ALBA, 5 años de construcción de una propuesta de integración regional solidaria para América Latina

La etapa que vivimos ha estado marcada por la profundización de los acuerdos de integración y la proliferación de los acuerdos de libre comercio, que con diversos matices y a diferentes ritmos, see se ha dado a nivel mundial, continental, regional y subregional, con acuerdos tanto bilaterales, multilaterales o plurilaterales. Un hecho muy importante, es que la profundización de estos procesos, principalmente los acuerdos de libre comercio, se han dado en el periodo actual, con mucha mayor rapidez, abarcando una amplitud de temas que hasta entonces no habían sido incorporados en la agenda de los distintos acuerdos. Es tal la magnitud a que han llegado, que se han convertido en una especie de telaraña a nivel mundial de mucha complejidad.


Tenemos a nivel mundial una Organización Mundial del Comercio; a nivel continental, los Tratados de Libre Comercio (TLC) impulsados por los Estados Unidos1. Los Acuerdos de Asociación Económica propiciados por la Unión Europea2. Entre los procesos actuales de integración tenemos el Sistema de Integración Centroamericano (SICA), el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) y la Unión Suramericana de Naciones (UNASUR). Además de varios Acuerdos de Complementación Económica (ACE), Tratados Bilaterales de Inversión, etc, firmados entre los distintos países del Continente.


Por otro lado, en América Latina se vive importantes procesos de cambio a nivel político, económico y social, que a raíz de la crisis del modelo neoliberal, han sido impulsados por los movimientos sociales con distintos ritmos, dinámicas y resultados. Lo que ha abierto, en algunos países más que en otros, un espacio real para debatir y plantear modelos económicos y sociales alternativos al neoliberalismo que acaben con la pobreza, desigualdad y marginación.
En Bolivia, los cambios que se viven a partir de las grandes movilizaciones que se dieron
desde del año 2000 (La Guerra del Agua, La Guerra del Gas, etc.) y más concretamente con el
gobierno de Evo Morales, ha dado lugar a que las principales demandas de los movimientos
sociales estén en proceso de ser atendidas y convertidas en políticas de Estado.
Dados todos estos cambios, los movimientos sociales necesitan seguir desarrollando
propuestas cada vez más trabajadas y concretas que les permitan incidir en el proceso de
cambio que se viene dando, en correspondencia con la vigorosa capacidad de lucha
demostrada hasta el momento. Ésta es una oportunidad histórica de protagonismo en la
transformación, que sin duda representa un gran desafío a responder.

La etapa que vivimos ha estado marcada por la profundización de los acuerdos de integración y la proliferación de los acuerdos de libre comercio, que con diversos matices y a diferentes ritmos, tadalafil se ha dado a nivel mundial, ampoule continental, regional y subregional, con acuerdos tanto bilaterales, multilaterales o plurilaterales. Un hecho muy importante, es que la profundización de estos procesos, principalmente los acuerdos de libre comercio, se han dado en el periodo actual, con mucha mayor rapidez, abarcando una amplitud de temas que hasta entonces no habían sido incorporados en la agenda de los distintos acuerdos. Es tal la magnitud a que han llegado, que se han convertido en una especie de telaraña a nivel mundial de mucha complejidad.


Tenemos a nivel mundial una Organización Mundial del Comercio; a nivel continental, los Tratados de Libre Comercio (TLC) impulsados por los Estados Unidos1. Los Acuerdos de Asociación Económica propiciados por la Unión Europea2. Entre los procesos actuales de integración tenemos el Sistema de Integración Centroamericano (SICA), el Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR), la Comunidad Andina de Naciones (CAN) y la Unión Suramericana de Naciones (UNASUR). Además de varios Acuerdos de Complementación Económica (ACE), Tratados Bilaterales de Inversión, etc, firmados entre los distintos países del Continente.


Por otro lado, en América Latina se vive importantes procesos de cambio a nivel político, económico y social, que a raíz de la crisis del modelo neoliberal, han sido impulsados por los movimientos sociales con distintos ritmos, dinámicas y resultados. Lo que ha abierto, en algunos países más que en otros, un espacio real para debatir y plantear modelos económicos y sociales alternativos al neoliberalismo que acaben con la pobreza, desigualdad y marginación.


