Take back control
David Cameron is right that the Euro elections showed people wanted a different direction for Europe, but wrong to conflate this with the kinds of reform he is seeking as recompense for his junk Juncker debacle.
The parties that gained the most new seats in the European parliament were those opposing the free flow of people within Europe and those rejecting the disastrous austerity programmes.
Both of these sources of voter concern were made possible by the Treaty of Rome abolishing controls over the free movement of people, goods, money and services.
It was the unfettered flow of money and goods which largely stoked up the continent’s debt bubble and resulting credit crunch.
To pay for the state bailouts that followed, the mainstream parties then demanded austerity measures which sacrificed the living standards and social infrastructure of those least responsible for 2008’s free market economic disaster.
Not surprisingly, this has resulted in even more migration from southern and eastern Europe, adding to social tensions across the continent.
The reforms needed are not the rightwing agenda of more labour flexibility and evermore ruthless competition. This is just code for the usual neoliberal priorities of less workers rights and a roll back of social and environmental regulations.
It’s time that Labour countered this by taking seriously the majority’s concerns about uncontrollable European immigration and rising economic insecurity and so start a debate with its allies in Europe to turn the Treaty of Rome into a “treaty of home”.
This would allow countries to cooperate to take back control of their borders for progressive goals, such as reducing inequality and rebuilding flourishing local economies, which could result in increased political support for a reformed Europe that actually addresses the majority’s fears for the future, rather than making them worse.
Posted on July 1, 2014, in Banking and finance, Conflict of interest, Democracy undermined, Government, Planning, Vested interests and tagged A reformed Europe, Austerity programmes, Colin Hines, Flourishing local economies, Juncker, State bailouts, Treaty of Rome. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.