AUTUMN 2010 BRIEFING
SPECIAL - EU2020 & MODE 4 ANALYSIS
CP anti EU and Popular Sovereignty Advisory
A WARNING TO ALL WORKERS -THE EU IS COMING YOUR WAY The Communist Party says: • Reject the EU Constitution • No to EU directives that privatise our public services • Defend and develop British manufacturing • Repeal anti-trade union rulings • Scrap laws which promote super-exploitation and undercutting of wages and conditions • Break with the Agricultural and Fisheries Policies • No to racism and fascism, Yes to international solidarity • No to EU militarisation • Restore democracy to EU member states • Replace unequal EU trade deals with fair trade that benefits Thirld World nations • Scrap EU rules that aim prevent member states implementing progressive economic policies • Keep Britain out of the eurozone
"Budget policies in European countries cannot be national policies any more" stated Italian Economics Minister Giulio Tremonti, following an EU finance ministers meeting, which agreed sanctions for member states if their budgets do not conform to EU economic policies (September 6 2010). See page two
No to EU austerity The European Union is using the current economic crisis, caused by unbridled ‘free market’ capitalism, to grab even more powers from member states and create an undemocratic EU ‘economic government’ based in Brussels.
The European Commission is proposing that from next year the national budgets of member states will have to be agreed by EU institutions before they can be implemented. National budgets will be monitored “so as to detect any inconsistencies and emerging imbalances" which do not meet strict Thatcherite economic rules as written into various EU treaties. EU Finance ministers, including Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, agreed the need for “credible sanctions” for member states which do not comply with EU budget rules. Osborne agrees to such interference with national budgets because his Tory government is to announce cuts in public service provision of up to 30 per cent. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn even claimed after the budget agreement was made that the EU was “a bit like a football game”. “It won’t work if the players start to discuss and argue the rules of the game with the referee every time they commit a foul,” he said. This handing over of huge economic and political powers from elected governments to unelected EU institutions is part of a process which began with the 1957 Treaty of Rome. This document, like every treaty since, has demanded “ever closer union” largely without the knowledge of voters. The renamed EU Constitution, the Lisbon Treaty – rejected by millions of citizens allowed a vote – lays the basis for an unaccountable EU state in its own right created in the direct interests of monopoly finance capital ie big business.
This recipe for removing democracy and imposing mass privatisation on an unprecedented scale in Europe was drawn by the EU employers federation (UNICE) and the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT). The ERT wrote a paper that became the EU treaty known as the Single European Act in 1986 which, with the enthusiastic support of Margaret Thatcher, led to the internal market, the single currency and the beginnings of a European army. None of these matters were put to electorates. The weakening and total removal of political and economic levers to deal with the crises at a national level is simply intensifying the nature and depth of the malaise. Greece has been ordered to comply with European Central Bank austerity measures or lose control over its own taxation and expenditure altogether. If Greece fails to comply, unelected, unaccountable EU institutions will impose spending cuts on an elected government, under Article 126.9 of the Lisbon Treaty. The overriding logic and purpose of the EU is to hollow out the democratic structures of nation states and incrementally to transfer law-making powers to unelected, supranational institutions in Brussels. Progressive forces must respond to this anti democratic counterrevolution. National self government is required for democracy to flourish. The freedom of all nations to develop without external interference should be the touchstone for our understanding of Marxism in the modern context. National independence and self government should, once again, play a decisive role in the defeat of the parasitic class, which has no interest in the fortunes of workers and their families than an economic army of occupation. As Marx said: “Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society” – by which he meant the state.
EU smuggles in global superexploitation and
undercutting of wages and conditions By Brian Denny and Linda Kaucher
presence of workers moved across borders. The EU is offering Mode 4 access in all the trade agreements it is negotiating. In the WTO General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) in the Doha Round, the EU revised GATS offer, tabled in June 2005, included Mode 4 offers across service sectors.
not lessen the detrimental effects on EU workers of an influx of temporary workers who will be prohibited from becoming unionised. Once signed up, Mode 4 openings, like all trade commitments, become effectively permanent, due to the prohibitive cost of withdrawal.