En Bolivia, los cambios que se viven a partir de las grandes movilizaciones que se dieron desde del año 2000 (La Guerra del Agua, La Guerra del Gas, etc.) y más concretamente con el gobierno de Evo Morales, ha dado lugar a que las principales demandas de los movimientos sociales estén en proceso de ser atendidas y convertidas en políticas de Estado. Dados todos estos cambios, los movimientos sociales necesitan seguir desarrollando propuestas cada vez más trabajadas y concretas que les permitan incidir en el proceso de cambio que se viene dando, en correspondencia con la vigorosa capacidad de lucha demostrada hasta el momento. Ésta es una oportunidad histórica de protagonismo en la transformación, que sin duda representa un gran desafío a responder.


lea el articulo completo aqui

El texto que se presenta es resultado de una investigación a partir de fuentes oficiales, sovaldi publicaciones de entidades y organismos varios, drugstore revistas, periódicos diarios y entrevistas personales con algunas personas, intelectuales y dirigentes sociales y sindicales, de países asociados al ALBA y otros, realizada con el objetivo principal de conseguir una radiografía lo más concreta y objetiva posible del desarrollo, situación actual y potencialidades de la propuesta de integración regional que plantea la Alianza Bolivariana para los Pueblos de Nuestra América-Tratado de Comercio de los Puelbos (ALBATCP).


En la primera parte, se realiza una reconstrucción del camino andado desde la fundación, el mes de diciembre de 2004, hasta el momento actual, mayo de 2010, destacando los acuerdos adoptados, la integración de nuevos miembros y los momentos de institucionalización de la Alianza, de acuerdo con la documentación oficial. En la segunda parte, se hace un informe de las realizaciones concretas y reales más destacadas del ALBA en sus poco más de cinco años de existencia. A seguir, se analiza la repercusión de la propuesta y sus realizaciones entre los movimientos sociales y, específicamente, el sindical, así como el grado y tipo de participación e influencia de éstos en el proceso. Finalmente, se analiza el tipo de relación que el ALBA mantiene con los otros procesos de integración regional o comercial de la región y otras instituciones internacionales.


El lector, posiblemente, sentirá que el texto tiene una cierta rigidez y formalismo. Esto se debe sin dudas a que la principal fuente de información han sido documentos, ensayos e informes de investigación. Lo cual no fue opción metodológica, se pudo constatar que la mayoría de los grandes medios de comunicación y buena parte de los analistas y/o estudiosos miran a esta experiencia de forma, como mínimo, parcialmente prejuiciosa, o en el mejor de los casos sesgada. Tanto es así que resulta difícil, cuando no imposible, encontrar información, cualquier información, sobre los acontecimientos al respecto de las realizaciones, construcciones, misiones, etc…


Los recursos disponibles, al mismo tiempo, no permitieron realizar un trabajo de campo más directo, constatar in situ los hechos o dialogar de forma más amplia con los protagonistas y personas envueltas en el proceso en cada uno de los países. El autor espera, de todos modos, que la información y análisis que presentan contribuyan al conocimiento y ayuden suficientemente a un balance más riguroso del proceso.


Por otro lado, más allá del mayor o menor grado de éxito alcanzado, y considerando que este trabajo no se planteaba acabar nada, sino, al contrario, abrir horizontes para un mayor conocimiento y comprensión del objeto en cuestión, el autor agradecería todas las opiniones, críticas y nuevas y mayores informaciones que, eventualmente, la lectura del texto pudiera producir. Se hace, en primer lugar una exposición descriptiva del proceso de desarrollo del acuerdo regional, para pasar después a tratar del grado de institucionalización alcanzado y de los logros concretos y reales conseguidos en la aplicación de los acuerdos. Se trata después de las relaciones con los movimientos sociales y, finalmente, de la relación con otros procesos de integración regional y con instituciones internacionales. Agradezco a las personas de la Alianza Social Continental y de la Confederación de Sindicatos de Trabajadoras y Trabajadores de las Américas que confiaron en mí, esperando que el resultado colme en grado suficiente sus expectativas.
Pep Valenzuela, São Paulo, junio de 2010

 

lea el articulo completo aqui

CALL TO ACTION: Regulate Global Finance Now!


“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists” (FSE) met in Brussels on 9-10 June to discuss the political and social consequences of the economic crisis in Europe and the need for trade unions and other social forces to respond.

