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(en) WSM-Ireland: What's wrong with the EU

From "Andrew" <andrew@flag.blackened.net>
Date Thu, 29 Apr 2004 17:11:10 +0200 (CEST)


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A new pamphlet published in advance of the Dublin May Day EU summit
protests brings together articles that critique the policies of the
European Union. Published by the Workers Solidarity Movement whose
members have been active in organising the protests. You can download
and print out a PDF file from
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/pamphlet/EUpam.html .
Or read the articles online at
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/index.html
CONTENTS
What's wrong with the European Union?
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/index.html
The EU is one of the motors of capitalist globalisation, the rule that
all decisions should be made on the basis of profitability alone.

The neoliberal agenda at the heart of the EU
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/neoliberal.html
EU decisions are driven not by the needs of the people of Europe but by
the wishes of the European based corporations. These corporations
produce drafts that are later turned into EU policy

Fortress Europe
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/fortress.html
Increased integration of EU asylum and immigration policy. One of the
first steps towards the creation of Fortress Europe was the Schengen
Agreement which was originally signed in 1985 by five EU states

The EU, militarism and Ireland
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/militarism.html
The story of the European Union and militarism goes back as far as 1955
when the Western European Union (WEU) was formed. This was the main
avenue for joint European security efforts and was closely tied to NATO

The libertarian alternative to the bosses Europe
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/alternative.html
For us, the libertarians, these struggles are not a means to conquer
the power of others. For us, these struggles are a means to radically
change society. Instead of power, we want freedom; instead of
privilege, we want justice.

You can download and print out a PDF file from
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pdf/pamphlet/EUpam.html
Or read the articles online at
http://struggle.ws/wsm/pamphlets/eu/index.html

*******************

INTRODUCTION
What's wrong with the European Union?

What ever happened with the European Union? Privatisation of services,
introduction of charges for needed services, massive congestion on the
roads and the collapse of the health services. These things don't
happen by accident. There is a motor that is driving these policies and
you'll find it in Europe.

This is why the European summits, which bring together the heads of all
the EU member states, are accompanied by massive demonstrations against
the Europe of the Bosses. Meeting behind closed doors, a tiny number of
those who rule Europe are making decisions that will effect the lives
of every one of the hundreds of millions of people living in the
European Union as well as the countries to the east and North Africa.

The workers of Europe have no say in these decisions whatsoever. The
Nice referendum demonstrated that in the exceptional circumstances
where citizens of a European country get to vote on an aspect of the
process they are only allowed give one answer. Ireland was the only
country in Europe where the citizens got to vote on the Nice treaty and
when they voted it down the government simply held another referendum
and told them to vote yes.

Other Articles include:
* The neoliberal agenda at the heart of the EU
* Fortress Europe
* The EU, militarism and Ireland
* The libertarian alternative to the bosses Europe

The EU is one of the motors of capitalist globalisation, the rule that
all decisions should be made on the basis of profitability alone. The
World Trade Organisation is trying to impose this on the global level
through the Global Agreement in Trades and Services. This covers 160
services' sectors including healthcare, education, housing, water,
waste management and other basic services. The EU web page proclaims
"the EU therefore leads in the drive to liberalise trade in services
world wide and remove barriers to a truly global market".

Decoded, what this means is that the EU wants to turn water supply,
education, health and refuse collection from being social services
provided to all to profit making enterprises provided to those who can
pay. This is the agenda behind the introduction of local service
charges like the bin charge and the water charge. If the charge is
successfully introduced the service will be sold off and the cost will
soar to hundreds of Euros per year. If this is done successfully in
relation to refuse charges next on the privatisation agenda will be
aspects of the education and health services.

Migration

The nastiest side of the EU is on the question of migration. Here EU
policy has resulted in thousands of deaths in the last decade. The
European bosses want to use North Africa and the other countries on the
fringes of Europe as a highly exploitative, low wage sweatshop where
workers have no union rights and environmental legislation is minimal.
There are two parts to this policy.

Firstly EU rules are adjusted to encourage low wage industries to
re-locate from Europe to these regions. In Ireland Fruit of the Loom
has moved thousands of jobs from the north west to new plants in
Morocco where workers are paid one seventh of what the (low paid) Irish
workers were paid.

We would hope that these jobs would enable Moroccan workers to organise
and improve their wages and conditions. But there is no freedom to
organise in Morocco. It is infamous for jailing political prisoners in
an underground jail in the desert. One of the services this regime
provides for the European bosses is the suppression of trade unions. An
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) report notes
that "21 Moroccan trade unionists were imprisoned in 1999 for trade
union activities, and that they were tortured during their detention."

The logical thing for Moroccan workers to do is to flee these areas of
low wages and oppression for the better conditions of the European
Union. But while the EU is all about opening the borders to flows of
capital it is also all about closing the borders of Europe to flows of
people.

Thousands have died trying to cross the borders that surround Europe.
They have drowned in the Mediterranean and suffocated in the backs of
containers. Dozens have died in suspicious circumstances at the hands
of immigration police. Tens of thousands more sit in prison camps
across Europe, waiting to be deported. At the same time large sectors
of the European economy, particularly in agriculture, cleaning and fast
food are dependent on the low wage workforce the migrants who manage to
cross the border provide.


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