Current EU ‘investor protection’ Ultimately, Mode 4 undermines proposals increase this penalty, workers’ abilities to maintain wages allowing not just other states but The EU is currently negotiating and conditions, loading the balance transnational corporations to trade agreements that include of power between labour and capital challenge a country’s failure to fulfil provisions to allow transnational in favour of TNCs. It also reduces its trade commitments. Successful corporations (TNCs) to bring in EU member states’ democratic challenges will lead to prohibitive their own labour in a process financial compensation claims for the loss of all “ The TUC also accepts the parallels with potential profits, called ‘expropriation’. recent anti-trade union ECJ judgments but
offers little in the way of action to oppose either the EU rulings or the threat posed by Mode 4. ” known as Mode 4, hugely increasing the threat of undercutting wages and conditions established over generations by union struggle. Mode 4 is cross border services trade in which workers are actually moved across borders. Its inclusion in the international trade agenda allows transnational corporations (TNCs) to profit from the cross border wage differentials, national insurance exemptions, tax juggling and other benefits of ‘flexible labour’. Mode 1 is cross-border supply (known as outsourcing), Mode 2 is consumption abroad (eg foreign students, tourists), Mode 3 is a commercial presence (eg corporate subsidiaries) and Mode 4 is the
rights to control their own migration policies, in effect handing that power to TNCs. As labour standards are lost in the few places they have been achieved, such as in some EU countries, it will become more difficult for workers elsewhere ever to achieve them.
So when workers feel the effects of the Mode 4 commitments that have been made on their behalf, it will be too late to reverse them. India, on behalf of its TNCs such as steel giant Tata, is demanding TNC Mode 4 access to the EU, and an EU/India Free Trade agreement is currently being fast tracked.
A recent report on the ongoing EUIndia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) Mode 4 is included in all of the trade negotiations said the “full ambition agreements the EU is negotiating. It of the FTA can not be achieved is a particularly secret part of the without Mode 4 - which currently trade agenda, kept from those who faces a range of barriers like wagewill be negatively affected. parity conditions”. These EU offers on Mode 4 are without quotas or Economic Means Tests (ENT).
From the other side, the EU is demanding very significant investment concessions, including Defenders of Mode 4 argue that it is banking liberalisation. The indications are, therefore, that the movement of not immigration but temporary ‘intra corporate transferees’ (ICTs) labour movement – yet this does
will be used broadly, and with high expectations of megaprofits.
to be the most affected by EU commitments.
“movement of service suppliers” are used in both sets of rules.
But bringing super exploited Indian workers into the EU displaces local workers and undermines established working conditions. A race to the bottom is inevitable across many sectors, as TNCs can bring in workers in whatever areas they are established, plus offer cheap, onshore outsourcing.
Notably, in terms of secrecy, a recent British delegation to India, led by Tory prime minister David Cameron, failed to even mention that an EU/India Free Trade Agreement is being rapidly negotiated, even though it was specifically focussed on trade.
This is what led to the EU court, the European Court of Justice (ECJ), to make anti-trade union rulings in cases such as Laval, Viking, Rüffert which, in different ways, undermines the rights of workers’ to protect their wages and conditions.
Mode 4 is considered ‘sensitive’ and thus kept from attention because this The Indian government is arguing that dimension of trade – commodifying the minimum wage stipulations of EU and moving labour to increase TNC member states undermine its cheap profits at workers’ expense – cuts labour ‘comparative advantage’. Yet much deeper than trade in goods, or
ECJ decisions supporting firms’ rights within the EU suggest ‘built-in’ trade agreement protection in Mode 4. Even the pro-EU TUC bureaucracy acknowledged in a recent report (An EU Trade Policy For Decent Work) that Mode 4 threatens to undermine collective bargaining, local laws and the rights of migrant workers. The TUC also accepts the parallels with recent anti-trade union ECJ judgments but offers little in the way of action to oppose either the EU rulings or the threat posed by Mode 4.
even if minimum wage levels are maintained, wage competition for just the minimum wage represents intense downward pressure on labour standards for skilled EU workers.
even other aspects of services.