The meeting heard reports from a number of countries, among them Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. In all these countries, and in many others, trade unions, workers and people in general have experienced forceful attacks on wages, working conditions, public services and social benefits – unemployment has grown and poverty has increased. In many countries national collective agreements, pensions and trade union rights have been considerably cut and weakened – not through negotiations with trade unions, but through government decrees.

In this way, governments, employers, European institutions and the International Monetary Fund are trying to make workers pay for the effects of the financial an economic crisis, even though we have no responsibility for the neo-liberal policies, the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top and the speculation economy which have created the crisis. The situation is dramatic. If we are not able to stop this development, the trade union and labour movement may possibly face a historic defeat in Europe.

The situation calls for massive mobilisation across Europe to prevent such a defeat. The FSE network therefore appeals to our colleagues in Europe and to all trade unions to take immediate and co-ordinated actions to prevent such a defeat.

We propose:

  • A comprehensive information campaign to inform workers all over Europe on concrete developments in each country in order to prevent workers from being played out against each other.
  • To mobilise and organise support across Europe to workers who decide to take the fight against austerity programmes and attacks on wages, workings conditions, pensions and social programmes. Their struggle is our struggle.
  • To organise as soon as possible a European workers’ conference to strengthen our resistance and to discuss our situation and develop demands, alternatives and strategies to replace the failed neo-liberal policies and abolish all forms of financial speculation – to create jobs and to change to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy in Europe.
  • To initiate a debate in the European trade union movement on how to change the policies and approach of the trade unions to adopt them to the new, more aggressive attitudes of the employers, to activate the members, to strengthen the international perspective and co-ordination and to prepare our unions for harder confrontations as a result of the attacks from employers, governments and financial capital.
  • That the manifestation planned for 29 September 2010 should be organised as an all-European event, with demonstrations in several capitals and a main manifestation in Brussels.


“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists”

“Forum Social Europe” is a network of left wing trade unionists from several European countries, founded 12 years ago. The starting point was the fact that living and working conditions are increasingly influenced by European policy and that trade unions do not influence this process sufficiently. The aim of the Forum is to encourage a broad societal debate about the development of Europe and European policy in order to design a political alternative to the dominant neo-liberal logic. This will also contribute to European trade unions becoming a strong movement overcoming their institutional and national barriers. The members of the Forum are convinced that a strong and autonomous trade union movement is indispensable for the creation of a social Europe. We support a process of social development of Europe in which the employees and their unions are protagonists – in accordance with our conviction that the unions have to be a movement in the first place and should not be constrained by institutional limits.

Contact person:

Horst Schmitthenner

E-mail: Horst.Schmitthenner@igmetall.de


<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:Wingdings; panose-1:5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0; mso-font-charset:2; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:0 268435456 0 0 -2147483648 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, check li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-ansi-language:NO-BOK;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:36.0pt; mso-footer-margin:36.0pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* List Definitions */ @list l0 {mso-list-id:137574905; mso-list-type:hybrid; mso-list-template-ids:1354776874 68419585 68419587 68419589 68419585 68419587 68419589 68419585 68419587 68419589;} @list l0:level1 {mso-level-start-at:0; mso-level-number-format:bullet; mso-level-text:?; mso-level-tab-stop:36.0pt; mso-level-number-position:left; text-indent:-18.0pt; font-family:Symbol; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-bidi-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} ol {margin-bottom:0cm;} ul {margin-bottom:0cm;} –>

“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists” (FSE) met in Brussels on 9-10 June to discuss the political and social consequences of the economic crisis in Europe and the need for trade unions and other social forces to respond.

The meeting heard reports from a number of countries, among them Greece, Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. In all these countries, and in many others, trade unions, workers and people in general have experienced forceful attacks on wages, working conditions, public services and social benefits – unemployment has grown and poverty has increased. In many countries national collective agreements, pensions and trade union rights have been considerably cut and weakened – not through negotiations with trade unions, but through government decrees.

In this way, governments, employers, European institutions and the International Monetary Fund are trying to make workers pay for the effects of the financial an economic crisis, even though we have no responsibility for the neo-liberal policies, the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top and the speculation economy which have created the crisis. The situation is dramatic. If we are not able to stop this development, the trade union and labour movement may possibly face a historic defeat in Europe.

The situation calls for massive mobilisation across Europe to prevent such a defeat. The FSE network therefore appeals to our colleagues in Europe and to all trade unions to take immediate and co-ordinated actions to prevent such a defeat.

