[P2P-F] Fwd: [CommonGood] european affairs

Michel Bauwens michel at p2pfoundation.net
Mon Jul 6 14:31:08 CEST 2015

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: tina ebro <cgebro at gmail.com>
Date: Sat, Jul 4, 2015 at 3:32 PM
Subject: [CommonGood] european affairs
To: Common Good Newsgroup <commongood at listi.jpberlin.de>

​Birgit and ​

​Thanks so much, Birgit, for the valuable thoughts and updates!

​Sending you
​a Solidarity Statement with the Greek people and government that we are
circulating in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

We are also sharing with you
the* Agenda for a Social ASEAN* that was presented last May in KL at
the ASEAN People's Forum by the
​following organisations:
Parliamentary Network for Human Rights in the ASEAN, the ASEAN Trade Union
Council, Migrant Forum Asia, FES-Asia and the Network for Transformative
Social Protection
​ (NTSP).

a broad regional network
​ that is reclaiming the social commons for a "life of dignity for all" and
also for transformative system change. ​
​It has
 focal groups in most countries in the ASEAN, including
​and urban poor ​movements, and
 regional organisations of the elderly and people with disabilities.

​In warm solidarity,​


Cristine "Tina"  Ebro

*Coordinating Team*Asia Europe People's Forum (AEPF)
*www.aepf.info* <http://www.aepf.info/>
Network for Transformative Social Protection (NTSP)
Mobile : +63-9178146311

When you seek love with all your heart, you shall find it's echoes
across the universe. Rumi

*"Your Struggle is Our Struggle"*

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the people of Greece and the

government as they prepare for a referendum on July 5, 2015 on whether to

the continuation of the program of neoliberal austerity or chart a new
course free

from the debilitating stranglehold of the “troika” - the International
Monetary Fund,

the European Central Bank, and the European Commission.

We support the call of Syriza for a 'no vote' as the only option for the
people of

Greece, especially the working classes, to assert sovereign control over

country's economy and their own future.

We condemn the “troika” and their allied political institutions, for
forcing their policies

of neoliberal austerity, privatization, deregulation, and savage cutbacks

the public sector. We, therefore, hold the “troika” responsible for the

unemployment, increased poverty, greater social inequality, and a severe

depression now being experienced by Greece. The irony of it all is that the

debts the “troika” is demanding for repayment did not go to Greece but were
used to

repay private sector creditors such as French and German banks. In other

these are onerous and illegitimate debts.

We had welcomed the election of the Syriza-led government on a program

committed to ending the neoliberal-austerity policies imposed by the EU

and we stand in solidarity with them as they struggle to implement an


The austerity program has been assessed as a colossal failure by leading

economists worldwide. Despite this, the insistence of the EU creditors and

political and economic allies to resuscitate this failed program, can only
be construed

as a cynical political maneuver whose real aim is to bring down the Syriza

government, the first anti-neoliberal, anti-austerity government to be

elected in Europe.

Syriza was a product of the mass movements’ and working people’s struggles

against neoliberal austerity promoted by unbridled capitalism. Similar

organizations have arisen across Europe, such as Podemos in Spain, a
product of

the anti-austerity 'indignados' movement.

The specter that haunts the European capitalist class is a 'Syriza

spreading to other parts of Europe, particularly in Spain, with the
election of an anti-

neoliberal Podemos government. By bringing down the Syriza government, the

capitalist hydra aims to strangle such a movement at its birth.

Peoples from all over the world, in both developing and developed
countries, have

been struggling for the past decades against the imposition of a whole
range of neo-

liberal measures - liberalization, deregulation, and privatization,
including neoliberal

austerity programs imposed by capitalist governments led by the US and its

through the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial


There has also been a long history of struggles against debt repayments and
for the

cancellation of odious and illegitimate debts. The world has experienced
how debt

burdens and neo-liberal impositions have created havoc on economies,

natural resources, exacerbated inequalities, and impoverished peoples while

siphoning off billions of dollars to global capitalist banks, giant
corporations and

imperialist governments.

We welcome the people of Greece into the struggle of peoples of the global

against neoliberalism, onerous debts and austerity.

Your struggle, is our struggle. Your victory, is our victory.