Mode 4 can be recognised as a continuum with the attacks on workers that stem from EU ‘freedom of movement of services’, which allows EU companies to move ‘posted For a set of reasons - historic, workers’ across borders at cheaper linguistic and related to the liberalised rates. Similar language and concepts British economy – workers are likely of “cross-border establishment” and
At the same time neocolonial, unequal and neo-liberal EU trade policies continue to devastate Third World economies, forcing greater proportions of the world’s populations abroad in a desperate search for employment and resources. Mode 4 does not create a single job but hands further powers to unfettered global capital to decide who works, where and for how much.
self-employed workers at the local Chamber of Crafts. Armed with this information, Solara sent Czech workers to Austria and Germany, where it has won new business.” For many years the European construction labour market has been overflowed by false self-employed workers, a practice which also has been condemned by the European Employers of the Construction Industry (FIEC).
From the European of Building Workers and Woodworkers.
EU promotes false self-employment Last week [August 2010] the European Federation of Building and Woodworkers took note of a deliberate action to circumvent binding EU-legislation on minimum conditions for posted workers. The Enterprise Europe Network, which falls under the direct authority of the European Commmission, has advised a Czech company “Solara” that they would have a competitive advantage over local Germany and Austrian companies by registering workers as selfemployed workers in Germany for installation works.
The EFBWW is aware that some opportunistic and fraudulent company managers (assisted by external consultants) are openly posting false self-employed workers from one country to another in order to circumvent the application of minimum wages, social protection and insurance, as well as working conditions in general. These practices have largely contributed to wage dumping and social security evasion in the European Union. Although several countries have over the years tightened their legislation and enforcement towards the practice of false self-employment, the EU has taken no initiative to solve this problem. Now we have experience that the EU, through its Network, is openly encouraging and promoting false self-employment. A practice which can only be described as scandalous!
As a European trade union federation we clearly state that immediate actions must be taken within the This practice would clearly be in breach of national and EU-legislation (Directive 96/71EG). In addition to this, the Enterprise Europe Network to restore and rectify the damage created, and that prompt and concrete actions Network has also endangered the management and are taken to avoid future cases. workers of the Czech company, who now could face criminal charges in Germany and Austria for Unfortunately, the problem of false self-employment is circumventing the obligation to pay social security much broader. The epidemic problem of the contributions. false self-employed workers is spreading all over Europe as a “social disease”, as a means In the Newsletter of the Network in May 2010, the to cut wage costs and deprive workers of following is stated about the advice of the Network to social rights. The EFBWW has nothing against genuine Solara: self-employment, but the practice of false self“Since local hires in those countries would have been too employment should be combated also at EU level. costly, Solara wanted to dispatch Czech workers to install and deliver roof-windows to new clients. It sought the Network’s advice on work-permit requirements. (…) A member of the Network’s Services and Retail Sector Group, Jitka, is an expert on the topic. She told Solara that while it wouldn’t need permits for Austria it could get around the German permit restriction by registering
By tightening EU-legislation and strengthening enforcement the EU, together with the Member States, could contribute to a ”social market economy” and a level playing field of social rights and fair competition, as foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty.
LONDON, JULY 29-30, 2010
Statement from the European seminar of Communist and Workers’ parties
The propaganda myth about a ’Social Europe’ lies in tatters as the great majority of EU member state governments are slashing and privatising public services, supporting labour flexibility, abolishing social security and labour rights, imposing austerity measures and destroying jobs. Through this attack they express the interests of the capitalist class of their countries and comply with EU Treaties from Rome to Lisbon. The Lisbon Treaty extends and consolidates the main features of the EU as an imperialist economic, political and military bloc opposed to workers’ and people’s interests. These harsh austerity measures are being imposed as monopoly capital aims to make the working class and the people generally pay to resolve a crisis they did not cause, a capitalist crisis of over-accumulation of capital. The real way out in favour of the people is to deal with its cause, that is with capitalism itself and not a variant of its management. In many EU member states, too, anti-trade union laws and judgements are being used to try to restrict workers' resistance to this onslaught, to attack the right to strike, to sharpen anticommunism revealing the class character of bourgeois democracy. Nevertheless, workers across Europe are fighting back against the harsh cuts and privatisations being carried out by their governments. Claims about the existence of a ‘social Europe’ and the value of ‘social partnership’ have been exposed as a cruel lie, created to buy off sections of the working class movement and decisively promote the anti-working class plans of the monopolies. The European Union is using the crisis to exercise additional powers over member states' finances, to boost capitalist profits and to attack the conditions of life of the working class and other strata of the population. Competition between the monopoly capitalists of the member states is sharpening while the disputes between them confirm the law of the uneven development of capitalism. The terms imposed by the EU and its mechanisms benefit the monopolies at the expense of workers, the self-employed, the poor and small and medium-sized farmers. We therefore support the calls for national and international initiatives by the working class movement in defence of jobs, public services and living standards against austerity measures. We believe the time has come for workers across Europe to launch a sustained campaign of mass protest including industrial action - to defend their interests, paving the way for a more fundamental challenge to the EU. Through liberalisation and commercialisation, the EU seeks to impose flexible working relations and low pay, and hand over the public services to private monopoly capital in order to extract more profits at the expense of the working class. Workers must demonstrate against EU-driven austerity measures, the dismantling of social security, the extension of labour flexibility and casualisation, the massive spread of unemployment and poverty. Objectively, this struggle is opposed to the power of the monopolies and to all the imperialist organisations such as EU, NATO and the IMF. In this struggle, Communists urge workers to organise and mobilise:
For permanent and stable employment with full rights and dignity. For substantial increases in salaries. For increased taxes on wealth and monopoly profits. For the people to take into social ownership the natural resources and strategic sectors of the economies of their countries. For all public services, including free and upgraded healthcare and education systems for all. For the reduction of retirement ages and substantial increases in pensions. For full and equal rights for immigrant workers. For the support of small and medium sized farmers and food security. For substantial protection of the environment which is sacrificed for the profits of monopoly capital. For the right of the peoples to choose their own path of development for their country, including the right to disengagement from the EU and NATO as well as the right to opt for socialism. For peace, for the withdrawal of NATO and US military bases, against ‘Partnership for Peace’ and the EUarmy, against participation in wars and military interventions. For solidarity with peoples in struggle: for an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital; for the defence of socialist Cuba and the abolition of the ‘common position’ of the EU. We call for and support protests against the war on Afghanistan around the NATO summit in Lisbon on November 19-20. We also reaffirm our view that the only alternative to capitalist exploitation, crisis, militarism and imperialist war is socialism. In a socialist society, natural and human resources will be nurtured and used in a planned way to benefit the working class, which will have the power, and society as a whole - rather than being exploited by the monopolies whose system generates capitalist crises such as that today. Either it’s backwards to a social and economic wasteland in the interests of bankers and speculators, or forward to the democratic national control of natural resources and finances directed for the benefit of working people, their families and the mass of the population. We therefore call upon trade union organisations and communist and workers' parties to intensify their cooperation, coordination and solidarity, not only against the current offensive of capital but also in the struggle for a revolutionary transformation of society, for socialism and communism.
AKEL Progressive Party of Working People of Cyprus Workers Party of Belgium Communist Party of Britain Young Communist League of Britain Communist Party Denmark German Communist Party Communist Party of Ireland
Workers of All Lands, Unite!
endeavour to settle permanently in their new country and become an integral part of the society.
Former National Union of Teachers President Bill Greenshields, in a speech that he made at their Annual Robert Wilkinson considers the Conference, spoke of the phrase ‘the issues raised in the CPB booklet free movement of labour’ as being a ‘Workers of all lands – a Labour myth. The reality, he said, is more movement policy on migrant often than not a coerced movement labour and immigration’. He argues that the policy of ‘open borders’, advocated by many sincere and well-meaning individuals and organisations, is dangerously naïve and is in fact welcomed by the BNP as confirming their condemnation of the Left as unrealistic idealists, far removed from the situation facing many sections of the working class in Britain. The formulation contained in some motions presented at union conferences that all workers ‘whatever their background or nationality’ are welcome in Britain, distorts the reality behind the factors that give rise to migration and the impact that it has upon both the donor and recipient societies. The analysis contained in the CPB booklet reveals a truth ‘that dare not speak its name’, that migration may often act against the interests of the working class as a whole, regardless of its apparent attractiveness for the individuals concerned.