We propose:

  • A comprehensive information campaign to inform workers all over Europe on concrete developments in each country in order to prevent workers from being played out against each other.
  • To mobilise and organise support across Europe to workers who decide to take the fight against austerity programmes and attacks on wages, workings conditions, pensions and social programmes. Their struggle is our struggle.
  • To organise as soon as possible a European workers’ conference to strengthen our resistance and to discuss our situation and develop demands, alternatives and strategies to replace the failed neo-liberal policies and abolish all forms of financial speculation – to create jobs and to change to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy in Europe.
  • To initiate a debate in the European trade union movement on how to change the policies and approach of the trade unions to adopt them to the new, more aggressive attitudes of the employers, to activate the members, to strengthen the international perspective and co-ordination and to prepare our unions for harder confrontations as a result of the attacks from employers, governments and financial capital.
  • That the manifestation planned for 29 September 2010 should be organised as an all-European event, with demonstrations in several capitals and a main manifestation in Brussels.


“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists”

“Forum Social Europe” is a network of left wing trade unionists from several European countries, founded 12 years ago. The starting point was the fact that living and working conditions are increasingly influenced by European policy and that trade unions do not influence this process sufficiently. The aim of the Forum is to encourage a broad societal debate about the development of Europe and European policy in order to design a political alternative to the dominant neo-liberal logic. This will also contribute to European trade unions becoming a strong movement overcoming their institutional and national barriers. The members of the Forum are convinced that a strong and autonomous trade union movement is indispensable for the creation of a social Europe. We support a process of social development of Europe in which the employees and their unions are protagonists – in accordance with our conviction that the unions have to be a movement in the first place and should not be constrained by institutional limits.

Contact person:

Horst Schmitthenner

E-mail: Horst.Schmitthenner@igmetall.de

The global financial crisis is spilling over into our lives, there threatening jobs, savings, pensions and public services everywhere! Today’s crisis isn’t just another economic downturn – it’s a systemic crisis bursting across the globe: a crisis of unregulated financial markets driven by neoliberal ideology that have sold out long-term investment, jobs, wages, the environment and the general well-being of the planet and its people for the benefit of a few.

It’s time for citizens around Europe to raise our voices and demand that the fundamental causes of this crisis be addressed! We need tough rules to stop the financiers’ folly, and a new framework that better serves the public interest. Equality, social justice and solidarity should be considered as our core global values. It’s urgent that we increase the level of democracy, transparency and accountability of the institutions dealing with financial regulation and supervision. Our vision of the financial system we want is clear: we want to create well-functioning and efficient financial markets that are capable of providing long-term, green, job-creating investments to achieve global development.

To European leaders :

Finance must become a global public good, and should be designed to serve the real economy! Both in Europe and globally we need more than just new regulations – we have to put the financial system at the service of people’s interests.

We urge you to take the lead in fixing the fundamental flaws and loopholes which made the global financial crisis possible in the first place.

We need you to work together to protect the public good by framing stronger rules for all parts of the global financial system.

We expect you to be accountable to the people in solving the crisis. The time for self-regulation is over. Therefore, we urge you to take the following actions as soon as possible:

· Regulate speculative funds, such as hedge funds and private equity funds. We urge you to come forward with a comprehensive, far-reaching, effective regulation – as soon as possible!

Financial institutions making up the “shadow banking system” created a massive gambling den at the heart of the global financial casino. Hedge funds and private equity funds flourished in the shadows, far from the sunlight of regulation. In the coming months, the European leaders will have to decide on the future of our financial system, and more specifically on the future of hedge funds and private equity. In April 2009, the European Commission proposed a piece of legislation to regulate hedge funds and private equity: the so-called “Alternative Investment Funds Managers” (AIFM) directive. European governments and Members of the European Parliament now have to decide whether to introduce effective regulation of speculative funds or not.

· Create a financial transaction tax.

In response to the current crisis, governments around the world have been stabilizing and protecting their economies and jobs with taxpayers’ money. Many citizens ask themselves: Who’s going to pay the bill for this? Are taxpayers the only ones to pay, or will financial markets and investment bankers be held accountable to pay parts of the burden? Taxing the financial sector would enhance fairness. Moreover, this will increase government revenue, which is badly needed to support the transition towards more inclusive, fairer and cleaner societies. While dumping purely speculative, socially useless activities, a financial transaction tax would promote the sustainable, long-term investments that are needed to green our economies. And last but not least, global financial transaction tax of 0.05% could yield revenue of about 1% of nominal world GDP per year. This would provide funding for long-term public investments, to finance global development and climate change. Only through such policies can solidarity at a global level be enhanced.

