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Year 2000 No. 174, October 17, 2000 Archive Search Home Page

First in New Series of Meetings of the London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press

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First in New Series of Meetings of the London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press

Biarritz Summit:
Contradictions of the European Powers Cannot Be Resolved

Another Europe for another world!

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First in New Series of Meetings of the London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press

Everyone interested in the success of the Party’s work in the London Region is invited to come to the first in a new series of meetings of the London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press. The meeting will be held at John Buckle Books, 170 Wandsworth Road, London SW8 2LA on Thursday, October 19, 2000, from 7.45 pm to 10.00 pm. The series of meetings is being organised by RCPB(ML) in the London Region.

The meetings of the Forum will continue to be organised on a fortnightly basis. Everyone will be very welcome to participate and give their views.

As before, this first in the new series of meetings will set the agenda anew for the Forum, building on the work of the last series, and discuss on what basis the London Regional Forum on the Mass Party Press is constituted.

Everyone is invited to consider and bring their proposals for a study programme based on the issues which Workers’ Weekly and Workers’ Daily Internet Edition are raising. At the same time, everyone is invited to consider and present their views on summing up and advancing the tasks the London Regional Forums proposed for organising in the region.

The London Regional Forum is of great importance for developing the Party’s work in the region, and is the focus of the regional work. All the activists and supporters in the London Region are called on to mobilise people to attend. If the maximum number are called on to join in, discuss and give their opinions, then the Party’s organising work and the work to organise the people to defend their interests is bound to make headway in the Region.

Article Index

Biarritz Summit:

Contradictions of the European Powers Cannot Be Resolved

The more the five "big powers" of Europe – Britain, France, Germany, Italy and Spain – attempt to strengthen the European Union as an imperialist bloc in their own favour, the more they come into contradiction with one another. At the same time, their interests come into contradiction with the other members of the EU, who accuse them of bullying tactics, as well as the states who are prospective candidates for EU membership.

The informal Biarritz Summit on October 13-14 was billed as a preparation for the Nice Summit, or climax of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), when new arrangements are due to be put in place for the running of the European Union of the monopolies. This is to take place on December 7-9. The "big powers" of the EU want to consolidate it as an economic, political and military bloc, a major force through which they can pursue their dominationist interests on the world scale. An enlarged EU stretching from the Atlantic through to Russia, and from Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, which they control for the sectional interests of the monopolies, is their aim. However, the other members of the EU are not themselves prepared to play the role of subservient partners. Moreover, this contention for control of a united Europe of the monopolies has been a central factor in the conflict in the Balkans, the bombing of Yugoslavia and in the concerted effort to topple Slobodan Milosevic.

The IGC is aimed primarily at consolidating the domination of Europe by the "big powers" through such measures as the extension of Qualified Majority Voting (QMV), thereby removing the power of veto, the provision that decisions should be unanimous, into 20 further policy areas, including taxation, immigration and foreign trade. And in exchange for the "big powers" reducing the number of their commissioners on the European Commission – which proposes EU legislation – from two to one in order to streamline the enlarged body, they are pushing for greater voting strength in the Council of Ministers so they can protect their interests in the enlarged EU. Britain, Germany, France and Italy currently have ten votes each, and they want their votes increased. However, contradictions are also arising because Germany is demanding more votes than the other three, Spain is demanding parity with Italy, and so on.

It was natural that the Biarritz Summit should turn its attention to Yugoslavia, where the "big powers" have been colluding and contending. The Summit hosted the newly elected Yugoslav President, Vojislav Kostunica in a hastily arranged visit. The EU powers are keen to consolidate what they term a "pro-democracy revolution", and turn President Kostunica into their man. To this end, they are also providing funds, taken from the EU’s aid budget, for such things as medicines and food distribution. However, in return they expect Kostunica to put into place rapid political reforms, so that Yugoslavia will become part of the European map which is coloured with the values of the Paris Charter.

Neither was the Summit aloof to the upsurge in the conflict in the Middle East, a region which they covet and which is strategically placed as a zone leading from Europe to Asia and to Africa, and borders the eastern waters of the Mediterranean. But while calling for an end to the violence and return to the negotiating table, the Summit did nothing to condemn Israel, and was particularly silent about the role of outside intervention in the region. Indeed, Tony Blair at the Summit praised both the Foreign Secretary and US President Clinton for their "constructive role" in the Middle East, as well as Britain’s "significant role" in the "emergence of a democratic Serbia".

Can the European Union be turned into a "People’s Europe" or transformed into a force for progress as is sometimes claimed? The facts speak for themselves. Such a thing can never come about. The contention of the European powers to manipulate the EU for their "national interests" is itself a proof that such a thing is not possible. Britain wants its "fair share" of the decision-making process. Its "fair share" is that Britain is a major player in Europe, and its vainglorious ambition is to be the leader of a powerful European Union. Neither can Germany accept this, which has its ambitions to itself be the leader, have a direct corridor through the Balkans to the Mediterranean, and so on, nor can France, which is opposed to any more to give US imperialism more control of Europe in particular. Nor can the European Union be opposed through a national chauvinist position of "defending Britain’s interests". The financial oligarchy long ago abandoned "defence of Britain’s interests" in the sense of the national economy and sovereignty.

It is necessary for the working class to demand that the EU be dismantled, along with all such international blocs of the monopolies, and, fighting alongside the working people of each European country, as throughout the world, engage in their struggle to become the leaders of the nation, and establish modern sovereign states of England, Scotland and Wales.

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Another Europe for another world!

The following is the text of Euronews No. 17, which is released by Euromarches 97.

The European Union (EU) summits of Biarritz and, in particular, Nice are important on two levels. Above all, these summits concern EU key strategic programmes: the Charter of Fundamental Rights and institutional reforms that prefigure EU enlargement of eastern European countries. On these two points alone, mass mobilisation is called for. The charter is a backward step compared to existing international treaties such as the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man drafted over half a century ago in 1948!

As for the institutional reforms and the opening up of the EU to eastern European countries, this means a real threat of Europe being transformed into a free-exchange zone – a paradise for liberal capitalism!

However, these EU key plans take on greater significance when seen as part of the overall struggle against global liberalism. Europe, is above all a first stage on the path to globalisation. So, are we supposed to accept insecurity, flexibility and the disappearance of the idea of public services in the name of international competition?

In view of what is at stake, mass mobilisation for Biarritz and Nice is clearly paramount. It's now a question of numbers and of building up the strongest opposition possible, but this also means bringing together and federating mobilisation of groups in Europe who are not use to co-ordinating together. The entire European trade union movement will be in Nice. Also present will be other networks like ATTAC or coalitions for the Cancellation of Third World Debts who mobilised for Prague on 26 September. The European Marches can serve as a link between these different mobilisations, as seen in Seattle or in Washington, where trade unions and social movements were present, at a time when the young who are remobilising throughout the world.

All together in Nice from 6 December 2000. In the evening, we will remain for the "first occupation" of Nice when at 7 o’clock in the morning, the European heads of states and governments meet. We will join in initiatives such as debates and mobilisations. All together, we demand another Europe for another world!

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