>> ​​
> *In Introduction*
> Inequality and poverty levels remain high in ASEAN, with Gini coefficients
> ranging from 35.6 to 46.2.[1]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn1> In
> some countries in the region, inequality and poverty levels are escalating
> despite economic growth.And while in some ASEAN countries a smaller
> proportion of the workforce is now living in poor households (i.e. living
> on less than $2 per day), their absolute numbers have risen[2]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn2>
> .
> Inequality is eroding the economic gains from market integration and
> economic progress.“Inequality may lead to the misallocation of capital and
> hamper poverty reduction and growth, possibly eroding social cohesion, and
> institutional stability. It also runs counter to the AEC’s [ASEAN Economic
> Community] overarching goal of equitable growth with reduced development
> gaps between and within Member States.”[3]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn3>
> Yet, the commitmentsof governments of the ASEAN Member States to the
> social dimension of regional and global integration remain lukewarm.But the
> people of ASEAN aspire for and demand a*Social ASEAN*. Therefore, the
> people of ASEAN and their organizations collectively took the initiative to
> frame an *Agenda for a Social ASEAN*.
> The*Agenda for a Social ASEAN*is the condensation of the aspirations and
> demands of the people of ASEAN for a strong social dimension in the current
> process of integration in the region.[4]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn4>It
> is an instrument that embodies the necessary components of an alternative
> regional development paradigm that seeks to construct a truly caring and
> sharing ASEAN community. The *Agenda for a Social ASEAN* –
> *Puts people first*. A strong recognition of the primacy of people’s
> rights and demands over markets and profits and carrying out democratic,
> participatory and people-centred processes at the national and regional
> level.
> *Steers towarda socially justand sustainable development*.The integration
> and complementarity of economic and social policies so that economic
> policies not only aim at attaining growth but also in narrowing, and
> eventually eliminating, all forms of inequality. Here, both counterchecks
> to profits and social redistribution measures are necessary.
> *Creates decent work conditions*.The recognition and implementation of
> core labor standards and fundamental principles and rights at work
> (including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining,
> and the elimination of work discrimination and all forms of forced labor);
> the creation of (full and secure) employment; the promotion of social
> protection of workers from unemployment, sickness and old age; and the
> strengthening of social dialogue among government, employer’s and labor’s
> representatives for the facilitation of conflict resolution and attainment
> of social justice.
> *Enables a life of dignity*. The overall goal of the *Agenda for a Social
> ASEAN* is to put in place conditions to enable the people of ASEAN to
> attain a life of dignity. Foremost is the provision of accessible, free or
> affordable social services and social protection for all. A life of dignity
> also means providing political, economic and social opportunities for
> people to fully develop their potentials.
> *PrPrinciples underlying a Social ASEAN*
> The underlying principles of a *Social ASEAN* encompass the following:
> solidarity, rights-based approach including gender justice and migrant
> labour rights, universality, comprehensiveness, state-driven based on the
> needs of people, participatory, and transparency and accountability.
> *Solidarity* means “the dynamic and collective process of taking active
> responsibility for our inter-relationships on both a local and global
> level… in ways that foster diversity, autonomy, cooperation, communication,
> and shared-power (direct democracy)”.[5]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn5>
> A *rights-based approach* means subordinating market rights to the
> fundamental rights of human beings and nature, not the other way around.
> These fundamental rights are enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human
> Rights (1948), the core ILO Conventions, and the various ASEAN Declarations.
> *Universality* means that all people as human beings are entitled to all
> these rights. Comprehensiveness, not piecemeal, means that the exercise of
> the rights above requires complementary and coordinated policies and
> actions by state and non-state actors.
> *State-driven* means that state policies and actions must be driven by
> the needs of the people and guided by roadmaps for the immediate
> realization of these rights for key functions such as financing,
> administration and regulation. This includes a constitutional framework
> that underpins the realization of these rights, with institutionalized
> mechanisms that insulate state policies and programmes promoting and
> protecting these rights from patronage and protect them from future
> administrations that may scheme to dismantle them.
> *Participatory* means the active participation of the people of ASEAN in
> the design and implementation of laws, policies and programmes aimed at
> enabling people to fully exercise and enjoy their rights and in defining
> the role of labour and other social partners at the national and regional
> level. Without the people’s effective participation, ASEAN’s goals of
> equitable economic development and reduction of poverty and socioeconomic
> disparities are unlikely to be met.