· Control over executive & shareholder bonus and remuneration.

A culture of massive bonuses has encouraged reckless risk taking and has had a pernicious economic effect, all while making social inequity worse. Remuneration schemes must be regulated by law to reflect and promote long-term economic, social and environmental performance and allow companies to allocate profits to the companies’ productive and job-creating activities. Remuneration of management and traders should be capped in line with workers’ pay and pensions and, in the case of financial services, linked to responsible sales and lending practices. The cashing-in of bonuses and other performance-related schemes within five years should be prohibited. And last but not least, shareholders must be prevented from plundering the wealth of companies during growth times through dividends and ‘share buy-back’ programmes, which leave companies with undercapitalised balance sheets during economic downturns.

· Close down tax havens.

Citizens pay taxes. Companies — including financial institutions that have been bailed out by the taxpayer — employ the best accountants in town to use tax havens to avoid tax. One fund manager admitted he paid less tax than his cleaning lady! It’s unfair and unacceptable. The existence of tax havens also encourages capital flight and tax evasion, especially in developing countries. The money lost to tax havens could help plug the hole in the public finances and create tens of thousands of jobs. We want to bring tax havens, offshore financial centres (OFCs) and bank secrecy jurisdictions in line with international standards. Automatic exchange of information, a proper multilateral agreement and strong sanctions against non-compliant territories and users are key in seriously addressing this problem.

· Protect consumers against toxic financial products and predatory lending.

The crisis has shown that toxic financial products can spread an economic virus with devastating economic and social consequences. Citizens need to be protected from high risk financial products and misguiding credit lending practices in the same way that they are protected against risky drugs and a financial consumer protection agency needs to be established. Bank employees should be able to give good advice to consumers.

· Democratize finance.

We can no longer let central bankers and lobbyists from the industry decide alone on regulations and accounting standards. Social partners and civil society organisations need to have a far stronger say in the decision-making process!

At the European level, trade unions and civil society organisations must have a seat on the European Systemic Risk Board, as well as on the European supervisory bodies. International institutions such as the Financial Stability Board (FSB) or the IMF should give civil society organisations and trade unions a consultative status. The FSB and the IMF should publish their draft reports on their website for public input and comment.

The crisis must provide the trigger for a wholesale reform of the global economic order into a new, fair, transparent global financial system, and the EU governments and the European institutions must act now to achieve sustainable development, social justice and a new respect for the planet.

Are you committed to our goals? Sign up!

To add your voice, click here: http://europeansforfinancialreform.org/en/petition/regulate-global-finance-now

 

Europeans for financial reform is a coalition of progressive forces, ranging from NGOs to Trade Unions, citizens, academics and progressive politicians, that have come together to spearhead a campaign for real reform in our banking and financial system. The campaign was launched on September 21st 2009, and the coalition is growing, with new members joining our campaign every day (http://europeansforfinancialreform.org/en/user/register).

Statement of the “Forum Social Europe–European Network of Trade Unionists”

