Defending public services must be at the heart of proposals for another Europe.
Public services, despite the different ways in which they may be organized in different countries, must not be answerable to competition from the private sector and the profit motive. They must assure the satisfaction of fundamental rights and the access of all to the humanity’s common assets.
Public services must entail the public, democratic management of these resources. They must cede to a process of social re-appropriation, by satisfying the needs of persons by setting up a process to define these needs in the spheres in which public services operate. This concerns equally health, education, housing and transportation, as well as all the modern means of communications.
The commercialization and impoverishment of knowledge, of education and of research must stop.
∙ Education must be considered as a guaranteed fundamental right for all, contributing to real cultural development for everyone. Europe must support mixed and non-sexist public educational systems that:
∙ permit the social and cultural emancipation of all and breaks free of our society’s inegalitarian schema; the educational system must support social inclusion and avoid social selection. It must not create discrimination based on origins, on social classes, or physical abilities or gender. School-children from immigrant families, those suffering from physical handicaps or persons who suffer social exclusion must all be integrated in the regular educational system and not be separated through the existence of different educational trajectories.
∙ promote the active participation of school-children during their studies as well as respect the different learning time needed by each child to succeed.
∙ develop a critical spirit and exclude all forms of proselytizing.
∙ Education must guarantee students’, teachers’ and researchers’ complete independence in what is taught and the research they conduct, and must not be constrained by the logic of short-term utility. Research must receive sufficient public funding to carry out its tasks (the production and dissemination of knowledge, training and, via research, expertise).
Health is a right
∙ the health-care system must be public, free and available to all. It must respect the physical and psychological integrity of citizens and the health-care personnel.
∙ all medical personnel and citizens must be involved in the institutions that manage the health system. The institutions must in particular give priority to the active participation of citizens in managing the health-care system.
For a real right to housing for all everyone must be able to have access to real housing, thanks to public housing authorities that are given the financial and legal resources enabling them to promote massive policies of construction of social housing and to combat speculation in real estate and land prices.