Option Six: A Europe of Democracy and Social Justice
Paul Mason

Create a Europe of cooperating democratic sovereign countries

#FutureofEurope #EU27 — Jean-Claude Juncker, unelected President of EU junta

First day of March, we had a last ditch attempt by arrogant Jean-Claude Juncker, un-elected president of the EU junta to save the EU.

The EU will be democratised, or it will disintegrate. — DiEM25

The White Paper by Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 March 2017 is a poor answer to the crisis of the European Union. — Paul Mason

This is not a vision for the future, this is a last ditch attempt to stop the collapse of the EU.

Jean-Claude Juncker, jumped up petty bureaucrat from tax-dodging Luxembourg, has tried threats, has told democratic leaders not to hold referendums to leave the EU, after all it goes against the grain of a eurocrat to allow the people to have a say, has repeatedly called for his own EU Army.

His latest is to offer a watered down businesses as usual. A bit like the self-serving careerists destroying Labour offering Torylite.

60 years ago, Europe’s founding fathers chose to unite the continent with the force of the law rather than with armed forces. We can be proud of what we have achieved since then. Our darkest day in 2017 will still be far brighter than any spent by our forefathers on the battlefield. As we mark the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, it is time for a united Europe of 27 to shape a vision for its future. It’s time for leadership, unity and common resolve. The Commission’s White Paper presents a series of different paths this united EU at 27 could choose to follow. It is the start of the process, not the end, and I hope that now an honest and wide-ranging debate will take place. The form will then follow the function. We have Europe’s future in our own hands.

The founding father’s did not unite Europe, it was a project of the US New Dealers, who feared US falling back into a second Great Depression, as production wound down from a war economy.

They saw the need to re-build Europe, the Cold War was on the horizon. They had a choice, deal with the Communists, or deal with those who were proposing a cartel for big business, an anti-democratic union.

It was not the EU that gave us peace in Europe, it was Nato, an organisation that is accountable to sovereign countries, not dictates to them.

Paul Mason is correct to reject the EU five-point plan. But part of his analysis is flawed.

The White Paper by Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 March 2017 is a poor answer to the crisis of the European Union. In response, I am proposing that parties and movements committed to internationalism and social justice offer the following alternative to the five options Juncker outlines. I am throwing it out as a draft for discussion among social democrats, the radical left, left nationalist parties and Greens. If anybody is interested in developing it, message me…

The trade cartel may have led to economic recovery post-WWII, but what Paul Mason calls a single market, is more accurately a protectionist zone, and has stopped any recovery post-2008.

There are two main economic problems, austerity and neo-liberalism writ in stone and the euro, both of which are destroying southern Europe.

Paul Mason is correct when he refers to the EU acting to ‘spearhead an unjustified attack on the sovereignty and human rights of the people of Greece and Cyprus’.

Cyprus was a trial run before the attack on Greece.

2008 saw the banking crisis, followed by an economic crisis, followed by social and political crisis, followed by geo-political crisis.

2009, the bankrupt German banks were bailed out by the German state, their ‘assets’ were dodgy US subprime loans.

2010, they were back with their begging bowl. Greece was bankrupt, German banks were exposed, technically they were bankrupt. They then came up with a clever ploy, the largest ever loan to Greece, which would flow straight back out to German and French banks, but blame the lazy Greeks. Extend and pretend. At the same time use it to strangle Greece.

Greek economy shrank by 25%. Wall Street crash and Great Depression only saw economies shrink by 20%.

Greece elected a new radical government in 2015. They dared challenge the EU. This would not do. Greece had to be destroyed to set an example to Italy, Portugal, Spain, and more importantly France.

The action by the ECB to destroy Greek banks to bring Greece to its knees was possibly illegal. Yanis Varoufakis and DiEM25 have called for a release of the legal briefing to the ECB, The Greek Papers.

On the borders of Europe we have a fascist dictatorship in Turkey. Within Europe, Poland and Hungary are going the same way.

In Romania, a corrupt government, the people taking to the streets calling for it to be overthrown.

Questions of democratic legitimacy in in Serbia, Slovakia and Bulgaria, with civil society being targeted.

Across Europe there is now little support for the EU. Its collapse is inevitable.

We should be focusing on what will replace the EU.

The replacement would be a network of democratic cooperating sovereign states.

DiEM25 would have an important role to play, as they already have a Europe wide network in place.

Minimum standards would be in place, with help to those countries in difficulty.

Any pan-European bodies would be subservient to national governments.

A minimum wage in all countries, but not harmonised. It would be a percentage of the average wage.

An equal minimum wage,would have the same impact as reunification of East and West Germany, when East German factories were put out of business overnight when East German wages were placed on a par with those in West Germany.

An exploration of a Universal Dividend.

And end to serfs working for apps, bogus self-employment. Both through legalisation and also through the creation of alternatives.

For example Deliver2U as a open source open coop alternative to Deliveroo.

Strict enforcement of breaches of Minimum Wage. Fines would be double that not paid, plus repayment of lost wages to workers.

There would be common agreed policies on the environment, labour rights, food standards.

All would be signatories to European Convention on Human Rights. It would be implemented in national law, as we see with the Human Rights Act in the UK. But, we need an overhaul of the European Court of Human Rights as many of its rulings are perverse and brings human rights into disrepute.

A free trade area between the cooperating countries.

The threat by the EU to wage a trade war on the UK, as a warning to others who may wish to leave, benefits no one, and would turn southern Europe into a wasteland.

Countries in southern Europe need help to restructure, as the New Dealers helped Europe post-WWII. For Greece the unpayable debt should be written off. Agreements forcing Greece to sell off state assets ripped up, as they were signed under duress.

There would be restrictions on the flow of labour between countries.

EU citizens granted the right to remain in the UK post-Brexit. It is sickening that Theresa May is even considering using them as bargaining chips. What is she going to do, round up three million people, put them in internment camps, then ship out in cattle trucks? People voted Leave they did not vote mass deportation of EU citizens living in the UK.

EHIC to remain to give people access to free health care across Europe.

A Tobin tax on flows of capital into and out of the Europe wide network.

Dirty money removed from politics, no corporate funding of political bodies.

A criminal offence to transfer funds to tax havens.

There would be restrictions on lobbying, wealthy individuals, corporate bodies, would have no greater access than ordinary citizens.

Lobbying and dirty money should be seen for what it is, corruption and bribery.

An end to the revolving door.

Retention of ECB to coordinate Europe wide monetary policy, but accountable to European countries, with possibly new statutes. All countries that were part of the network, not restricted to eurozone, assuming the eurozone remains, which is unlikely.

A Green New Deal across Europe.

For example creation of local community owned energy grids into which renewables guaranteed a fair price feed, consumers pay a fair price, and surplus generation fed to other local community owned grids via a publicly owned national grid, any ‘profit’ ploughed back into the network or used to fund community projects.

At local level, creation of open coops, citizen controlled local Town Halls, participatory democracy, as we see in Spain, Madrid, Barcelona and A Coruña, opening up to citizen participation, and networking with other Town Halls. This networking with other Town Halls across Europe on the one hand creates cooperation and cohesion across Europe, across national borders, also serves to counter centralisation of state power.

Create local currencies. Adapt faircoin and payment by fairpay.

As Paul Mason has requested, please ensure these ideas are widely disseminated and discussed. It is for the people of Europe to decide the future they want not unelected eurocrats and politicians promoting their own agenda.