'We refuse a Europe of permanent austerity' - Statement for a Standing Plan B in Europe

November 30, 2016 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal — The following statement was adopted at the "Internationalist Summit for a Plan B in Europe" organised by The Red-Green Alliance (Denmark), Left Party (Sweden) and the European United Left - Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) European Parliamentary Group in Copenhagen, November 19-20. A video of the conference is available here. For more information on the conference visit here.

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We, the undersigned, elected representatives, academics, trade unionists, social movements, party organisations, commit ourselves to a standing Plan B for Europe as a force of opposition and alternative to the European institutions. We refuse a Europe of permanent austerity, attacks on social and labour rights and devaluation of labour. We deplore the erosion of financial stability on our continent. We contest the shift from public to private which redirects common resources and public finances to service debt owned by banks.

The steamrolling of the Greek left wing experiment in 2015 has shown the need for a platform that specifically addresses the blackmail and the attempt to impose neoliberal policies via the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). An alternative is needed urgently, as the EMU is set to become even more dangerous in the coming years.

By imposing austerity, the political and financial oligarchy has created insecurity and mistrust throughout Europe, and thereby paved the way for the rise of right wing nationalism, which seeks to create hatred and disunity between people of Europe.

Plan B shall pave the way for a fully democratic and inclusive cooperation in Europe and beyond, between peoples and nations, which seeks to solve the multiple crises of today, and which goes far beyond the stifling confinements of the European Union (EU). Whereas eurocentrism, fear and exploitation of people and nature continues to be the cornerstones of Europe’s relation to the rest of the world, the European institutions are unfit to handle the global challenges of today.

At the Plan B summit in Copenhagen, we have presented credible and ambitious solutions to solve the local and global challenges of today. These solutions are not possible within the current framework of the EU and its reactionary treaties: We have to break free from those treaties. We pledge to fight for European cooperation on completely different terms, a Europe of social justice, solidarity, sustainability and democracy.

Therefore, we are committed to continue and deepen cooperation within the plan B framework, including by supporting an annual plan B event and improving coordination within that framework. We envision a growing coalition that will develop alternatives to the current neoliberal EU in a cooperation between parties and social movements, and that will serve as a place to strengthen common struggles and refine our strategies.

After Copenhagen, which took significant steps in that direction, we strongly encourage progressive forces across Europe to get involved in the next Plan B Summit, which will be held in Rome, 11-12th of March 2017, as a counter-summit to the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. With elections in France and Germany and ratification of CETA – which could end up being rejected if just one national parliament says no – 2017 will be an important year for Europe.

Signed by,

Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MEP and co-founder, Parti de Gauche, France
Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP, Podemos, Spain
Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian deputy minister finance, Sinistra Italiana, Italy
Fabio De Masi, MEP, Die Linke, Germany
Catarina Martins, MP and Coordinator, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal
Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at the University of London and former Syriza MP, Greece
Ertuğrul Kürkçü, Honorary Chair, MP, Peoples’ Democratic Party, Turkey
Filiz Kerestecioğlu, MP, People’s Democratic Party, Turkey
Eric Coquerel, co-chair, Parti de Gauche, France
Susan George, President, The Transnational Institute, France
Jeanne Chevalier, National board, Spokesperson for economy, Parti de Gauche, France
Daniel Sestrajcic, MP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
Nikolaj Villumsen, MP, Enhedslisten, Denmark
Søren Søndergaard, MP, Spokesperson on European Affairs, Enhedslisten, Denmark
Martin Myriam, regional councillor for Occitanie, spokesperson of Ensemble!, France
Alexis Cukier, National Board, Ensemble!, France
Sébastien Villemot, Ensemble!, France
Harald Bender, Coordinator Basic Research, Academy on Solidarity Economy, Germany
Screpanti Ernesto, Prof. of Economics of globalization, University of Siena, Italy
Laura Horn, Associate Professor, Roskilde University, Denmark
Michiel Herman, editor Ander Europa, Netherlands
Frank Slegers, editor Ander Europa, Netherlands
Andy Storey, University College Dublin, and Action from Ireland (AFRI), Ireland
Janis Kuzins, Secretary general, Socialdemokratic party “For Independent Latvija!”, Latvia
Heinrich Dahms, Diem25, Netherlands
Erik Rooze, Diem25, Greece