SOLIDAR: History of a Movement

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SOLIDAR is a European network of 47 NGOs and labour movement organisations working to advance social justice in Europe and worldwide. This book traces the first 60 years of the organisation, formally known as International Workers' Aid, its history and movement. Published by SOLIDAR October 2008www.SOLIDAR.ORGAuthor: Katharina LugerResponsible Editor: Conny ReuterGraphic Design: www.livquackels.be

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Graphic Design : www.livquackels.be Printed on Recycled Paper Author : Katharina Luger Responsible Editor : Conny Reuter SOLIDAR is a European network of 47 NGOs and labour movement organisations working towards all people living in dignity. SOLIDAR promotes equality, solidarity and social justice in the areas of social affairs, international cooperation and education. Published by SOLIDAR October 2008 www.SOLIDAR.ORGTOgeTher we are a fOrce fOr change

AbbreviAtionsAFL-CIO CLONG CONCORD ECHO ECOSOC ETUC EESC EUCIS-LLL EURODAD ICFTU ILO INGO ITUC TUAC UNESCO UNHCR WCL WTO American Federation of Labor and Congress of industrial organizations european Commission Development nGos Liaison Committee european nGo Confederation for relief and Development european Commissions Humanitarian Aid office economic and social Council of the United nations european trade Union Conference european economic and social Committee european Civil society Platform on Lifelong Learning european network on Debt and Development international Confederation of Free trade Unions international Labour organization international non-Governmental organisation international trade Union Confederation (merger of iCFtU and WCL) trade Union Advisory Committee United nations educational, scientific and Cultural organisation United nations High Commissioner for refugees World Confederation of Labour World trade organisation

TOgeTher we are a fOrce fOr change

ContentsForEword ................................................................................................................. 6 Josef Weidenholzer, President of soLiDAr............................................................... 6 George A. Papandreou, President of socialist international ...................................... 7 history oF a movEmEnt........................................................................................... 8 solidarity, not charity ............................................................................................... 9 spotlight on: belgian socialist Aid - entraide socialiste belge .................. 10 Urge them to affiliate............................................................................................. 12 spotlight on: norwegian Peoples Aid - norske Folkehjelp ........................ 14 the times they are a-changing........................................................................... 15 spotlight on: swiss Labour Assistance schweizerisches Arbeiterhilfswerk oeuvre suisse de lentraide ouvrire .... 16 A basic set of principles ........................................................................................ 18 spotlight on: German Workers Welfare - Arbeiterwohlfahrt ...................... 18 spotlight on: solidaridad Democrtica solidarit Dmocratique espagnole........................................................................... 20 A new world order................................................................................................. 22 spotlight on: sAint - samaritans international ........................................ 23 the new name spells the programme ................................................................... 24 spotlight on: international Federation of Workers education Associations - iFWeA .............................................................................. 25 Participating actively in society ............................................................................. 26 spotlight on: La Ligue de lenseignement et de leducation Permanente .. 27 spotlight on: the Global network............................................................. 30 spotlight on: the baltic Platform ............................................................. 31 spotlight on: Austrian Peoples Aid sterreichische volkshilfe ............... 33 Lavenir est un long pass - Conny reuter, secretary General of soLiDAr .......... 34 Contributions ......................................................................................................... 36 Willy brandt , former President of socialist international ...................................... 36 Juan somavia, Director-General of international Labour organization .................... 38 Guy ryder, General secretary of international trade Union Confederation .............. 42 ralph Coeckelberghs, former secretary General of solidarit socialiste FCD ......... 45 annExEs ............................................................................................................... 48 soLiDAr Member organisations in 2008.............................................................. 48 soLiDAr Presidents and board Members since 1995 ............................................ 50 soLiDAr structure in 2008 ................................................................................... 52

ForeWorDJosef Weidenholzer, President of SOLIDARover the course of the last years soLiDAr has been growing very quickly, new challenges have had to be met and the expectations of the various stakeholders involved have been almost insatiable. the speed is fast and there has been no time for rest. From the moment when we moved the centre of activities to brussels in 1995, our record is full of remarkable achievements and we became one of the major forces of civil society on european level. in joint collaboration with our allies in the community of social nGos and our friends in the socialist family and the progressive movement, we have been able to significantly influence the agenda of european politics, including: the fight for a Charter of Fundamental rights, the fight against the complete liberalisation of services and for more public influence in the field of services of general interest, the fight against poverty and for human rights at all levels. in the framework of an alliance with the international and european trade unions, the Global Progressive Forum and World solidarity Movement, we were able to launch a worldwide campaign on Decent Work and Decent Life which has developed its strength as a campaign working on issues affecting both the north and south, such as working poor. We have also been able to leave a mark in the debate on the framework of international trade emphasising the necessity of Core Labour standards and social protection. soLiDArs uniqueness is its global approach: the fight against poverty and for human rights. it cannot be confined to a respective nation state or Fortress europe. securing a high degree of social protection and high quality of social service provision is one of our core aims. We would not be satisfied if these achievements would only apply to the developed world. Without the goal of changing the conduct of international cooperation, the endeavours for a better quality of social welfare in europe would be incomplete. We stand in the tradition of education populaire and the workers educational movement and our campaigns are efforts of applied enlightenment. soLiDAr is deeply committed to the vision of social europe and convinced that this cannot be brought about without involving people throughout europe. We could make vital steps towards the direction of transforming the european Union into a social Union. We are aware that the arrival point of our rally is far away and our struggle will require additional exertion. the past six decades has proven our capability to change things and to adjust to new challenges. our history makes us confident that we will meet the requisites of the future contest that we have to determine. Anniversaries are furthermore rare chances of expressing thanks and gratitude to those people who have led the organisation through the meanders of history. We deeply appreciate their contribution. We also know that progress can only be achieved if one can rely on cooperation and sympathy. With deep indebtedness, we convey our gratitude to our supporters, companions and comrades. We hope that they will continue in their support. For 60 years soLiDAr and iWA have been standing at the forefront of social improvements; uniting people for solidarity, equality and social justice. the history of our movement is not at an end, but merely at the beginning: together we are a force for change!

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TOgeTher we are a fOrce fOr change

George A. Papandreou, President of Socialist Internationalthe future of social democracy has yet to be written but we can already look back on a successful past. A past that has seen the re-establishment of social democracy and the labour movement from the ashes of the second World War, with the socialist international today being stronger than ever before. A past that had socialist international recognise the need for joint humanitarian action and therefore in 1948 set up entraide socialiste which under the name of soLiDAr celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. And a past that had both socialist international and soLiDAr evolve into worldwide promoters of democratic change and social progress. the world has evolved too in the last 60 years. While europe reached stability with the fall of the dictatorships in spain, Portugal and Greece in the mid-1970s, other parts of the world still struggle for democracy. A new global economy puts profit over people and in many countries the welfare state is deteriorating. economic change has also brought about a new category of refugees, while climate change and diminishing natural resources may lead to new areas of conflict. in view of these challenging conditions, some argue that social democracy is outdated and that its concepts and strategies not fit for the 21st century. i, however, do not fear for the future of social democracy. We have found new ways of including hitherto marginalised groups into our organisations and into our work. in recent years, we have launched a series of far-reaching reforms such as the creation of decentralised networks, deliberative forums, mechanisms