Who we are?
Jaak MADISON – Estonia
The noble values advocated by the EU often remain nothing but words while practice shows that the large member states enforce their interests at all times. One hundred thousand people have already left Estonia and emigrated to the West, it is time for us to put our historical differences aside and act together in an issue that impacts all Central European countries. What we need is a true European solidarity.
Konstantīns PUPURS – Latvia
Two million-strong Latvia was left behind by ten thousands of youth in the past years. The wage union cooperation that began today reaches far beyond the original objectives and this newly-formed community could lay the foundations for a wider Central European cooperation. We don’t want to beg, we want to grow stronger. Let us fight the war for a wage union!
Paweł GAWLUK – Poland
In the 1980s, the nations of Central Europe were bound together by their desire for freedom. Today we must join our forces once again to accomplish the goals for which the EU was once created. Solidarity is still the key.
Péter PALLÉR – Slovakia
As a history teacher, I know all layers of our society through my work; therefore I also know what differences there are between the living standards desired by people and the harsh reality of Central Europe. Young people no longer want to just dream about it, they actually go where such living standards can be achieved: they go to Western Europe while their own homeland becomes empty. That is why we must all understand that this situation cannot be sustained, and start working on converging our region to the Western level.
Márton GYÖNGYÖSI – Hungary
By joining the forces of eight Eastern Central European member states and launching this European citizens’ initiative aiming for converging our region’s wages to those of Western EU countries, we are making up for a default of several decades. Having realized how the Eastern Central European governments’ economic model, which has typically been based on low wages and a vulnerable labour force, has failed as well as how this policy has caused massive emigration or total impoverishment and indebtedness in each of our countries, we have decided to shake up Europe and stand up for justice, exercising our rights ensured by the EU law. We will no longer accept being the EU’s wage slaves. What we ask for is not charity but equal treatment in the EU labour market: equal wages for equal work.
Dragoș TÎRNOVEANU – Romania
The struggle for the European wage union requires us to solve major problems. Even though our countries have their historical differences, everybody will see that we are able to join forces in such key issues as brain drain and massive emigration, which impact our entire region. The Wage Union initiative acts as a beam of hope for the people of Eastern Europe and beyond, showing that what binds us together is stronger that what tears us apart.
Mihail PETROV – Bulgaria
Contrary to the expectations, the EU brought on subordination instead of equality for our nations. Driven by the lack of prospects in Bulgaria due to the low wages, two million people have already moved to Western Europe. I hope the wage union initiative would offer prospects as well as unite the otherwise divided Central European nations for a worthy objective.
Frano ČIRKO – Croatia
Hundreds of buses and planes go regularly to the West as part of the brain drain process, and their young passengers typically don’t return to Croatia. That is why the slogan of our newly-established party is: “We stay!”, because we don’t want to be citizens of an EU that considers Central Europe as nothing but the source of cheap labour. Whatever the outcome, we can only win with this initiative.
Andrej ČUŠ – Slovenia
Jean Monnet, one of the founding fathers of European integration via the European Economic Community, is reported to have said: ‘If I had to do it again, I would first start through culture’. If you ask me, I would first start through social dimension. We should pledge ourselves to work towards a social Europe. With the Wage Union initiative, Slovenia wants to raise awareness that living standards vary across Europe and that the citizens of 16 countries live below the EU-27 standards. We want to be one of the member states that will carry the initiative of better and fairer Europe. We cannot utilize freedom of movement of people if we do not try to address the wage gap that is forcing our youth to emigrate. By this, we are loosing the knowledge, skills and know-how. And what is even more important – we are loosing the perspective. It is up to us to impound the processes that are destroying our societies!