Covernote of the “European Food declaration”
We are a broad range of organisations -see list in “who are we”- – who are concerned with the future of food and agriculture in Europe. As in other regions in the world, approved the number of people and organizations that are working towards a fairer, more inclusive and sustainable food system is growing. Many of them are actively engaged in building a viable alternative to the current food production, distribution and consumption – from the bottom up. This new system of food and agriculture is firmly grounded on equity, the universal right to food, good governance and transparency.
A wide range of renewed activities such as increasing local food production, local markets, local procurement, seed swaps and so on has been emerging and growing across Europe. In addition new movements, such as the Transition Town movement, GM-free regions and national and local debates on food policy show increasing public support for another form of food and agriculture.
Yet, grassroots activities and local movements are not enough. We believe it is time to build a broad coalition of groups at the European level to challenge the current Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) and the European Commission’s and our governments’ avowed plans for a renewed CAP in 2013. Their vision is, to keep the global ‘competitiveness’ of Europe’s food industry as the chief objective of Europe’s CAP. The political process for the new CAP 2013 is starting now. We believe a strong message is needed, not only for EU policy makers, but for policy makers in our countries – a vision for a CAP suitable for the 21st century.
We have created a “European Food Declaration: towards a healthy, sustainable, fair and mutually supportive Common Agriculture and Food Policy”. It outlines what we think the policy objectives of a CAP for the next decades should be. We invite as many organizations, groups and individuals as possible to sign this declaration and to use it as a tool to promote the discussion about what kind of food and agriculture policy we need. We also ask you to share this declaration with other grassroots, civil society, environment and food organisations that are actively engaged in building a better food system.
Our aim is to collect as many signatures within our different networks before the end of February 2010. Early February, we will invite the public to sign the declaration.
This declaration is the first step in our efforts to build a broad movement for change towards food sovereignty policies and practices in Europe, including the EU. We are also planning a Europe-wide forum in 2011 for people and organisations who are concerned about these issues and who would like to join forces in order to reach our common objectives together. If you are interested to be involved in the preparation of that forum or could help us to organise that forum please contact us.
European Food declaration
We, the undersigned, believe that the European Union needs to meet the urgent challenges Europe is facing regarding food and agriculture.
After more than a half-century of industrialisation of agriculture and food production, sustainable family farming and local food cultures have been substantially reduced in Europe. Today, our food system is dependent on under-priced fossil fuels, does not recognize the limitations of water and land resources, and supports unhealthy diets high in calories, fat and salt, and low in fruit, vegetables and grains. Looking ahead, rising energy costs, drastic losses in biodiversity, climate change and declining water and land resources threaten the future of food production. At the same time, a growing world population faces the potential dual burden of widespread hunger and chronic diseases due to overconsumption.
We will only be able to address these challenges successfully with a completely different approach to food and agriculture policies and practices. The European Union must recognize and support the crucial role of sustainable family farming in the food supply of the population. All people should have access to healthy, safe, and nutritious food. The ways in which we grow, distribute, prepare and eat food should celebrate Europe’s cultural diversity, providing sustenance equitably and sustainably.
The present Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) is currently being debated and is due for change in 2013. After decades of the domination by transnational corporations and the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in determining food and agriculture policy, it is time for people in Europe to re-appropriate agriculture and food policy: it is time for food sovereignty. We believe a new Common Food and Agriculture Policy should guarantee and protect citizens’ space in the EU and candidate countries and their ability and right to define their own models of production, distribution and consumption following the principles outlined below.
The new Common Food and Agriculture Policy:
1. considers food as a universal human right, not merely a commodity.
2. gives priority to growing food and feed for Europe and changes international trade in agricultural products according to principles of equity, social justice and ecological sustainability. The CAP should not harm other countries’ food and agriculture systems.
3. promotes healthy eating patterns, moving towards plant-based diets and towards a reduced consumption of meat, energy-dense and highly processed foods, and saturated fats, while respecting the regional cultural dietary habits and traditions.
4. gives priority to maintaining an agriculture all over Europe that involves numerous farmers producing food and caring for the countryside. That is not achievable without fair and secure farm prices, which should allow a fair income for farmers and agricultural workers, and fair prices for consumers.
5. ensures fair, non-discriminatory conditions for farmers and agricultural workers in Central and Eastern Europe, and promotes a fair and equitable access to land.
6. respects the local and global environment, protects the finite resources of soil and water, increases biodiversity and respects animal welfare.
7. guarantees that agriculture and food production remain free from GMOs and fosters farmers’ seeds and the diversity of domestic livestock species, building on local knowledge.
8. stops promoting the use and the production of industrial agrofuels and gives priority to the reduction of transport in general.
9. ensures transparency along the food chain so that citizens know how their food is produced, where it comes from, what it contains and what is included in the price paid by consumers.
10. reduces the concentration of power in the agricultural, food processing and retail sectors and their influence on what is produced and consumed, and promotes food systems that shorten the distance between farmers and consumers.
11. encourages the production and consumption of local, seasonal, high quality products reconnecting citizens with their food and food producers.
12. devotes resources to teaching children the skills and knowledge required to produce, prepare, and enjoy healthy, nutritious food.
View list of signatures and sign the Declaration

People’s SAARC 2010

Seminar on the Right to Repartition of Bhutanese Refugees: Sharing testimonies by Bhutanese refugees with south Asian representatives

25-26 April 2010, Birtamod, online Jhapa, Nepal

Organized by: South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and the Bhutanese  Refugees Repatriation Committee

