Giving Europe the means for a sustainable and desirable future

On June 9, across the European Union, citizens of the twenty-seven member states are called to the polls to elect their representatives to the European Parliament. A crucial election for the future of the Union as the outcome is decisive for our future capacity to meet the challenges of a world in profound change. Global warming, growing inequalities, the digital transition, strategic autonomy and the maintenance of peace on the continent are vital issues that require a European policy that meets the challenge.

For our trade union organizations, meeting these challenges can only be done at the European level if we aim for lasting success. Turning inward or acting independently makes no sense as the destinies of the Member States are inseparably linked.

Meeting these challenges requires rethinking our development model and supporting the essential transitions to ensure its sustainability and acceptability. The European Union must mobilize sufficient resources by supporting the creation of green and qualified jobs, by investing in training and education, by guaranteeing access to essential public services, by strengthening social protection and social dialogue.

To finance these transitions, the EU cannot rely solely on contributions from its member states. We need to change scale. New resources are essential to build this sustainable and desirable future.

These resources must be based on the principle of fiscal justice, making those who benefit most from the single market and the free movement of capital contribute more. Tax justice at the level of the European Union would make it possible to find new resources while avoiding tax competition between member states. Taxes on the richest, multinationals, financial transactions and even digital giants are good avenues for finding these new resources.

Our trade union organizations support the idea of ​​a tax on large fortunes

The European Citizens’ Initiative “Tax the Rich” calls on the European Commission to introduce this tax. If it only applied to the richest 1% of European citizens, this tax would bring in several tens of billions of euros. By requiring that everyone participate in the collective effort to the extent of their means, it will carry with it a demand for social justice. European workers sometimes have the feeling – rightly so – that the efforts to achieve carbon neutrality objectives rest mainly on their shoulders.

Citizens want to be democratically involved in the choices that concern them. They must be so when it comes to taxation. In addition to the call to vote for the European elections, we call on them to massively sign the petition on the taxation of large fortunes. One million signatures must be gathered by October 9 for the European executive to examine this proposal. Let’s mobilize, this measure of social justice is within our reach.

Writing signed by Marylise Léon Secretary General CFDT France, Marie-Hélène Ska Secretary General CSC Belgium, Pepe Alvárez Secretary General UGT Spain and vice chair of ETUC, Antti Palola chair of STTK Finland, Piotr Ostrowski Secretary General OPZZ Poland.

This was published in Quest France on 05/06/2024.



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