Alternatives to the Europe of austerity

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A next step in the Plan B process will be taken in Copenhagen

PlanB: Alternatives to the Europe of austerity
Signed by representatives from i.a. The Red-Green Alliance (Denmark), Left Party (Sweden), Socialist Left Party (Norway), Left Alliance (Finland), Left-Green Movement (Iceland), Parti de Gauche (France), Die Linke (Germany), Socialist Party (Netherlands), Future to the Left (Italy), Left Bloc (Portugal), Podemos (Spain), HDP (Turkey)

Developments in the European Union over the past years presents the left, trade unions and progressive social movements with new challenges and has ignited a debate over alternatives and strategy. In particular, the steamrolling of the Greek left wing experiment in 2015, has put the authoritarian and neoliberal nature of current European integration on display. We urgently need a strong and clear response from the left. We need alternatives and strategy that can prevent a repetition. This has become even more urgent after the Brexit vote in June.

While such alternatives will necessarily be comprehensive, one debate requires special attention at the moment: The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro. Many laws adopted over the past years – and those in the pipeline – are linked to the EMU and the euro, and they point towards a regime for member states economic policies that would make austerity and attacks on social rights, including labour rights mandatory.

This will affect all of us in the European Union, South and North, and whether in the Eurozone or not. There is a close link between the Troika in Greece and elsewhere, and the attacks on labour laws in France, Belgium and Italy.

If the move towards imposition of right wing economic policies is to be stopped and turned around, political parties and social movements will have to work closely together in a targeted manner. But there are obstacles we need to overcome, and disagreements we need to deal with in a constructive manner.

A meeting and a forum in Copenhagen on 19-20. November was agreed at the first Plan B meeting in Paris. In Copenhagen we will explore our options, share positions, and discuss what steps needs to be taken.  The main questions will be:

– Is it possible to reform the Economic and Monetary Union from inside the current EU framework, or is a rupture with the current framework necessary?
– What could be the alternatives to the eurosystem?
– Brexit changes the EU. How will the left influence the new Europe that is emerging?
– What strategic issues can the left in Europe gather around in the coming years?

We invite representatives of left parties, trade unions and social movements to join us in Copenhagen on the 19th and 20th of November 2016 to discuss these issues with us.

Signed by,

  • Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
  • Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
  • Audun Lysbakken, MP and Chairperson, Sosialistisk Venstreparti – Socialist Left Party, Norway
  • Li Andersson, MP and Chairperson, Vasemmisto, Left Alliance, Finland
  • Katrín Jakobsdóttir, MP and Chairperson, Left-Green Movement, Iceland
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MEP and co-founder, Parti de Gauche, France
  • Oskar Lafontaine, former minister of Finance, Die Linke, Germany
  • Tiny Kox, MP and chair of SP senate group, Chair in Unified European Left Group (UEL) in PACE, Socialist Party, Netherlands
  • Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian deputy minister finance, Sinistra Italiana – Italian Left, Italy
  • Marisa Matias, MEP, Bloco de Esquerda – Left Bloc, Portugal
  • Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP, Podemos, Spain
  • Zoe Konstantopoulou, Former President of the Hellenic Parliament, and Head of Course to Freedom, Greece
  • Ertuğrul Kürkçü, MP, former co-chair and Honorary President, HDP, Turkey
  • Luka Mesec, MP, Iniciativa za demokratični socializem, Slovenia
  • Kinga B Stanczuk, Foreign Affairs Representative, Razem, Polen
  • Nikolaos Chountis, MEP, Popular Unity, Greece
  • Bjørnar Moxnes, Chairperson Rødt, Norway
  • Paul Murphy, MP, Socialist Party (part of the Anti-Austerity Alliance), Ireland
  • Malin Björk, MEP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
  • Fabio De Masi, MEP, Die Linke, Germany
  • Marina Albiol Guzmán, MEP and Responsible of International Affairs and Relations, Izquierda Unida, Spain
  • Francisco Louçã, former coordinator of Bloco de Esquerda and economist, Portugal
  • Hişyar Özsoy, MP and Vice Co-chair of HDP Responsible for Foreign Affairs, Turkey
  • Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at the University of London and former Syriza MP, Greece
  • Søren Søndergaard, MP, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
  • Nikolaj Villumsen, MP and Vice Chair in Unified European Left Group (UEL) in PACE, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
  • Peter Wahl, Chairman of Weed (World Economy, Ecology & Development) and founding member of ATTAC Germany, Germany
  • Asbjørn Wahl, Director of Campaign for the Welfare State, Norway
  • Andrej Hunko, MP and spokesman on European Affairs and Vice-Chairperson of the Group of the Unified European Left (UEL) in PACE, Die Linke, Germany
  • Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory, Denmark
  • Nick Dearden, Global Justice Now, United Kingdom
  • Tariq Ali, Writer, United Kingdom
  • Tom Kucharz, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
  • Eric Toussaint, Spokesperson, Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM), Belgium
  • Andy Storey, Professor, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Rina Kari, MEP, Folkebevægelsen mod EU, Denmark
  • Steffen Stierle, Member of the Lexit network, Germany
  • Lola Sánchez, MEP, Podemos, Spain
  • Xabier Benito Ziluaga, MEP, Podemos, Basque Country
  • Josu Juaristi, MEP, EHBildu – Basque Country Unite, Basque Country
  • Danielle Simonnet, co-president of Parti de Gauche, France
  • Eric Coquerel, co-president of Parti de Gauche, France
  • Sabine Lösing, MEP, Die Linke, Germany
  • Inge Höger, MP, Die Linke, Germany
  • Anna Kolotova, Secretary General of the Unified European Left Group at PACE (UEL), France
  • Massimo D’Antoni, Professor at Department of economics and statistics, University of Siena, Italy
  • Andreas Nölke, Professor of Political Science, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany
  • Clémentine Autain, Member of the regional council of Ile-de-France and substitute member of parliament, Ensemble!, France
  • Samary Catherine, Economiste, Membre du Conseil Scientifique d’Attac France et de la gauche radicale (NPA, Ensemble!), France
  • Myriam Martin, Member of the regional council of Occitania, Ensemble!, France
  • Jean-François Pellissier, Former member of the regional council of Ile-de-France, Ensemble!, France
  • Cristina Asensi, Democracia Real Ya and Money Sovereignty Commission, Spain
  • Vincent Decroly, Vert & à gauche (VEGA), Belgium
  • Didier Brissa, FGTB Wallonne et CEPAG, Belgium

Registration for the conference is required. Register here.