of labour. Workers who leave their family and community to seek work elsewhere do not normally do so from a motivation of exercising their ‘freedom of choice’ but have been compelled by the economic, social and political situation to migrate and It is essential first of all, as the seek a better world elsewhere. booklet makes clear, that we Unfortunately the reality of the distinguish between asylum seekers ‘Promised Land’ is not one that is and ‘economic’ migrants. Perhaps we ‘paved with gold’ and ‘flowing with need to go even further by seeing a milk and honey’ for the vast majority distinction between migrant workers, and, for some, it is paved with who seek only temporary tombstones and flowing with blood. employment in any particular I could go further than Bill country, and immigrants, who Greenshields and characterise what
has been happening as a ‘Wage-Slave Trade’ that has been similarly destructive of the lives of millions of workers and other poverty stricken populations, no less acceptable simply because it is supposedly ‘voluntary’. The workers who drowned in Steerage on the ‘Titanic’ in their vain hopes of reaching the ‘Land of Opportunity’ are now matched every Available at www.communist-party.org.uk > shop > pamphlets WEBSITE LINKS Organising migrant workers: http:// www.migrantsupport.eu/ Welcome-to-the-TG-Sectionof-Unite.html
single year by those whose boats sink in the seas in their futile attempt to reach Europe or North America. Both in Europe from the 17th to the early 20th Century, and now in Australia, Latin America, Asia and Africa, emigration acts as a ‘safetyvalve’ to relieve the pressure that might otherwise erupt into revolution. Since the 1980s, following the imposition of neo-liberal economic policies by the IMF, the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation, the situation for migrant workers has become much worse. The much
vaunted ‘freedom’ of the worker to migrate is pitiful in comparison with the real freedom of the capitalist employer to seek cheaper workers elsewhere.
term that means little more than the super exploitation of migrant labour - that could spark a ‘race to the bottom’ between different groups of workers.
Workers’ organisations on the other hand have always sought to regulate the ‘freedom’ of the employer in the labour market by enforcing the rate for the job, demanding equal treatment for all and opposing any attempts by the employers to divide, and thereby weaken, the workers by gender, race, religion or nationality. The key factor is the extent to which the trade union movement can exert its power to regulate the terms on which the new labour is to be employed.
There are some who focussed on what they regarded as a negative aspect of the dispute at the Lindsey Oil Refinery and ignored the extremely important issues raised by the workers and the trade unions involved.
Such action is not anathema to trade unionism at international level. Indeed it was a cornerstone principle of the First International.
When construction workers fight to maintain the terms and conditions of the Blue Book, they are engaged in a struggle as fundamental as it would be for, say, teachers to protect the Burgundy Book from employers in Academies and Trust Schools who might seek to undermine it.
The blame for the attempted misuse of the dispute by the BNP wrests with Gordon Brown’s raising Some employers are employing of the argument of ‘British Jobs for migrant workers at wage rates not British Workers’ in his speech to acceptable to local workers, often the Labour Party Conference in below the legal minimum wage, with 2007. This was a blatantly inferior working conditions, longer hypocritical use of the slogan when hours and much lower health and the Prime Minister was well aware safety standards and social benefits. that he had already agreed to the EU directives on removing the This situation is made even worse barriers to the use by offshore by the international rules on labour subcontractors of workers migration being promoted by the employed on terms and conditions EU under the General Agreement of employment of their home on Trade in Services at the World country, a lot worse of course than Trade Organisation, establishing those here in Britain. legal structures that will allow migrant labour to undercut wages This is not only an issue that affects and conditions everywhere. industrial workers as was evident in the angry reaction of the public Not surprisingly this has provoked service union PCS to a document huge trade union protests across leaked in early 2006 on the Europe, raising concerns about possibilities of the Government ‘social dumping’ - an economic ‘offshoring’ jobs in the Department
REGISTER ONLINE FOR CP ENews & Views AT THE CP WEBSITE
GO TO THE CP WEBSITE FOR NEWS AND FEATURES ON EU FROM BRITAIN AND ABROAD
GO TO WEBSITE OF THE NO2EU -YES TO DEMOCRACY CAMPAIGN AND REGISTER FOR UPDATES
READ THE STANDARD RURAL RADICAL VOICE CAMPAIGNER AGAINST CAP AND CFP
of Work and Pensions. Mark Serwotka, the General Secretary of the PCS, commented that ‘the government now seems to be embracing not only potential privatisation, but potentially public sector jobs being shipped overseas’. Mark Sewotka identified the need for ‘binding national agreements negotiated by trade unions, and equal legal status for all, regardless of nationality’. The logic of this position involves rejecting the European Union and the World Trade Organisation’s General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS).
need. But criticism of the operation of the asylum and immigration procedures is misdirected against the workers who have the responsibility for making the system work as best they can. It is the task of the trade unions involved, and the TUC as a whole, to ensure that these workers are not misused by the Government to enforce its own agenda. The Government approach to the ‘Fight against
“...the Commonwealth Teachers’ Protocol agreed by Education Ministers of the Commonwealth, on the initiative of former NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott, is a significant model for emulation in other sectors. It has been followed with a similar agreement to protect nurses.”
