The meeting of the European Christian Workers Movement (ECMW) held in Lisbon from 16th to 19th October, ended with a statement about two issues as hot as the Transatlantic trade between the US and the European Union and the police raid "Mos maiorum”. Similarly, the European coordinator reaffirmed its commitment to the fight against unemployment.
Seminar: Fighting against unemployment
The European Christian Workers Movement (ECMW) shared the current reality of unemployment in many European countries in its annual seminar in Lisbon. The shared reality shows how critical the situation is for many people, but also the small signs of hope that exist in our environments. Despite the current crisis in the employment throughout Europe we believe that there is work for everyone. We recall that the priority of labour over capital (Laborem Exercens). "Money must serve people, not the other". Therefore it is necessary people who have jobs, are aware that the work is something more than employment. But the job created has to be decent to break these dynamics, and besides everyone has the right to a minimum income, independently whether they have employment or not. For reversing this situation, we propose the following actions:
• A joint program in Europe that addresses the creation of jobs. A program which ends the current austerity measures in favour of public spending and investment will lead to millions of new jobs and decent work for everybody. The creation of decent work will contribute to build full rather precarious lives and it will encourage people to contribute to society as a whole.
• We will also continue to promote the World Day for Decent Work on 7th October of each year. Decent work must be at the center of the political agenda of the EU.
No an economy that kills! No to TTIP!
During this seminar our European coordination has deepened in representing the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the US and the European Union (TTIP) for the life of European workers. Therefore it expresses an emphatic NO to this agreement, and also supports the ECI "Stop TTIP," demanding the cessation of negotiations between the EU and the US.
This agreement will seriously affect social rights in the EU, consumer standards, safety and environmental health. Moreover, it will promote the accelerated privatization of health and education services which should remain public. We fear the rights of working people erode even further because the United States, for example, has ratified only two of the eight ILO core standards. The ECMW rejects the creation of private arbitration as a method for resolving conflicts, since this is contrary to the principle of public law regulating international trade. In addition, free trade deepens the social divide, because it does not set rules to protect the poorest and the most excluded, increasing inequities worldwide. We say no to an exclusion economy, an economy that kills.
Our resounding rejection of “Mos maiorum" police operation
Finally, the ECMW has known the development of "Mos maiorum" police operation against undocumented immigrants across the EU and we express our strong disapproval of such inhuman measures that undermine the dignity of migrants and violate their most basic human rights. This macro operation, approved by the Council of the European Union, is developing between 13th and 26th October and aims to identify immigrants based on their racial profile, which is totally illegal and dehumanising us. This operation does nothing but confirms that the immigration policy of the EU is unfair, unsupportive because it allows 20,000 people die each year. In this situation it should only join the cry of Pope Francis in Lampedusa. Shame!!
In this context, we are scared and worried about the rise of right-wing parties which speak out openly against immigrants and release messages that criminalize others for being different. There are who are determined to build a Fortress Europe, which does not take into account the reality of the rest of humanity. It is time for Europe to realize that this immigration policy is contrary to human rights, which should be the global model.
As Christian workers, following the example of Jesus Christ, we are called to defend the dignity of every person, in every situation, and to build a just, fraternal and sustainable society with all people of good will.
Lisbon, October 2014.