We, more than 50 Bhutanese refugees representing all seven refugee camps located in Jhapa and Morang districts of Nepal and the members of SAAPE from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, and peasant organisations, academia, women associations and social movements from different countries of South Asia have gathered here in Birtamod, Jhapa on April 25, 2010 on the occasion of People’s SAARC 2010 to defend the rights of Bhutanese refugees. As an extension of People’s SAARC 2010 Delhi, India, this one day seminar has come up with the following realizations and demands: During our visit to the camps we found the citizens of Bhutan living under total deprivation and in de humanized conditions. This is a situation which must not be allowed to continue and demands immediate all round intervention to ensure that all basic entitlements are made available without any further delay or prevarication,

1. Thousands of Bhutanese citizens have been evicted from their homeland by way of political victimization and intolerance for the voice of democratic dissent and forced to live as political refugees on the borders of India and Bhutan and the refugee camps of Nepal;

2. This illegality and immorality have been perpetuated for more than 18 years against the norms and standards of international law and violation of human rights;

3. It is high time for south Asian countries to bring pressure on the government of Bhutan to allow the rights of the refugees to return to their homelands and to facilitate their repatriation with full dignity, honour and the right to equality and full participation as citizens of Bhutan;

4. We, on behalf of people of the South Asian nations, demand that this issue be taken up on the agenda of official SAARC and an urgent solution found to this aggravated humanitarian emergency prevailing along the borders of south asia, even as the heads of the governments engage in empty tokenism in the capital of Bhutan, thus bestowing legitimacy to an anti-people and anti-democratic government;

5. We also demand an immediate end to the suppression of the democratic rights of these refugees and the gross violation of their civil and political rights;

6. We demand for the formation of South Asia Refugee Commission within the framework of SAARC to engage and take care of the refugee problems in the region;

7. We take note of the inadequacy of third country resettlement of Bhutanese refugees;

8. We urge the South Asian governments, particularly India, Bhutan and Nepal to address the Bhutanese refugee’s demands to return to their homeland. We request international community to facilitate the process of repatriation to their homelands;

9. We urge that all South Asian nations follow the lead of Afghanistan and ratify the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and enact suitable legal framework to address the problems of the refugees; and

10. Finally we commit ourselves to continue activities to make South Asia a refugee free region. We believe in solidarity, fraternity and mutual respect for all.


<!– /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, decease li.MsoNormal, advice div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} p.MsoTitle, li.MsoTitle, div.MsoTitle {margin-right:0cm; margin-top:6.0pt; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0cm; text-align:center; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”; font-weight:bold;} @page Section1 {size:595.3pt 841.9pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt; mso-header-margin:35.4pt; mso-footer-margin:35.4pt; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} /* List Definitions */ @list l0 {mso-list-id:174349815; mso-list-type:hybrid; mso-list-template-ids:834046726 -784564698 -358723512 1882991320 160065724 2051038424 1079646384 1933095896 -79427114 -1242159270;} ol {margin-bottom:0cm;} ul {margin-bottom:0cm;} –>

People’s SAARC 2010

Seminar on the Right to Repartition of Bhutanese Refugees: Sharing testimonies by Bhutanese refugees with south Asian representatives

25-26 April 2010, Birtamod, Jhapa, Nepal

Organized by: South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and the Bhutanese  Refugees Repatriation Committee

We, more than 50 Bhutanese refugees representing all seven refugee camps located in Jhapa and Morang districts of Nepal and the members of SAAPE from Bangladesh, India and Nepal, and peasant organisations, academia, women associations and social movements from different countries of South Asia have gathered here in Birtamod, Jhapa on April 25, 2010 on the occasion of People’s SAARC 2010 to defend the rights of Bhutanese refugees. As an extension of People’s SAARC 2010 Delhi, India, this one day seminar has come up with the following realizations and demands: During our visit to the camps we found the citizens of Bhutan living under total deprivation and in de humanized conditions. This is a situation which must not be allowed to continue and demands immediate all round intervention to ensure that all basic entitlements are made available without any further delay or prevarication,

1. Thousands of Bhutanese citizens have been evicted from their homeland by way of political victimization and intolerance for the voice of democratic dissent and forced to live as political refugees on the borders of India and Bhutan and the refugee camps of Nepal;

2. This illegality and immorality have been perpetuated for more than 18 years against the norms and standards of international law and violation of human rights;