He also said that ‘Every worker will benefit from a campaign to unionise overseas workers in order to prevent employers from using them as a weapon against fellow workers’ (my emphasis). What do you do when someone is hitting you with a weapon? The BNP solution is to vent our anger against the weapon – but if we simply smash the weapon our attacker will only go away and find another one. Sooner or later we have to take the weapon from them and ourselves use it against them. We need to recruit the migrant workers on nationally negotiated wages and conditions to fight alongside the rest of us against the employers.
Terrorism’ has aimed to aggravate mistrust and division between workers from different backgrounds. Only the workers themselves, united in struggle against those who would seek to divide us, can overcome this challenge. Workers everywhere have a responsibility to their own class that must override the ‘rights’ of the employers to exploit workers wherever they choose in pursuit of maximum profits.
Workers also have a collective responsibility to ensure that the exercise of their ‘rights’ as individuals The immigration and asylum laws and are not at the expense of the the organisations for their conditions of the class as a whole. implementation as they stand are not Those who ‘export’ their own fit for purpose. They are too often individual skills and education from used in a blatantly discriminatory their home country in the search for manner against those in genuine better employment prospects in
another are in danger of damaging the society that they leave by denuding it of the services that are in greater need there than in the country of their destination. That is why the Commonwealth Teachers’ Protocol agreed by Education Ministers of the Commonwealth, on the initiative of former NUT General Secretary Steve Sinnott, is a significant model for emulation in other sectors. Indeed it has already been emulated to protect the international ‘agency’ trade in nurses. Employers must have their ability to recruit and employ workers constrained as much as possible by
the workers themselves organised collectively in trade unions and enforcing agreements that insist on non-discriminatory terms and conditions. For years the international union movement has been divided. But with the formation of the International Trade Union Confederation and really effective international secretariats in areas such as food and hotels, energy and metallurgy, transport and the media, it becomes possible to give our cross border class organisations a cutting edge and a pro worker focus. And with coordinated campaigns to raise wages within companies across borders, the opportunity for employers to undercut can be diminished. Workers from all lands need to unite - after all, we have a world to gain.
A clear view of the European miasma The ‘Europe 2020’ document subtitled ‘A European strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ published by the European Commission is, on the contrary, more of a strategy for decline in the wages (both personal and ‘social’), pensions and job security of the bulk of society. It is a recipe for social exclusion and the uprooting of an increased proportion of the younger generation as they seek to respond to the demands of an increasingly volatile job market. The current President of the European Commission, José Barroso, claims that ‘Significant progress has been made on dealing with bad banks, correcting the financial markets and recognising the need for strong policy coordination in the eurozone’. What this means of course is that the Governments have bailed out the banks and finance houses with public money that the peoples of Europe are now required to repay in the form of job losses, below-inflation increases in pay and returns on savings, made even worse by cuts in social services.
Recognising this reality, Barroso argues that ‘Our new agenda requires a coordinated European response, including with social partners and civil society’. This will mean that every effort will be made to incorporate the European trade unions in this endeavour and we shall no doubt see the amenable John Monks dancing to their tune.
Pay the Piper and Still Let Them Call the Tune The Europe 2020 Strategy admits that ‘Europe faces a
moment of transformation. Barroso boasts that ‘We have The crisis has wiped out years powerful tools to hand in the of economic and social progress and exposed shape of new economic structural weaknesses in governance, supported Europe’s economy’. What it by….the disciplines and attempts to conceal is the support of economic and reality that, in order to hide monetary union’. The British again the structural economy will not be able to stand aside nor aloof from this weaknesses of the capitalist process, no matter how much economy, there will be no going back to restore the the ConDem Government pretend that sterling is still an gains of economic and social progress achieved by the independent currency. The peoples of Europe since 1945. Bank of England will be as independent as a Scottish Echoing Barroso, the Strategy banknote. insists that ‘Stronger
economic governance will be required to deliver results….helping Member States to return to sustainable growth and public finances’. Again the hidden agenda is to achieve the growth at the expense of public services.
returning to the United Europe of a previous generation: ‘One people, one empire, one leader!’
