SOLIDAR joined ETUC and 8.000 people demanding a fairer Europe for workers on Friday the 26th. The march gathered outside the European Parliament and finished with a rally near the European Council and Commission, by Rond Point Schuman.
The march was to draw attention to the European elections, and to press trade union demands for a better and more social Europe, not less Europe, and for social progress, better pay and better working and living conditions. “The European elections are the most important for decades” said Luca Visentini “and we call on all citizens to vote for candidates and parties that will fight for a fairer Europe for working people. We say do not be fooled by far-right, anti-European and nationalistic parties – they offer no solution to the problems facing working people today.”
SOLIDAR members’ CGIL, Iscos-CISL and Progetto Sud UIL were widely present, and our Secretariat joined them too.
All Civil Society Organisations must unite to demand the EU to uphold the rule of law and fundamental rights that makes democracy alive, thanks also to the role played by NGOs and the trade unions. European progressive forces can and have to enter the upcoming mandate of the European institutions with a bold agenda for the EU to advance and thus finally implement the Pillar of Social Rights.
Only by upholding the fundamental rules and rights, the political debate will overcome the politics of fear to finally go back to confronting visions for the future. At times when representative democracy is being questioned by a growing number of citizens, all Civil Society Organisations have to join forces even more visibly than before. In SOLIDAR, this is part of our identity. Together, CSOs make our society stay pluralistic and mutually respectful, they make possible and tangible policies that States fail to deliver and eventually organize and represent citizens’ stands in the institutional debate.
As it is not by chance that CSOs’ freedom to operate is being questioned by the same populists and nationalists who put at danger the rule of law, we gladly attended the march not only to support European workers’ demands, but also to show that we are a prominent element of a vibrant society. And citizens support our work.
However, it is not enough to show support in a passive way. As Luca Visentini said at the march, these European elections are the most important for decades. This is why CSOs also must step up the efforts to increase the turnout. To do so, in the frame of our campaign Behind Nationalism, we organized together with ALDA, Democracy 4.0 and VOLT a Funky Friday event. The events series, hosted by Friends of Europe, focused on how to mobilise voters for a conscious vote and how European networks like ours can have an impact on the turnout.
The ideas sparked by our partners’ representatives, Andrea Sciorato – ALDA, Kader Sevinc – Democracy 4.0, and Colombe Cahen-Salvador – VOLT helped driving the discussion among and with the participants. All of them highlighted the commonalities that local realities showcase and suffer out of, both in terms of challenges they face and solutions they may adopt to successfully overcome them. But also the fears that stem from some of these challenges. Thus the role for European networks must consist of shedding a light onto the role that the EU can have to unite and share solutions to achieve a better society where the future isn’t shaped by fear but a vision.