The ECWM (European Christian Workers Movement) is a coordination of movements of christian workers from 10 European countries, fighting for a socially just Europe based on the Gospel and the Social Doctrine of the Church. With a view to the elections to the European Parliament, which will take place from 23 to 26 May 2019, we present our main demands. In this way, we fulfill our responsibility as citizens of the European Union (EU) by providing our point of view of christian workers.
The criterion of all political action
The foundation of our positions is the dignity of each person and our condition as daughters and sons of God. Politics at all levels must protect this dignity and promote it, which, for christians, is a requirement of the Gospel.
Consequences and suggestions
We consider the following demands, of vital importance for the development of our societies in the European context:
- • The social dimension of the EU must oblige the Member States to do justice to every concrete human being with their concerns and needs, since more than 120 million people in Europe risk falling into poverty and social exclusion . The dignity of each of these people demands an urgent response.
- • As suggested by the Social Commission of the COMECE (European Commission of Episcopal Conferences) in its November 2018 document, "Modeling the future of work", we ask everyone's effort to configure the work according to the criteria of human dignity (fair working conditions, decent income, balanced work schedules), sustainability (assuming our responsibility through ecological action), co-management through social dialogue and the participation of everyone in the work process.
- • The creation and maintenance of decent, safe and stable jobs, as a priority objective of the political agenda, because precarious work contracts prevent adequate future planning, especially in the case of younger generations.
- • The guarantee of clear social and labor protection for all, including "false self-employed" workers.
- • The elimination of the difference in remuneration between men and women for the same work.
- • That the European Union establishes norms to alleviate the worst forms of poverty, suffered by an increasing number of citizens. Adequate social protection is the best way to fight against xenophobic nationalism and populism.
- • Ongoing training, especially in the field of digitalisation, in order to be able to access work more easily.
- • That rest periods and the reconciliation of work and family life be guaranteed. Sunday off from work is an indispensable requirement for an adequate family life.
- • Adopt urgent measures to protect the environment. The concept of quantitative growth has to be replaced by the concept of qualitative growth.
- • Greater fiscal justice that ensures redistribution and equity, that combats poverty and that secures opportunities for all people, by introducing a tax on financial transactions.
- • Take effective measures to ensure that banks and stock exchanges are at the service of the common good, and so that losses are not redistributed among all, while the benefits remain the hands of a few.
- • That the EU and its Member States react to the difficult situation of refugees, organize their fair distribution by countries, create legal forms of migration and adopt concrete measures to combat the causes. Human dignity has universal validity and a policy of rejection does not do justice to our condition as sons and daughters of God.
- • Value and promote the commitment of an active civil society that is informed and organized, thus generating values and attitudes to consolidate democracy. We ask that the active participation of all citizens in the construction of politics and decision-making be promoted.
With this statement we want to contribute to the construction of Europe where we live and from the situation and the concrete reality of each one. We want to contribute to the elaboration of a political and social discourse with criteria of peace, dialogue and cooperation.
Brussels, March 2019