The Free Market has a Price
But this time around it will be the market that will be the undisputed master of our destinies. At the EU level, the Commission will work: ‘To mobilise EU financial instruments….as part of a consistent funding strategy, that pulls together public and private funding….To enhance a framework for the use of market-based instruments, e.g. emissions trading, revision of energy taxation….this should promote changes in consumption and production patterns….At national level, Member States will need: ….To deploy market-based instruments such as fiscal incentives and procurement The scale of the to adapt production and problem is acknowledged: ‘The consumption methods….To use regulation…and marketcrisis has not just based instruments such as been a one-off hit, taxation, subsidies and allowing us to resume “business as procurement…’ What this will mean in practice is that usual”. The increases in taxation will fall challenges that our upon consumption rather [European] Union than income and wealth, faces are greater further widening the division than before the recession, whilst our between rich and poor. room for It is not just working people manoeuvre is that have been hit hard by the limited’. Limited to solutions recession. The 2020 Strategy that preserve the wealth of acknowledges that ‘Industry those already well endowed and especially SMEs [small and and oblige the common medium enterprises] have people to pay the price, of been hard hit by the course. economic crisis and all sectors are facing the challenges of There will be no escape, as globalisation and adjusting this is something that Britain their production processes will not be able to ‘opt-out’. and products…’ Yet all that The 2020 Strategy makes it the Strategy can offer is that clear that ‘It will take strong ‘At the EU level, the leadership, commitment and Commission will work: ….To an effective delivery mechanism….It will reinforce promote the internationalisation of economic, social and SMEs’ (sic!) - no doubt by territorial cohesion’. This encouraging them to employ sounds familiar – as if we are The Strategy document admits that ‘The availability of easy credit, short-termism and excessive risk taking in financial markets around the world fuelled speculative behaviour, giving rise to bubble-driven growth and important imbalances’. Yet Marxists recognise that such things are inherent in the capitalist system and exhortations to avoid a repetition are as useless as the Buddhist monk preaching to the tiger to become a vegetarian.
migrant labour at rockbottom wages.
The Poor Have No Bread? Then Let Them Eat Cake Yet it is not the exploitation of unskilled migrant workers that is at the heart of the 2020 Strategy. It identifies that ‘By 2020, 16 million more jobs will require high qualifications, while the demand for low skills will drop by 12 million jobs’. It is the enticement of an already skilled migrant workforce from countries that can illafford their loss that will be the key to success of the Eurocrats vision of the future. The unskilled will be ‘enticed’ by the stick rather than the carrot. As part of the Flagship Initiative ‘Agenda for new skills and jobs’, the ‘Member States will need:…To review and regularly monitor the efficiency of tax and benefit systems so to make work pay with a particular focus on the low skilled, whilst removing measures that discourage selfemployment’. It is the basic capitalist principle of remuneration: To encourage the well paid to work harder, they offer to pay them more. To encourage the low paid to work harder, they threaten to pay them less. Welfare benefits for the poor will be cut whilst bonuses for the affluent will be subject to less taxation than at present. The prospect is a judicious mixture of the attitudes of Marie Antoinette and the Victorian ‘Self Help’ philosophy of Samuel Smiles.
