Alliances to fight Poverty
An urgent call for a social, democratic and sustainable Europe
‘The fight against poverty, social exclusion and rising inequality is about more than funding food banks or gathering statistics. This fight demands a full commitment. It is up to us, as a society, to counter the rising poverty, social inclusion and inequality.
The ‘Alliances to fight poverty’ started in 2010 to answer the threatening challenges these negative tendencies represent.’
The Alliances are an informal coalition of grassroots organisations, workers movements, trade unions, social think tanks and experts from already 13 European countries. We have created a platform for a renewed Europe by sharing experiences, knowledge and different views. This renewed Europe should be social, democratic and sustainable.
The Alliances want to successfully push back poverty, social exclusion and inequality at every level of society.
We want to influence our stakeholders as the fight against poverty begins in our own organisations. It is there we find the necessary support for our social vision of Europe. They can make society aware of the challenges we face.
We want to influence our government at every level as human rights should underpin its politics. It has to stop violating them as it currently does by upholding economic governance that only leads to more poverty and inequality.
We want to influence Europe as its policies determine our lives and our future more than ever. At present, this future doesn’t look too bright for many people. It should be Europe’s main objective to change this, to realise a future without poverty, social exclusion and rising inequality.
The ‘Alliances to fight poverty’ put forward three essential objectives for a renewed Europe.
- The prime concern of a renewed Europe should be the well-being of everyone. We understand well-being as the freedom to choose and lead lives we value and have reason to value. This freedom depends on a better implementation of human rights and on an enhanced democracy. Therefore we need to restore the concept of global solidarity both between and within member states.
- A renewed Europe has to reconnect its economic priorities with the social, ecological and climatic challenges we face. Therefore Europe has to invest in the rich economic diversity of our countries and regions. It should bring them into constructive or rich competition with each other in order to stimulate an equal standard of living. Besides, by stimulating rich competitiveness we challenge the world to seek its own social and ecological protection systems. Accordingly, the EU can lead a global development that is based on ensuring well-being and sustainability.
- A new project for Europe has to answer the democratic challenges created by the European construction. To answer these we need to return to the basic elements of this framework. Cooperation between all levels and between all ‘living forces’ is an essential part of the answer. A rich definition of subsidiarity forms the basis of an answer that combines solidarity and democracy. The cornerstone of this new project is an enhanced social and civil dialogue at European and national level.
This renewed Europe necessitates a fair distribution of power, resources and means.
Our goal as the ‘Alliances to fight poverty’ is to gather NGOs, social partners and civil society along with cities, regions, member states and the European institutions around a new vision of Europe wherein fair distribution occupies centre stage.
The ‘Alliances to fight poverty’ call upon all concerned about poverty, social exclusion and rising inequality to join and strengthen their push for a renewed Europe. We can all make a difference.
Up to now we have in 13 EU-member states contacts (Belgium, UK, Irland, Scotland, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austra, Sweden, Italie, Netherlands et Romania) and we are open to other countries. The following grassroot organisations, trade unions, social ‘think tanks’ and experts work or have worked with the Alliances: ACW (BE), MOC (BE), CNCA (IT), The Poor can’t Pay (IR), Contrat Social (FR), Poverty Alliance (GB), Claiming our futur (IR), Just Fair (UK), Decenniumdoelen (BE), EAPN-Portugal, EAPN-Italy, ACV-CSC (BE), DGB (GER), Verdi (GER), TCO (SW), DGB (AU), CISL (IT), UGT (ES), Cartel Alfa (ROU), FDAAM (ROU), Fondation Abbé Pierre (FR), Focus Ireland (IR), ETUC, Madariaga Foundation-College of Europe,Observatoire Social Européen, CAPRIGHT, CEDAG, Euromemogroup, HIVA, Mahmood Messkoub (University of Rotterdam), Jeremy Leaman (Loughborough University), Ides Nicaise (University of Leuven), Mary Murphy (Maynooth University), René Lehwess-Litzmann (SOFI-Göttingen), Robert Salais (University of Cachan), Jean-Michel Bonvin( EESP, Lausanne), Ortrud Lessmann (Helmut-Schmidt University, Hamburg), Jean-Luc Dubois (University of Versailles), Jean De Munck (University of Louvain-la-Neuve), Hugh Frazer (University of Maynooth), Giovanbattista Sgritta (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza), Maurizio Franzini (University of Rome ‘La Sapienza) , John Veit-Wilson (Newcastle University), Robert Castel (+, EHESS, Paris), Joakim Palme (IFFS, Stockholm), Marja Elsinga (University of Rotterdam), Michael Lavalette (Liverpool Hope University), Guy Standing (University of London)