> *Transparency and accountability* means having public participation and
> control mechanisms that allow peoples’ voice and participation in the
> design, implementation and monitoring of state policies and programmes that
> create the conditions for the full exercise and enjoyment of every
> individual of all the rights listed below.
> *The current integration and development model will not build a Social
> The current ASEAN integration process has been marked by a system of open
> (neoliberal) regionalism predicated by free trade agreements (FTAs) within
> and to a greater extent outside ASEAN. This open regionalism has further
> deepenedthe liberalization of trade, investment, macroeconomic policies,
> services and skilled labour, with the transnational corporations (TNCs) and
> big businesses as its main drivers and beneficiaries. As a result, market
> forces have been reigning people’s lives and communities leading to the
> loss of traditional means of livelihood, continuing exploitation and
> informalization of labour, degeneration of all forms of labour protection,
> the domination of oligopolistic and monopolistic firms forcing out micro,
> small and medium sellers, the private appropriation and pillaging of
> commons and natural resources for the exclusive benefit of an extreme
> minority, and increasing democratic deficit. Thus, despite booming
> economies for the most part of Southeast Asia, the ASEAN people continue to
> experience rising joblessness and insecurity, increasing poverty and
> vulnerability, rampant inequalities, and environmental degradation.
> Although the ASEAN governments have adopted various significant
> declarations – ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the
> Rights of Migrant Workers (2007), the ASEAN Guidelines on Good Industrial
> Relations Practices (2010), the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration (2012), the
> ASEAN Declaration on Strengthening Social Protection (2013), and the ASEAN
> Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Elimination of
> Violence Against Children (2013) – as part of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural
> Community pillar[6]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftn6>,
> the non-binding and non-enforcement nature of these instrument reflect the
> lack of political will of ASEAN governments to put in place the social
> dimension of integration. Further, the missing social dimensions in ASEAN
> developments and processes are evidenced by the lack of: a) bottom-up
> consultations, b) participation and inclusion of civil society and trade
> unions in political policy-making processes, and c) binding and
> accountability mechanisms.
> Clearly, the current integration and development model in ASEAN will not
> build a *Social ASEAN*.
> * Building a Social ASEAN*
> Building a Social ASEAN requires governments of the ASEAN Member States to
> pursue by all appropriate means, both at the national and regional level,
> the attainment of conditions for the realization of the four core areas or
> principles of the *Agenda for a Social ASEAN*. It should be noted that
> these core areas or principles are co-dependent and co-evolving, that is,
> they mutually reinforce each other.The attainment of one core area
> reinforces the attainment of the other areas; the measures required to
> achieve one area may necessitate equivalent or corresponding measures in
> other areas. In this regard, the rights and demands and their corresponding
> implementation mechanisms relate to the attainment, in varying degrees, of
> a combination or all of the four core areas.
> All people of ASEAN irrespective of their gender and sexual orientation,
> age, religion, ethnicity, race, age and physical and mental abilitiesare
> entitled to all the measures embodied in this Agenda.
> *Essential services and social protection for all*
> Universal and quality health care, education, humane and low-cost housing,
> living requirements for water and energy are public goods and part of the
> social commons. They are connected to the survival, dignity and development
> of individuals, society and nature.The provision of these essential social
> services has to be guaranteed and financed by the state. This calls for a
> reversal of privatization of these public goods. Public-public
> partnerships, that is, state partnerships with non-profit groups like
> peoples’ cooperatives on housing, water, energy, health and other essential
> services, instead of private-public partnerships, are people-centred,
> transparent and accountable modalities of social services administration
> and delivery.
> Social protection includes social security such as living pensions for the
> elderly and disabled, child allowances, maternity protection, and income
> guarantees during unemployment, ill health and natural disasters.Universal,
> not targeted or means-tested, social security coverage means all people
> (citizens, women in paid and unpaid work, young workers, elderly persons,
> persons with disabilities, migrants, refugees, undocumented people, people
> in formal and informal sectors) are entitled. Social security is a public
> good and thus it should remain in state hands it must be driven by the
> needs of the people. Governments should endeavour as well to raise
> progressively the system of social security to a higher level without
> putting financial burden to the people.
> Funding for the provision of essential quality services and social
> protection for all may come from the revenues derived from progressive
> taxation (taxing the rich more than the poor), taxes on all monetary and
