European Socio-political Alert N°1

Article published on Dec. 11, 2008
community published
Article published on Dec. 11, 2008
Newropeans vis-à-vis the global crisis European Socio-political Alert N°1 (11/12/2008) The EU must prepare itself from now on to a massive burst of unemployment for the 3 years to come During its Agora which took place in Frankfurt the 29th of November, Newropeans defined a working plan in order to elaborate by February 2009 a European response to the world crisis, including two parts: An
international part which will detail the role of Europeans in rebuilding the new global economic, financial and political system. An intra-European part which will determine the kind of common political, economic and social policies that will prevent the EU to settle durably into the crisis.

By its presence in various member states, Newropeans is to this day the only political force capable of perceiving the crisis directly on the whole EU territory. Furthermore, its novelty and absence of national left-right bias give its members a particular ability to analyze and understand the crisis without any ideological a-priori.

Finally, Newropeans is the only political movement which regularly relayed analyses and interrogations of informed observers, like those of LEAP/E2020 which foresaw the crisis and the process of its progression until 2006.

To this day, Newropeans is thus the European political force the best prepared and apt to identify and promote the implementation of appropriate solutions.

In this context, from December 2008 on, Newropeans has decided to publish its "European social political alerts" on a regular basis in order to publicize its political recommendations to member states as well as the content of its proposals regarding the common European action to face this crisis.

This first alert, "unemployment burst", is set at the crossing of two major concerns of Newropeans, democratising the EU and giving Europeans a strong voice in the world, since this is indeed a global crisis started out of Europe, in the United States, but which triggers a massive rise of unemployment in the UE which in turn poses a potential threat for democracy as history already showed.

Urgently prepare the European unemployment benefit systems to face the unemployment explosion

Despite the conservative estimates made by the Member States and the European Commission, which a couple of months ago were still denying the existence of the crisis itself, Newropeans is now convinced that unemployment within the EU will reach historical levels in the course of the years 2009/2010. Over this period, one should expect almost a doubling of the number of unemployed, up to approx. 30 million people (versus 17 today), under the combined effect of bankruptcies, redundancy plans and the recruitment stop . the various revival plans currently announced that continue to ignore the systemic nature of the crisis will not have a significant impact on this trend.

Against this background, even before the complex implementation of the employment reconstruction process, and because of the possible duration of the most severe phase of the crisis (between two and three years), Newropeans asks all Member states to prepare as soon as possible, already at the beginning of 2009, an urgent reform of the unemployment benefit systems in order to face this two fold increase:

the increase in the number of unemployed the increase in the average duration of unemployment.

Instead of focusing the provision of public funding to financial institutions, and awaiting the necessarily long term impact of large public investment plans revival measures, it is essential that Member States avoid an explosion of their unemployment benefit systems for lack of budget.. And it is also vital to avoid that in on year from now million of unemployed reach the end of their benefits, et because of a lack of dynamic labor market sink into absolute poverty.

Avoid at all costs the transformation of the economic crisis into a major social crisis

The existence of a social system based on solidarity in the European states is a major advantage which benefits our continent to face the crisis. Since they don’t benefit from an similar ‘social safety net’ Asian countries are now worrying about increasing riot risks and violent socio-political movements; whereas the United States, powerless, see a growing part of their middle class sink into poverty. Europe, by opposition, has the advantage of having learnt from the 30’s crisis and of having generalized the principle of social protection. For the next three years, this social protection will become the best protection of our society’s stability and of our democracies. The EU Member States therefore need to reinforce it. Newropeans invites the European Commission and Parliament to adopt before the end of January 2009, the necessary common recommendations for stimulating this evolution. Without such action from the EU, Newropeans will launch, in February 2009, a large European citizen initiative to demand the mobilisation of the entire European social protection system against the crisis.

To govern is to forecast. And forecasting is acting now !


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