European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions
Together for decent work and fair pay from farm to fork

We need a real social Europe now!



Europe is in the midst of a crisis caused by a failure to properly regulate and control financial speculators. European Union (EU) institutions have responded by pressing for severe 'austerity measures' to curb public deficits. 

This strategy of spending cuts, additional taxation, and attacks on wages and organised labour is leading to unacceptable human suffering, exacerbating the crisis and putting the European project at risk, by bringing it into disrepute.
In these times, public disillusionment with the EU runs deeper than ever. Media representation of the fallout from the European debt crisis has taken the form of unfairly castigating the people of debt-stricken countries and undermining European unity. The threat this poses to the future of Europe can no longer be dismissed as marginal.
As a result, Europe is not just experiencing an economic crisis, but a social and political one. We can neither continue with these policies, nor give up on the European project as a lost cause. Either path would be disastrous for European workers and their families. Europe must change direction before it is too late.
European trade unions have a vital role to play in setting the record straight by conveying the message that a politically, socially and economically strong – but reformed – EU is Europe’s only chance of prospering in the era of globalisation. The Executive Committee of the European Federation for Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) resolves that:
  1. We need a Europe in which workers are genuinely valued by policy makers.
  2. We need a Europe that will invest in its rich cultural history and its capacity for cutting edge innovation.
  3. We need a Europe that will make, grow and provide the things that its people need.
  4. We need a Europe that accepts, respects and prospers from its diversity.
  5. We need a Europe that promotes cooperation and democracy.
  6. We need a Europe that puts its citizens first, in which fundamental rights take priority over economic freedoms.
  7. We need a Europe that respects industrial action as a cornerstone of democracy, in which all workers should be covered by collective agreements.
  8. We need a Europe that provides safe jobs, decent salaries and better qualifications and skills for all citizens.
  9. We need a Europe that provides opportunities for young people and ensures that today's youth are not a lost generation.
  10. We need a Europe in which all workers doing the same job receive the same rights and pay, free of discrimination.
In short, we need a real Social Europe now!

EFFAT is the European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions. As a European Trade Union Federation representing 120 national trade unions from 35 European countries, EFFAT defends the interests of more than 22 million workers towards the European Institutions, European employers’ associations and transnational companies. EFFAT is a member of the ETUC and the European regional organisation of the IUF.