> financial transactions (Tobin tax), taxes on sales of transnational
> corporations, and taxes on idle lands based on a given threshold of land
> size. These policies at the same time redistribute income from the rich to
> the poor. The promotion of public banking is also a way to generate funds
> for social priorities. As a matter of public policy, public spending on
> social protection for all, especially on health and education, should be
> raised to a minimum of 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). At the
> ASEAN level, setting up a Regional Social Protection Fund, funded through
> the financial transaction tax, and a Global Fund for Social Protection, can
> help poorer countries in the region to meet the basic costs of putting
> social protection systems in place in all the ASEAN Member States.
> Social protection also includes people’s access to safe and affordable
> food, produced from ecological and sustainable agriculture of small farmers
> and farm workers. Small scale farmers and food workers and their
> organizations should have an effective voice about how food is produced,
> how fisheries are maintained and how land and natural resources are
> controlled and managed.As half of the world’s population are engaged in
> agriculture, social protection systems, industrial policies and development
> measures should aim at improving the incomes of the rural population,
> protecting the legal rights of peasants, and recognizing women’s role in
> food production.
> Land as well as other productive resources like forests and water is a
> common resource that should be made accessible to all. This calls for an
> end to multiple forms of dispossession.
> *Decent work for all*
> ASEAN governments should create the conditions for the achievement and
> maintenance of the highest possible level of stable employment, with a view
> to the attainment of full decent employment for all. In this regard, ASEAN
> governments need to pursue macroeconomic and sectoral policies that promote
> formal employment, focusing especially on the development of sustainable
> micro, small and medium enterprises, while protecting workers’ rights.
> Decent work means just conditions of work (i.e., work hours, rest periods,
> holidays, formal employment contract, etc.), safe and healthy working
> conditions and fair remuneration for all workers, irrespective of firm
> size, gender, ethnicity or race, political views, and sexual orientation.
> Also, the full exercise of the right to organize and bargain collectively
> by all workers regardless of employment status, sex, religion, nationality,
> and political views should be guaranteed. Trade unions have the role and
> responsibility to organize and unionize all workers, including migrant
> workers and workers in the informal economy, including those engaged in
> micro and small enterprises, so that these workers do not remain abused and
> exploited.
> Several measures can create the conditions for the achievement of decent
> work. These are the following: ratification and implementation (i.e.,
> national legislation, institutional support and enforcement mechanisms) at
> the national level of all the ILO core labour standards;policies that
> disallow job contractualization; work guarantee programs; and living
> wagesthat cover the decent living expenses of a whole family. Funding for
> the two latter measures may come from the same sources of funding for
> essential services and social protection. These revenues can be used to
> subsidize the grant of a national living wage for workers engaged in micro
> and small enterprises and in the informal economy.
> *Economic, legal and social protection of vulnerable and disadvantaged
> groups of people*
> The advancement and protection of women remains uneven in ASEAN.
> Considerable progress in promoting gender equality can be substantially
> achieved through a combination of various national laws and social policies
> in compliance with the international standards in employment, and the
> ratification of ILO Conventions and UN agreements on gender equality.
> The attainment of gender equality is closely connected to the achievement
> of decent work. Concrete measures necessary to reach this goal include
> reinforcing the policy to reconcile work and family life, narrowing gender
> pay gaps, respecting the principle of equal pay for equal work, offering
> opportunities for skills development and vocational training, supporting
> women entrepreneurship, and enabling women to take on leadership roles,
> which lead to the social and economic empowerment of women.
> Children and young persons should be ensured of the care, assistance,
> education and training that they need and protected against negligence,
> violence and exploitation. States should endeavour to provide free public
> education to children and young people.
> The ASEAN governments came up in 2013 with the ASEAN Declaration on the
> Elimination of Violence against Women and Elimination of Violence against
> Children.The full implementation of this Declaration will require
> ASEAN-wide legally-binding domestic laws and appropriate policies,
> institutions and enforcement mechanisms.
> Governments should take necessary measures to provide persons with
> disabilities with education, vocational training and guidance to enable
> them to access employment and livelihood opportunities.
> This can be done by adopting measures that encourage employers to hire and
> keep them in employment under working conditions that meet the needs of the
> disabled.To promote their full integration and participation in the life of
> the community, measures that aim at overcoming barriers to communication
