by Ms Hanna Clairière (Member of the European ND4E committee, Belgium/France)
The ECI New Deal 4 Europe (www.newdeal4europe.eu) on sustainable development and employment is an initiative which intends to bring forward a proposition on creating a Special European Fund with the aim of relaunching European economy and creating more jobs; which will be examined by the European Commission. The trigger was the 2011 disaster caused in the lives of the European people by the austerity policies led by the Troika.
This is why a European network of political and social civil society representatives (mainly issued from the European Union of Federalists and especially from its Italian branch), have decided to act. They were extremely worried about the degrading situation of the 19 million unemployed and 26 million people living in poverty in Europe (statistics from 2011; cf. « The Federalist Debate », 2014). The ECI was accepted by the European Commission in March 2014 and the period of collecting the 1 million signatures needed runs only until the 7th of March, 2015.
The main propositions within this ECI are: the introduction of a special European financing system through the creation of European level taxes like the Carbon Tax and the FTT (Financial Transactions Tax), and through euro-bonds. This revenue would then be redistributed under the monitoring of the EIB (European Investment Bank) to the states in order to invest in the following fields:
1. Renewable energy and organic agriculture
2. Protection of the European cultural heritage and environment
3. Innovation in infrastructures and high technology
4. Vocational training and Points of Excellence for University level research centers
5. Creation of jobs (especially for the young generations)
Apart from the economical and social advantages, there would be a considerable improvement in the environment protection, because investing in renewable energies would mean cleaner energy sources and a decrease in CO2 emissions. Moreover, the continent would become more autonomous regarding energy and less dependent on imports, which would positively affect the security and the defense of our continent. Finally, a perspective towards a real political union could be opened this way; through setting up of a common fiscal system. This way, new cooperation and collaboration fields could appear and make it possible for the different populations to enhance their feeling of togetherness. The common European project is broken, the crisis has overwhelmed the future and we need new tools to get our heads above the water:
Europe, which until a few years ago, was living in a context of general welfare, with a social model that guaranteed protection against risks for life, is unable to deal with the crisis and globalization challenges. The political project of the Founding Fathers of the EU aimed to create , for the first time in history, democracy also at the supranational level, remained unfinished. The process of federal unification, after important successes such as the creation of a supranational parliament, a European common market, a single currency, a Court of Justice, a Charter of Fundamental Rights, has jammed.» («The Federalist Debate », 2014, N° 2, July, G.Borgna, ed. Lucio Levi).
Among the official signatures there are economists, politicians, university researchers and artists from all parties and countries: Romano Prodi, Sylvie Goulard, Ska Keller, José Bové, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Barbara Spinelli, Alexis Tsipras, Javier Solana, Anna Diamantopoulou, Jo Leinen, Alain Lamassoure, Dusan Sidjanski, Moni Ovadia among many others.
There is also a special call to sign from the Mayors of Torino, Italy (Mr Fassino) and of Lyon, France (Mr Collomb), as well as dozens of associations and NGO’s and a group within the EU Parliament working to collect the signatures.
For more information, please check our website (www.newdeal4europe.eu), where you can sign directly.