The ETUC's new campaign "A new path for Europe"
The trade union manifesto for the European Parliament
At the end of May 2014, EU citizens will be asked to vote on who will represent them in the European Parliament. The election is important for all Europeans. The Parliament has the power to make European laws, decide the EU budget and appoint the president of the European Commission.
The Parliament will be elected against a backdrop of a prolonged financial, economic and social crisis in Europe. And the ETUC has adopted a manifesto for change in the way Europe is being run. A better Europe is possible. Together, we can make it happen. Together, we can forge a new path for Europe.
We are promoting an alternative vision for a prosperous, progressive, socially inclusive Europe. We want a Europe that works for its people.
We are against any attempts to reverse the progress made by the trade union movement in advancing the working and social conditions of citizens. For the last decade or more, politicians have been undermining the European project through policies that go against the basis of the European social model: good industrial relations, quality public services and social protection. They have promoted a system that makes people compete on the basis of falling wages, poor working conditions, inadequate social protection and unfair taxation. European employment policy should not be based on precarious work and inequality. We need fair trade, not a free for all.
Instead, the ETUC’s manifesto calls for a social Europe; a Europe that provides its citizens with quality employment and a secure future. We want to see the end to austerity. The EU must put solidarity back at the heart of its policies. We want a new industrial policy based on innovation, research and development: with education, training, health and a just transition to a no or low carbon economy. Progressive, redistributive and graduated taxation on income and wealth, a financial transactions tax and the end of tax havens, tax evasion, fraud, corruption and undeclared work, are a vital part of our manifesto.
Our ‘New Path for Europe’ is an ambitious investment plan that will revitalise the European economy. But we want growth to include social justice for all, closing the gap between rich and poor. Upholding equality must include effective measures to secure equal pay and rights for all – the pay gap between women and men must end.
We will be asking politicians seeking the votes of working people to sign up to this manifesto, and we will test their promises against it. We will start by giving the manifesto a public launch in the way trade unionists know best: with our demonstration on the streets of Brussels on 4 April. I hope to see you there.