On the anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, Nessa Childers joins politicians and civil society groups calling for a European alternative.
OUR EUROPE – UNITY, DEMOCRACY, SOLIDARITY
We are coming together to mark the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome in the full knowledge that we must change Europe, to stop it from falling apart, to avoid a social and environmental catastrophe and to keep authoritarianism at bay.
Our common heritage, which was built on victories and progress in terms of access to rights and democracy, together with our welfare state, is eroding, alongside our hopes and aspirations. In recent years, because of unfair treaties, austerity, the predominance of finance, the rollback of entitlements, increasing job insecurity and discrimination against young people and women, Europe has also experienced an increase in inequality and poverty.
Today we stand at a crossroads and we must choose between saving human lives and saving the banking and finance sectors; between fully guaranteeing and gradually eroding human rights; between peaceful coexistence and war; between democracy and dictatorship. Mistrust, fear and social insecurity are increasing, while racism, reactionary nationalism, walls, borders, and barbed wire are on the rise.
Another Europe is necessary, urgent and possible, and it is down to us to create it. We must denounce policies that threaten Europe’s very existence; demand supranational democratic institutions that truly have a popular mandate and are adequately resourced; respect the rights enshrined in the European Charter of Human Rights; defend positive achievements; propose alternatives and fight to make them a reality, be it in the Mediterranean area or beyond Europe’s borders.
We need a new and courageous plan for European unity: a plan which guarantees a viable future for everyone, based on democracy and freedom, rights and equality, a willingness to embrace gender issues, social and climate justice, dignity for people and the work they do, solidarity and openness, peace and environmental sustainability.
Instead of putting the Italians, the French or the British first, we must put everyone first: northern, southern, eastern and western Europeans; people born here and migrants alike; men and women.
Let Rome be a wellspring of solidarity and unity that allows us to create a framework that transcends our differences and equips us for the challenges facing us on our continent and all over the world. We invite you to respond to this call, to promote, within this common framework, other upcoming events and gatherings in Italy and all over Europe, and to come to Rome on 23rd, 24th and 25th March, to engage in initiatives, meetings, actions and activities that will allow us to stand together, in solidarity.