Socialists in Europe?
malecki at algonet.se
Tue Apr 2 01:04:32 MST 1996
Below is the message that the European Parlimentry Socialists sent to the G7
meeting at Lille. My only comment is with friends like this the working
class needs no enemies. These pro-capitalists "Socialist" group are really
MESSAGE TO LILLE
For participants in the special G7 meeting on employment in Lille, France, from
the European Parliament's Socialist Group. Full text of the message follows:
Unemployment in the European Union rose to 10.9 per cent of the labour force in
If the latest assessment of weaker economic activity in early 1996 is borne out,
the short-term outlook for the labour market is unfavourable. Moreover, the
Commission's Annual Economic Report for 1996 raises doubts as to the employment
targets contained in the 1993 White Paper on Growth, Competitiveness and
Employment - in particular the feasibility of cutting unemployment
in the EU by half between 1994 and the year 2000.
Against this background, the Group of the Party of European Socialists in the
European Parliament welcomes the Group of Seven (G7) conference on employment
to be held in Lille in France on 1 and 2 April 1966 as a follow-up to the
Detroit summit two years ago, and hopes that further summits will be organised
on a regular basis. Given the seriousness of the employment situation, we
believe that exceptional measures are now required, and we would particularly
draw attention to the points set out below:
The PES Group believes that global unemployment is due to slow and inadequate
economic growth, and calls on the governments of the G7 countries to pursue a
co-ordinated strategy of economic expansion designed to ensure adequate levels
of demand which are consistent with sustainable development. In the current
context of low inflation, insufficient productive investment and persistently
high levels of unemployment, there is room for macro-economic expansion without
fuelling inflationary pressures.
The PES Group therefore calls for:
action by governments, central banks and monetary authorities to ensure
that the correct balance between monetary and fiscal policies is maintained. In
particular, we would like to see a joint reduction of real short-term interest
declared and consistent action towards a gradual reduction of the public
debt in the medium-term - combined with measures to promote private sector
capital investment and consumption, and to stimulate public-private
partnerships, particularly in order to finance infrastructural projects
Joint efforts by governments, employers and trade unions to maintain
stability between wage increases and profits. Measures are also required to
ensure that higher profits actually result in higher levels of productive
While solid medium-term economic growth is a prerequisite, it is not in itself
sufficient to guarantee a significant reduction in the level of unemployment. We
therefore call for co-ordinated implementation of structural policies which will
increase the employment intensity of growth and will make increased levels of
employment possible without fuelling inflation.
But we would add a word of caution here. Everything depends on the type of
structural measures pursued. Structural policies intended to promote greater
efficiency and flexibility may bring about a more efficient allocation of
resources but they do not necessarily produce a signficant effect on
aggregate unemployment levels. Labour market deregulation simply widens the gap
between winners and losers and aggravates the gap between insiders and
Instead, we would advocate:
targeted training programmes for the long-term unemployed and young people
who have never been able to find a job
new ways of organising working time cuts in taxes on employment - provided
that the disposible income of unskilled workers is not affected and that
alternative sources of revenue are identified.
Structural policies should be interpreted in the widest sense possible. As well
as active labour market policies, we would advocate stronger environmental
policies and infrastructural development. In particular, more attention should
be paid to Chapter 10 of the Commission's 1993 White Paper which sets out a new
model for sustainable development.
Governments of the G7 countries must not fall into the trap of believing that
industrial competitivness depends on the erosion of our social and environmental
standards. The PES Group is convinced that the future competitiveness of
European industry must be based on innovation, investment and a highly skilled
workforce - coupled with a robust defence of our social model.
Governments cannot solve the unemployment crisis by acting alone - they need the
co-operation of trade unions and employers. The PES Group supports the
Commission's European Pact for Confidence and Employment as a good example of
this type of co-operation.
Global unemployment is due to slow and inadequate economic growth - not to
technological change or international trade. Technology is not a job destroyer
but a locomotive of future growth and job creation. We recognise that the trend
towards globalisation is irreversible and we believe moreover that trade
barriers can work against the interests of the poorest countries.
Wage levels differ according to the level of development in a country. But as a
country develops we would hope that living standards would evolve accordingly.
We do not believe that international competition should take place on the basis
of narrow wage-price competition. Even more importantly, international
competition should not take place on the basis of social or environmental
dumping where internationally agreed rules are flouted
We are sensitive to the problem of the delocalisation of European enterprises to
low cost countries.
This type of delocalisation causes substantial job losses in Europe and does not
necessarily bring social and economic benefits to the host country.
The PES Group strongly supports moves within the WTO to make world-wide
competition rules compatible with internationally agreed environmental and
social standards. We support the inclusion of social clauses in trade agreements
as a means of combatting human rights abuses, such as child labour or forced
labour by prisoners.
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