N° 21 février 2022 Capital first and foremost On January 1, 2022, for six months, France will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union (EU),
Macron has already set the tone: "by defining European interests and a shared strategy" clearly defending the interests of multinationals and having a European army integrated into NATO able to intervene quickly everywhere to defend US and EU imperialist interests. Among the other objectives, a 6-month European civic service open to all young people under 25 with a record unemployment rate of 17.1% in 2021 who pay the price for successive crises and would then be an available labor force. To meet the financing needs of companies during the pandemic, the budgetary rules on public deficits have been suspended so as not to hamper support for the economy and investment and the ECB has continued and intensified its program to buy back debts opening a vast field to financial speculation.
But above all, the EU has for the first time acquired a common debt capacity with the implementation of its Next Generation EU recovery plan. Thus, for the first time, the EU is going into debt to pay back subsidies to Member States for their multinationals. Ultimately the employees will pay the bill.
Who is at the helm of the European Union
The European Union today comprises 27 countries with 560 million inhabitants. Among these countries 17 with 320 million inhabitants have adopted the single currency: the euro. Trade within the single market (intra-European) remains larger in volume than trade between the EU and its external partners: at 2,845.2 billion euros in 2020, it represents 18.7% of European GDP. The Union's trade with its external partners (cumulative imports and exports) amounted to 3,646.6 billion euros in 2020 – down10.5% from 2019. The EU enjoys a trade surplus of 217.9 billion euros with third countries with great inequalities depending on the country; thus Germany has a largely positive balance of 183 billion euros in 2020 but France’s is negative at 65 billion. Formally the world's largest trading power, the EU is however outranked by the United States in terms of imports, and by China, its largest trading partner, in terms of exports. All the major industrial and financial capitalist groups that control the European Union are (you can consult this list by clicking here ici):
Europe was created after the 2nd World War by capitalists for capitalist interests in this part of the world. The Stoxx Europe 600, one of Europe's benchmark stock market index, tracks 600 of the largest stock market capitalizations in 17 European countries and represents 90% of European stock market capitalization, or around 9.4 trillion euros.
The promoters of Europe continued its enlargement and strengthened its economic and political organization, pursuing the construction of a large economic entity to position it in the capitalist world competition. In this capitalist world, the EU is an economic giant. With a 15.193 billion dollars GDP in 2020, the EU-27 is the 2nd economic power in the world. It represents 17.9% of global GDP, behind the United States (24.7%) and ahead of China (17.4%) and Japan (6.0%).
Europe is a military power deeply integrated into NATO and under US domination.
Faithful ally of the USA, it pursues the imperialist objectives of world domination and thus participates in the current escalation of the dangers of war. The EU “defense” is in reality a rapid intervention force ready to intervene anywhere in the world where the interests of the imperialists are threatened. As a nuclear power France within the EU and NATO plays a very special role, especially since it is part of its integrated command. Moreover, it defends the interests of its monopolies in what constitutes its backyard in the former colonies of Africa.
Europe is being built against the peoples, it acts against them under the full responsibility of the states that make it up.
The only objective is to remove everything that hinders the development of capitalism, to make capitalist expansion the rule of economic development: to lower the "cost" of labor, to promote the conquest of new capitalist markets. To achieve these objectives, in France, the governments gradually broke the nationalizations resulting from the balance of power in favor of employees at the liberation (1945-1946). They privatized everything. They shut down the mines, the steel industry, the textile industry...;They attacked all the social conquests, labor law, statutes, collective agreements, pensions, reduced public and social expenditure. They favored capitalist concentrations, relocations. Only the struggles of the workers, of the people, like the great 1968, 1995...struggles have forced the capitalists and the governments to retreat and imposed demands.
Over-exploitation of peoples is the law of capitalist Europe and of the states that make it. This is the law of capitalism: the search for maximum profit through the exploitation of peoples.
Today capitalism needs to intensify exploitation further and faster.
For its “competitiveness” in Europe, to make its rate of profit go up again it must bring down the “cost of labor power”, impose austerity on the peoples. This is true in all European countries: in Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Great Britain, Germany... drastic measures (unemployment, lower wages and pensions, labor market reform, flexibility, reduction in public and social expenditure).
