Another Europe summit, time is running out!

(29 June 2012) It is the 20th European summit meeting since the beginning of the crisis. Have the European leaders now accepted that austerity isn't working? If so, it took them almost 5 years to come to this conclusion. In the meantime 5 countries of the Eurozone had to be bailed out (plus several others within the European Union). But as the saying goes, better late than never. EPSU has been saying all the way that cutting wages, public services, pensions and demolishing democratic rights will not take us out of the crisis.

Now, European leaders should start delivering. EPSU calls on European leaders to radically change course. Europe needs to break up with austerity and go instead for policies that underpin sustainable growth, decent jobs, quality public services, more social justice and equality. For this, we have concrete demands: A Financial Transaction Tax for starters.

We now have enough empirical evidence about the effects of austerity: widening the gender pay gap, destroying social rights, reinforcing social exclusion, jeoparding the steps done towards green transition. The EPSU claims regarding the devastating impact of the austerity policy have also been confirmed by researchers from different European countries at a recent ILO – European Commission conference. Their verdict was quite damning: austerity is a dead end ally, it destroys any prospect of economic recovery.

We will be very vigilant as to the outcome and concrete follow-up of this summit, without real and tangible choices for sustainable growth, social Europe, indeed Europe itself, is doomed to fail.

EPSU and the EPSU affiliates are doing their best to change the balance of forces for another Europe, starting with the defence of water as a Human Right. We organized a European Fountains Day on 21 June, an event supported by many member and civil society organisations. We want to mobilise support for water as public good and engage in a public debate about the direction our societies should take, beyond a crude marketization rationale. Help us in this effort! Sing the European Citizen Initiative!

The first half of 2012 has been, hopefully, the last semester of austerity!

I wish you all a nice summer,

Carola Fischbach-Pyttel

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