60th Anniversary of the European Union (Union?)

Monday, June 7, 2010

We want a Europe that is a beacon of democracy, a Europe that is a lighthouse.

Not a delocalized Europe.

Not a dependent Europe. A Europe of the North and South Atlantic, a Europe of the Mediterranean, of the Pacific.

A Europe allied with the United States, but with independent security and with its own autonomy, which is clearly visible to the world.

In Schuman’s declaration, which initiated the long road toward the European Union 60 years ago, we can read "world peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it". This is the Europe we want. The one that knows that there is nothing inevitable, nothing that can’t be changed or reinvented, like Schuman and Monnet did that 9th of May in 1950.

2010, the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, has become the European year of destabilization, exploitation and an exclusive market that replaces values with money.

Today we are part of this rich neighborhood in the global village in which no more than 18% of the inhabitants of the earth live. We must open our windows and doors in solidarity, aware of the collective shame of so much hunger, poverty, lack of healthcare and sanitary services in so many parts of the world.

The material poverty of so many has its origins in the spiritual poverty of a few.

This is not the European Union that we want and that we should painstakingly work for each day.

The financial institutions that were “rescued” by the G-20 (plutocracy), instead of by the United Nations (democracy), and which are now destabilizing the world with false news, biased evaluations, and all sorts of cunning arguments disguised as the “market"... should be tried as criminals.

We must put an end to this irresponsible economy of speculation, tax havens, and delocalization of production, fueled by greed.

And mechanisms must be put into place to protect the most vulnerable of the population, with alternative sources of financing (such as taxes on electronic transactions, currency exchanges, credit cards, etc.) and the establishment of a Basic Income to enable all people to receive the equivalent of minimum wage.

And above all –I will never tire of repeating this- we must change this war economy (3,000 million dollars spent daily) to an economy of sustainable development (renewable energies, food production, water, healthcare, environment, housing, transportation...)

Let no one be deceived: charity and justice, yes; charity without justice, no. Because the solution lies in the full and effective recognition of equal human dignity.

Civil society must assume commitments, but not take on the responsibilities of government. Government which, in a democratic system, is the genuine representative of its citizens.

And citizens will no longer remain silent, resigned witnesses...

The time for silence has come to an end.

It is time for education at all levels.

It is time to avoid distractions.

It is time to continue, time to “rise up”, as José Ángel Valente said in one of his poems.

Development is cooperation, not exploitation.

It is aid, not conditional loans.

It is sharing.

It is tending an outstretched hand, not a raised fist.

It is inventing the roads to tomorrow.

It is including others.

It is committing oneself.

It is getting involved.

It is being ourselves, building with our daily activities a culture of peace. With the spirit of solidarity and fraternity described in Article 2 of the Universal Declaration.