In France, Macron's road map meets the demands of capital: reform of the labor market, reform of the financing of social protection (Social Security, retirement), drastic reduction in public spending, endorsement of plans for massive job cuts, PSA etc…
In Europe, and in the world, the opposition between capital and labor is deepening.
On the one side is capital that exploits for profit, on the other are the peoples. This opposition will grow. There cannot be a middle way. There cannot be a capitalist solution for the peoples in Europe. The only solution is the anti-capitalist struggle. The employees, the working classes note that their situation continues to deteriorate and that Europe is not going to improve it, especially as they clearly see the situation in all European countries. This confirms that there can be no solution for the peoples in capitalist Europe and that it must be clearly opposed. The false solutions to fool the French, the maneuvers of political exploitation of discontent, of opposition to this Europe, are multiplying. Political parties (the PCF, France Insoumise, the NPA) associations (ATTAC.) do not call to fight capitalist Europe, they are for this Europe. Not a word about capitalism (they talk about an ecological, social, financial crisis), they want to renegotiate the treaty and sprinkle something social in it. The theme of “social Europe” resurfaces regularly. The ETUC (European Confederation of Trade Unions) of which all French trade unions are members, is integrated into European capitalism and is also asking that the treaty include “a social clause”. Europe is capitalist, it cannot be social. Misleading people into thinking that capitalists could make it "social" is to divert the people from the necessary struggle which alone can make capital back-down; it is to lead them into a dead end while capitalism will continue to thrive.
The euro a tool to develop capitalism in Europe.
The euro, the common currency of 17 EU Member States, was designed as a means both to facilitate trade within the same economic area and also as a means for European monopolies to exist internationally in the context of a fierce struggle to conquer markets. To assert that returning to a national currency would be the way to free ourselves from capitalism at European level is to maintain the illusion that we could bypass what generated the euro, that is say the capitalist system itself. The example of Brexit, like the situation of EU member countries that have kept their national currency, shows that this does not prevent the exploitation of wage labor. We must therefore be clear that the battle is against capitalism and its imperialist policy.
The EU is plagued by fierce competition between monopolies.
Within the EU, the monopolies and the States struggle to assert their position in the competition between capitalists within Europe and internationally for the control of markets, communication channels, access to raw materials and to labor power. Here are two examples:
Energy: you only have to see the intense battle that is being waged on energy issues, existential issues that see different strategies clash, particularly between France and Germany.
Migration policy: while Germany maintains an active migration policy towards skilled or unskilled labor to cope with declining demographics, other countries such as for example Poland and Latvia, are globally exporters of skilled labor to Germany and the United Kingdom and refuse any migration policy.
We have a different conception of Europe and of the relationship between peoples.
Europe means a ceaseless race for strengthening capitalism. Is this progress? Is this the modern society around which everything should be organized? We say NO. We fight capital to bring it down and build a socialist society in our country, in Europe and in the world.
Our proposals for struggles carried with our presidential and legislative candidates.
* We wants sovereign nations and their sovereignty respected.
* We are for national independence.
*We are against any supranational organization or government.
*We are for genuine cooperation in all fields, industrial, scientific, cultural, based on the development of each nation.
*We are for mutually advantageous agreements that respect the sovereignty of each people, its social and democratic achievements.
*We are for peaceful cooperation, the development of a policy of peace and disarmament in the world.
*We are for the disappearance of NATO and military pacts.
This can be achieved only through struggle. The current issue with Macron who will hold the French Presidency is: will they be able to continue their onslaught against the peoples, or will we be able to drive them back by fighting together against this capitalist Europe? There are struggles in Europe: in Greece, in Spain, Italy, Germany…We are in full solidarity with these struggles, because it is our struggle. In France, we call for the development of the uncompromising struggle against capitalist Europe. Now is the time to act without wasting time.
All together we are a great force.
Again we say NO to capitalist Europe, NO to the policy of the Macron government.
Only the class struggle nationwide and in the European nations will advance these demands and not compromises with capital in Europe and France.