> and mobility and enabling access to transport, housing, cultural activities
> and leisure should be put in place.
> Migrant workers and their families have the right to protection and
> assistance*. *This calls for thefull implementation, in terms of
> appropriate policies, institutions and enforcement mechanisms, of the
> commitments of ASEAN Member States in the Declaration for the Protection
> and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers, particularly on the
> provision of safe, transparent and accountable migration processes.
> *Democratic, participatory and people-centred processes*
> ASEAN governments should create the conditions for people’s voice and
> participation in matters that affect their political, economic and social
> well-being. One way is the creation of venues and structures at the
> national and regional level that effectively allow trade unions, peoples’
> organizations, civil society organizations, and the academe to engage in
> ASEAN processes, particularly in the ASEAN Labour Ministers Meeting (ALMM),
> the ASEAN Commission for Human Rights (AICHR), the ASEAN Commission on
> Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), and
> other ASEAN-level Committees created to implement the various social
> Declarations. Another measure is creation of an ASEAN ‘social dimension
> scorecard’, jointly designed by ASEAN governments and organizations of
> ASEAN peoples, can be used to monitor and track progress on the
> operationalization of the various ASEAN Declarations in terms of the
> adoption by all ASEAN Member States of legally-binding and inclusive ASEAN
> instruments, and the measures to fully realize the various rights of ASEAN
> people identified above. The scorecard mechanism will require an ASEAN
> reportorial system by which ASEAN Member States are required to report
> annually their progress in the attainment of the mechanisms and strategies
> listed above. The ASEAN Secretariat shall be empowered to call on
> governments to make the necessary adjustments and/or corrections. National
> contact points can be set up to implement this reportorial system.
> Corollary, the establishmentof a supervisory mechanism in the AICHR, with
> equal representation from ASEAN governments, social partners and civil
> society organizations, including trade unions, can effectively ensure that
> ASEAN Member States improve their practices to fulfil the global standards
> of human rights, including a stronger assertion of workers’ rights.Setting
> up a complaint mechanism in AICHR enables aggrieved workers and their
> organizations the opportunity to seek legal redress.
> ***
> The full and effective realization of the measuresembodied in this Agenda
> leads to the attainment of a life of dignity for all ASEAN people. The
> adoption and implementation of the policies and strategies articulated in
> this Agenda places primacy of the rights and interests of people and their
> communities over markets and profits. In short, this Agenda is a seedbed of
> an alternative national and regional development paradigm that emphasizes
> the pursuit of the full development of human potential based on equality,
> solidarity and sustainability, and through democratic and participatory
> processes.
> ------------------------------
> [1]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref1>See
> International Labour Organization & Asian Development Bank (2014). *ASEAN
> Community 2015: Managing integration for better jobs and shared prosperity*.
> Bangkok: ILO & ADB, p. 6.
> [2]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref2>For
> example, in Cambodia between 1994 and 2008 the share of workers living on
> less than $2 per day declined from 75.3 per cent to 49.6 per cent of total
> employment, but the number of poor workers increased from 3.3 million to
> 3.7 million. In the Philippines between 1991 and 2009, the share of the
> working poor fell from 50.0 per cent to 37.2 per cent, but the number
> living on less than $2 per day rose from 11.2 to 13 million. (ibid.)
> [3]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref3>
> Ibid.
> [4]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref4> These
> aspirations and demands have been articulated in various regional meetings
> of trade unions, civil society organizations and the progressive academia,
> particularly the following: Workshop on Social Commons in Kuala Lumpur
> (March 2014; hosted by AEPF, NTSP, FES); ASEAN Unions Assembly in Bali
> (August 2014; hosted by ASETUC); Workshop on ASEAN Social Charter in
> Singapore (August 2014; hosted by FES); AEPF Roundtable Dialogue on Social
> Protection in Yangon, incl. 1 day discussion on ASEAN Social Charter
> (August 2014; hosted by AEPF); and Strategy Workshop on Developing and
> Promoting a Social Agenda for ASEAN (March 2015; hosted by FES).
> [5]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref5> Miller,
> Ethan (2004). ‘Solidarity Economics – Strategies for Building New Economies
> from the Bottom-Up and Inside-Out ’, pp. 6-7. Downloaded on 06 March 2015
> fromhttp://www.geo.coop/archives/SolidarityEconomicsEthanMiller.htm.
> [6]
> <https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#14e3aec47b57f8c0_14e1a8292466e0ac_14e0ae2ad2857690__ftnref6>The
> goal of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community is the promotion and advancement
> of human development (including education and decent work), social welfare
> and protection, social justice and rights, environmental sustainability, an
> ASEAN identity, and narrowing the social dimensions of development between
> and within ASEAN.


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