Ludo (ludo@ecn.org)
Tue, 16 Dec 1997 11:33:52 +0100

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The signing of the Amsterdam Stability Agreement and new developments in the construction of a purely economic Europe, shows a need to extend mobilisation on a European scale in order to fight for a social Europe. At a time when young people find themselves particularly hit by continual social cuts, they should be in the forefront of the demands for a social Europe along with progressive forces that are combining together to confront the liberal offensive. Several recent events have shown that convergence exists among European youth organisations and that mobilisation on a broad front is now possible (European March against unemployment in June 1997, Venise in September 1997...).

We are inviting European youth organisations to participate in a meeting to be held in Paris, on the 20th and 21st December 1997. The proposed agenda will be the drafting of a programme for a social , ecological an democratic Europe; incorporating the demands of Youth. This meeting will also be the occasion to discuss the possibilities of common initiatives that we can all take to push Europe in the direction we =0Bwant !

This Europe should work to solve the following urgent problems : -the elimination of unemployment now leading to ever growing precarity and affecting young people in particular. - to call a halt to the continual rise of the extreme right wing throughout Europe and to call a halt to an insular Europe; Youth seeks to show its solidarity with the people of the South and East. - to extend the freedom of movement to people; only money and goods have freedom of movement in the European Union ! - to work for an ecologically-based society, and to draft recommendations for a model for sustainable development. - to work for a truely democratic Europe where decision-making powers are in the hand of the people and not the money market financiers.

We extend an open invitation to all progressive youth organisations to meet in Paris to discuss the drafting of a European Youth Rigths=B9 Charter so= as to give real expression to these demands.

First signatories in France :=20


--------------------------------------------------------- EUROPEAN YOUTH RIGHTS CHARTER

The free-market road to European construction and liberal economic=20 policies in eastern Europe are leading the people of all these countries=20 to social disaster, imposing decreases in wages, the destruction of=20 public services, demolition of social rights, which can only lead to=20 increasing unemployment, poverty, social inequality and the destruction=20 of environment.

European youth is one of the main victim of this situation : cuts in=20 school and university budgets, imposed part-time work and low-paid jobs,=20 worse and worse living conditions...

Fed by this situation of social poverty and deprivation, we see the rise=20 of far-right parties in many countries, which is a real threat to=20 democracy.

Faced with this situation, we are convinced that European youth must=20 have a social status based on the following rights : 1. Right to education : against the logic of privatization and=20 destruction of public school systems, we demand public funds and budgets=20 as large as needed. We refuse selective systems of accepting students and=20 pupils at universities and in high schools. We ask for the right to=20 choose subjects and to continue to study as long as we want. 2. Right to decent living conditions : we demand a decent income for=20 each young person (student, unemployed or in temporary jobs). No working=20 young people should be paid less than a legal minimum wage. This income=20 should take into account the real cost of living (food, independent=20 housing, clothes, leisure...) and must be allocated to each student and=20 job-seeking young person. 3. Right to housing : every young person must have the right to their=20 own housing, a necessary pre-condition for leading a decent and=20 independent life. This requires the existence of a legal minimum wage for=20 all young people and adequate housing allowances. 4. Right to jobs : we refuse wage discrimination against young people.=20 We demand a radical and general cut in working time without wage cuts,=20 the change of non-stable jobs into stable jobs. The real value of the=20 level of diplomas and qualifications must be recognised in job contracts. 5. Right to health : we demand free access to a high level of healthcare=20 and to preventive medecine. 6. Right to a healthy and clean environment : production must be=20 sustainable, so we demand the raise of environmental legislation to the=20 highest level. 7. Right to democracy : we ask for the possibility for young people to=20 give their opinion and to participate in decisions on questions that=20 concern them. In every European country, young people should have the=20 right to create committees allowed to express themselves freely. 8. Right to equality for women : women must have the right to control=20 their own bodies. Abortion and contraception must be free and on request.=20 Women should have to access to the same jobs as men and have the same=20 wages as men for the same jobs. 9. Equality of rights : we demand the abolition of all discriminatory=20 legislation against foreigners and immigrants, and against all=20 minorities, whether national or others. 10. Right to future : the Europe in which we want to live is one based=20 on a logic of convergence of social rights towards a level which would=20 make it possible to fulfil the needs of all. Young people regularly fight against the liberal policy of their=20 governments and the consequences for themselves. As we do now, we will be=20 with them to defend their rights in the future.


Youth for an Other Europe !

Practical Informations

Be careful : change of the meeting place. The meeting will take place at the =AB Ecole Normale Sup=E9rieure =BB, 45, rue d=B9Ulm, 75005 PARIS, M=B0= Luxembourg, from saturday the 20th at 1:00 pm to sunday the 21rst at 2:00 pm.

The previous agenda is as following : Saturday the 20th : 13 H : Arrival of the participants. 14 H : Unemployment, precarity and formation. 15 H 30 : How fighting against nationalist tentations, and=0B the closing of the borders ? Pause. 17 H 30 : Ecology and public health. 19 H : Dinner. 21 H : Europe of the people against the financiers=B9 one : what=0B kind of democracy for Europe ? Sunday the 21rst : 9 H 30 : What initiatives of youth organizations in order to=0B build an other Europe ? 12 H : Concrete decisions. Previous end at 1:00 pm.

Beyond the topics we propose, the discussion must be organized around the inte-rests of the participants. The Charter that we join to this letter, tries to summarize the main lines of discussions that seemed important to us. We have gathered them in the topics of the order of the day. Naturally, all the discussions will lead to the rethinking and the rewriting of the Charter.=20

We organize the sleeping for the night from saturday to sunday. As far as we are able, we will try to satisfy all the demands for sleepingplace, for the other nights. Please think to bring a sleeping bag. French, English and Italian will be spoken. The people who can not speak these languages must indicate the language they speak.=20 Finally, 130 F (french Franc) will be asked for each person, to organize the meeting. The people or organization who cannot pay this amount are invited to contact us as soon as possible.


Youth for an Other Europe c/o European March 104 rue des Couronnes=20 75020 Paris FRANCE Fax : 33 (0)1 44 62 63 45 e-mail : autreurope@altern.org ------------------------------------ Collettivo Infodiret(t)e-ECN Padova http://www.ecn.org/pad/ ludo@ecn.org

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