of the workers and the peoples!