Following Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen and Rome, the 5th Plan B summit will take place on the 21st and 22nd of October 2017 in Lisbon, claiming back democracy for the peoples of Europe and asserting democratic cooperation and solidarity as true alternatives to the increasing democratic and social deficit imposed by the Lisbon Treaty 10 years ago. In the Lexit Blog we document the call for this conference.
The Lisbon Treaty, together with the Single European Act, Single Market and all the principal directives implementing it (e.g. Posted Workers and Bolkestein directives) is a cornerstone of the contradiction between the neoliberal European integration and European democracies guaranteeing the full enjoyment of civil, political and social rights to the people. The Lisbon Treaty imposed the exact same project of concentration of power and weakening of democracies which was rejected by the French and Dutch ‘NO’ in the 2005 referenda.
In 2015, another historic referendum outcome was bluntly overturned, by a direct violation of the popular mandate and of popular sovereignty: the 5th July glorious 61.3% Greek ‘NO’ to the extreme austerity and antidemocratic measures imposed by the European Union Institutions and the IMF. A coup against the Greek people’s NO was effectuated by the European Commission and the ECB, using the denial of liquidity and financial strangulation as means of extortion. Ever since July 2015, the European Union, the IMF and the Greek Government have been imposing on the Greek people the exact same measures which were rejected by the Referendum and have continued subjecting the country and the people to a Debt which has been found to be illegal, illegitimate, odious and unsustainable by the Parliament’s Truth Committee on Public Debt. The coup against the Greek people is a coup against democracy in Europe, to which we are obliged to react, resist and respond with a solid political plan. And indeed, it was after this coup that the Plan B initiative was launched to protect the European peoples, restore democracy in Europe and ensure prosperity and equality for European societies.
The rules of the Stability and Growth Pact and now the Fiscal Compact are one of the main reasons for inequality and economic failure because they deny democracies the financial capacity to implement key social and development policies. Inside and outside the euro-zone, austerity and mercantilism based on devaluation of labour costs deepens social fractures and inequality in Europe. Fed by this social destruction, another enemy of democracy is growing: the ultranationalist, racist and xenophobic forces.
In view of this social and political disintegration, former social-democratic and conservative parties insist on the recipe for more antidemocratic integration, more austerity control over national budgets, and more attacks to labour and social policies, creating unviable conditions for the living and the future generations and depriving the youth from the prospect to live in liberty, dignity and prosperity.
CETA and other similar free trade agreements, supported by conservative and social-democratic parties, are the Trojan horse that brings social and environmental offshore virus where democracies are subordinate to the power of corporations and investment funds.
The failure of European Union treaties and institutions is not the failure of Europe and its peoples. European democracies need an international alliance of progressive, democratic, popular forces, trade unions and social movements struggling for a break with EU treaties and for building a new cooperation that serves the interests of our peoples and protects democracy and civil, political, social, economic and environmental rights. A cooperation that promotes international peace through the rejection of militarism and the armaments industry, solidarity with migrants and refugees, and the struggle for an international development of high democratic, social and environmental standards.
The Plan B summit in Lisbon will be an opportunity to further deepen the alternative pathways developed at the Paris, Madrid, Copenhagen and Rome Summits. The starting point of our analysis are the current EU treaties that are a straightjacket of our democracies, our societies and economies. We want to initiate and support civil movements of disobedience and win majorities in each of our countries to ensure a new European framework which allows: social development policies that break with the power of the European Central Bank (ECB), direct loans to the states, redistribution of public investment, restructuring public debts and with this eliminate debts that are illegitimate, illegal, odious and unsustainable.
If this plan A fails, due to the predictable hostility of the EU institutions, the outcome will not be capitulation to Brussels. In such case, that country or countries should open the way for a plan B that will make possible other forms of European cooperation, restoring sovereignty and setting up new mechanisms for peoples monetary and economic decision.
The great anti-austerity mobilizations and the social struggles that mobilize peoples throughout Europe and beyond are a key force in our common cause for democracy, social and environmental justice. Civil disobedience to the impositions of permanent austerity is part of the path to a major social mobilization and democratic resistance.
The progressive political parties, trade unions, feminists, environmentalists, human rights advocates, social movements and activists who have gathered in the fora of Plan B are united: between saving the EU and the Euro and saving our peoples from the clutches of austerity, we will always choose the social and democratic rights of our peoples.