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New Communist Party of Britain

THE EUROPEAN UNION AND THE CRISIS

The ruling classes of Europe are determined to put the entire burden of the slump on the backs of working people. They’re going to slash state welfare, pensions and social provision. They want to drive down wages through social dumping by closing down their operations in high-wage areas and setting them up in other parts of the European Union where labour is cheap or recruiting cheap labour from poorer regions of Europe to undercut existing rates for the job.

The development of the Common Market, and the EU that followed, was the choice of European imperialism and western European monopoly capital.

It promotes neo-liberal measures favouring the monopolies and the concentration and accumulation of capital. It cannot represent a genuine counterweight to the United States in favour of the people. With the Lisbon Treaty, new steps are being taken towards the configuration of the EU as an imperialist, economic, political and military bloc, contrary to the interests of the workers and the people.

The sovereignty and independence of peoples and countries are being further undermined. The attack on labour and trade union rights throughout the EU is escalating in the name of “modernisation”, “competitiveness” and “flexicurity” - and in order to ensure the profits of capital.

For years Labour and the majority of the leaders of our unions have elevated the EU as an instrument for social progress and economic advance. They say that the EU is becoming more representative through the authority of the European Parliament and establishment of regional autonomy. The social-democrats claim that the anti-working class “directives” and “rulings” can be reversed. The revisionist and left social-democratic circles that still pose as communists in some parts of Europe argue that the EU can be reformed to serve the interests of working people.

But the EU with its toothless parliament, ruritanian regional governments and farcical referendums, which only count when the vote agrees with what has already been decided by the powers that be, hasn’t been reformed. Nor can it ever be under the Treaty of Rome.

Now people see the European Union for what it is - an institution designed solely for the benefit of the oppressors and exploiters - and millions upon millions are seeing through the lies of the bourgeoisie. What few benefits the EU has brought, such as increased trade and open borders, could all have been achieved through separate agreements and treaties. The cost of the introduction of the Euro would be entirely borne by the working class and it must be opposed.

The European Union is neither genuinely federal nor democratic and every stage of European integration has been financed by working people through higher indirect taxes, lost jobs and lost benefits. The European Union cannot be reformed. It must be dissolved and the Treaty of Rome, which established the Common Market in the first place, and all addenda repealed.