3. It is high time for south Asian countries to bring pressure on the government of Bhutan to allow the rights of the refugees to return to their homelands and to facilitate their repatriation with full dignity, honour and the right to equality and full participation as citizens of Bhutan;

4. We, on behalf of people of the South Asian nations, demand that this issue be taken up on the agenda of official SAARC and an urgent solution found to this aggravated humanitarian emergency prevailing along the borders of south asia, even as the heads of the governments engage in empty tokenism in the capital of Bhutan, thus bestowing legitimacy to an anti-people and anti-democratic government;

5. We also demand an immediate end to the suppression of the democratic rights of these refugees and the gross violation of their civil and political rights;

6. We demand for the formation of South Asia Refugee Commission within the framework of SAARC to engage and take care of the refugee problems in the region;

7. We take note of the inadequacy of third country resettlement of Bhutanese refugees;

8. We urge the South Asian governments, particularly India, Bhutan and Nepal to address the Bhutanese refugee’s demands to return to their homeland. We request international community to facilitate the process of repatriation to their homelands;

9. We urge that all South Asian nations follow the lead of Afghanistan and ratify the 1951 UN Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and enact suitable legal framework to address the problems of the refugees; and

10. Finally we commit ourselves to continue activities to make South Asia a refugee free region. We believe in solidarity, fraternity and mutual respect for all.


“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists” (FSE) met in Brussels on 9-10 June to discuss the political and social consequences of the economic crisis in Europe and the need for trade unions and other social forces to respond.

The meeting heard reports from a number of countries, for sale among them Greece, purchase Spain, Bulgaria, Ireland, Italy and Portugal. In all these countries, and in many others, trade unions, workers and people in general have experienced forceful attacks on wages, working conditions, public services and social benefits – unemployment has grown and poverty has increased. In many countries national collective agreements, pensions and trade union rights have been considerably cut and weakened – not through negotiations with trade unions, but through government decrees.

In this way, governments, employers, European institutions and the International Monetary Fund are trying to make workers pay for the effects of the financial an economic crisis, even though we have no responsibility for the neo-liberal policies, the redistribution of wealth from the bottom to the top and the speculation economy which have created the crisis. The situation is dramatic. If we are not able to stop this development, the trade union and labour movement may possibly face a historic defeat in Europe.

The situation calls for massive mobilisation across Europe to prevent such a defeat. The FSE network therefore appeals to our colleagues in Europe and to all trade unions to take immediate and co-ordinated actions to prevent such a defeat.

We propose:

  • A comprehensive information campaign to inform workers all over Europe on concrete developments in each country in order to prevent workers from being played out against each other.
  • To mobilise and organise support across Europe to workers who decide to take the fight against austerity programmes and attacks on wages, workings conditions, pensions and social programmes. Their struggle is our struggle.
  • To organise as soon as possible a European workers’ conference to strengthen our resistance and to discuss our situation and develop demands, alternatives and strategies to replace the failed neo-liberal policies and abolish all forms of financial speculation – to create jobs and to change to an environmentally and socially sustainable economy in Europe.
  • To initiate a debate in the European trade union movement on how to change the policies and approach of the trade unions to adopt them to the new, more aggressive attitudes of the employers, to activate the members, to strengthen the international perspective and co-ordination and to prepare our unions for harder confrontations as a result of the attacks from employers, governments and financial capital.
  • That the manifestation planned for 29 September 2010 should be organised as an all-European event, with demonstrations in several capitals and a main manifestation in Brussels.


“Forum Social Europe – European Network of Trade Unionists”

“Forum Social Europe” is a network of left wing trade unionists from several European countries, founded 12 years ago. The starting point was the fact that living and working conditions are increasingly influenced by European policy and that trade unions do not influence this process sufficiently. The aim of the Forum is to encourage a broad societal debate about the development of Europe and European policy in order to design a political alternative to the dominant neo-liberal logic. This will also contribute to European trade unions becoming a strong movement overcoming their institutional and national barriers. The members of the Forum are convinced that a strong and autonomous trade union movement is indispensable for the creation of a social Europe. We support a process of social development of Europe in which the employees and their unions are protagonists – in accordance with our conviction that the unions have to be a movement in the first place and should not be constrained by institutional limits.

Contact person:

Horst Schmitthenner

E-mail: Horst.Schmitthenner@igmetall.de