Project for a
Charter of Principles for Another Europe
Another Europe is possible: this is the horizon created by the anti-neoliberal social movements, creating a new stage in constructing a Europe of peoples.
The French and Dutch “No” to the “Treaty Adopting a European Constitution” revealed the failure of European neoliberal construction, anti-democratic and patriarchal, resulting in trade-offs between States without the peoples' intervention. The elites claimed to be exercising a power invested in them, but which had not been conferred on them. The democratic deficit that has characterized the current construction of Europe has to be filled.
European mobilizations during the first years ofthe 21st century against the war, neoliberalism, sexism and racism, against the destruction of democratic and social rights and the privatization of public services and demanding the guarantee of universal rights, have opened the way to elaborating a project of a “Charter of Principles for Another Europe”, which we wish to submit for public discussion.
The Principles of Another Europe are all equally important and have as their basis:
∙ equal dignity between persons and the inviolability of each person to be respected by all institutions;
∙ peace, freedom, justice and security as individual and collective assets;
∙ equality between all, first and foremost, the parity between men and women, by guaranteeing difference and diversities;
∙ democracy ensuring equal representation and participation;
∙ European citizenship based on place of residence;
∙ Social rights, the right to work and rights at work, the only solution in order to eliminate poverty, different forms of exclusion, and impoverishment;
∙ A socially equitable economy, based on solidarity, sustainable life, and democracy
∙ Peoples' freedom and citizen’ freedom.
Europe is not the same as the European Union: the process of enlargement by means of neoliberal policies is provoking in the east, but also in the west, unemployment, poverty, exclusion and is nourishing different forms of chauvinism.
The construction of the European Communities and of the European Union has has been characterized by the weight assigned to governments, to an unelected authority, the central role of the market-place, the right to open competition and to transnational corporations, around which economic and social relations, as well as the institutions themselves, have been structured. From now on we are faced with an ”economic constitution” – the laws of the market-place are at the core of Treaties, prevail over democratic political decisions – in clear opposition to the founding principles of the constitutional Charters of the 20th century.
On the contrary, one must affirm the priority of fundamental social rights and of political and cultural rights, which require another economy to realise commonly-shared natural assets – land, water, air, energy – and public services. There has to be a recommitment to a vast process of social re-appropriation – new forms of social property - in order to satisfy all the social needs and permit a democratic development that can be ecologically sustained.
The Europe that we want is founded on the primacy of the rights of all and on the fundamental principle of direct participation by the citizens in public and collective decision-making. Europe must be a union of peoples freely associated together, grounded in constitutional democracy and a public space stretching beyond national borders, characterized by democracy at every level.