credible exit strategy as regards budgetary and monetary policy on the one hand, and the direct support given by governments to economic sectors, in particular the financial sector, on the other’. Sounds like they are advocating throwing good money after bad as the
document itself acknowledges that ‘liquidity was provided to the financial sector in an unprecedented way. Governments gave massive support to banks, either through guarantees, recapitalization or through “cleaning” of balance sheets There must be from impaired assets…’ This some way out of then becomes a new here, said the joker definition of risk for the financial entrepreneur: we to the thief make a profit and we pay ourselves a bonus, we make a How will Europe emerge from loss and the rest of you are the crisis? According to the forced to bail us out. Heads 2020 Strategy ‘High levels of we win, tails you lose. public debt cannot be sustained indefinitely. The But this apparent Keynesian pursuit of the Europe 2020 pump-priming largesse will objectives must be based on a only go so far (only so far as
the rich). The rest of society will have to make do with the parsimony of Hayek. The Europe 2020 strategy for ‘smart budgetary consolidation’ spells out that ‘Fiscal consolidation and longterm financial sustainability will need to go hand in hand with important structural
‘This will require a strong governance framework that harnesses the instruments at its disposal to ensure timely and effective implementation’. During the Inquisition the heretics were shown the instruments of torture to encourage them to recant. Even if their nerve failed them and they abjured their heresies, they would still be burnt but at least their souls would go to heaven. And what will heaven look like? ‘….the onset of fiscal consolidation should normally occur in 2011. The process of bringing the deficits to below 3 per cent of GDP should be completed, as a rule, by 2013’. This is a recipe for the devastation of public services. They will make a desert and call it peace. Nobody will be allowed to step out of line because the 2020 Strategy is ‘A framework for deeper and broader surveillance’.
And who is watching us? ‘These new guidelines will reflect the decisions of the European Council….For country surveillance, they will take the form of Opinions on stability/convergence programmes under Council Regulation (EC) No 1466/97 accompanied by recommendations under the Broad Economic Policy Guidelines (BEPGs) Article 121.2….’
reforms, in particular of pension, health care, social protection and education systems. Public administration should use the situation as an opportunity to enhance efficiency and the quality of service’. So it is not just those nasty Tories after all that are We must learn to love Big forcing the cuts upon the Brother. people. It comes from a much higher authority and we don’t mean the Holy Father.
Keep in Step, You Are Being Observed Contrary to the possibility of any democratic demurring from this fate, the Europe 2020 strategy asserts that
DIG DEEP FOR SOCIALISM - 90TH
ANNIVERSARY NATIONAL APPEAL THAT DESERVES YOUR SUPPORT “The EU is a major issue facing workers in Britain and when the opportunity came to step up the campaign for popular sovereignty during the Euro elections in 2009, the Communist Party made available significant funds to help support the No2EU-Yes to Democracy campaign”, says general secretary Robert Griffiths. “ All serious campaigning costs money and the CP has plans for growth and the extension of its work to communities throughout England, Scotland and Wales. What’s more we are emerging as a Party with a voice and following for radical solutions to rural issues where the weight of the EU is keenly felt. The response for example to the re launch of Country Standard, which has taken an uncompromising class view on the EU Common Agricultural and Fisheries Policies, has been a real eye opener.” A political party of workers - now in its 90th year - that has survived, by and large, on the voluntary and selfless effort of its ordinary members, need not be embarrassed to ask supporters to make a financial contribution. One look at the CP website demonstrates where the funds go: campaigns, education of members, new publications, Communist Universities, a 90th anniversary DVD and a new range of pamphlets and posters with significant ongoing investment in a new website.
EVERY PENNY YOU DONATE IS USED FOR ACTION
So, Robert asks supporters and especially those who want to campaign against the EU, “To make a financial contribution to the CP National Appeal. We don’t take Euros as they seem to mess up the finances of anything they get entangled with, but just about anything and everything else will be turned into action against capitalism and for socialism” It is easy to donate, in person via a CP branch, by mail or, easier still, online.
Send cheques made payable to CPB ‘90 Anniversary Appeal’ c/o CPB Ruskin House 23 Coombe Road, Croydon CR0 1BD or pay online.
Campaigning costs money Cost of a round = 200 posters Five pounds = 500 leaflets Five give one days wage = 5000 pamphlets Ten give one days wage = a general election contest
You can buy titles online - go to CP site> shop
A CP BRANCH NEAR YOU
• Freedom From Tyranny - by Phil Katz deals with the growth of historical revisionism, holocaust denial and anti communism in Europe. ALSO • Killing No Murder - Robert Griffiths • The Education Revolution -Theo MacDonald • Imperial Controversy - Andrew Murray
Go to communist-party.org.uk There will be a CP branch near you, which you can join and where you can get involved. Opposing the EU and building popular sovereignty is a core theme of CP activity - JOIN US