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 to improve transparency and in support of volunteerism, life-long education and direct participation in policy-making to open our organisation to all citizens as soLiDAr has done. i do not fear for the future of social democracy. our common values of freedom, justice and soldiarity and our quest for liberation, equality and inclusion are eternal. our common values are our beacon and our guiding light. they influence our goals and our very deeds. they are the ethos of our policies and the means for our activities. they are the basis of our unity and they light our route. the theme of this years congress of the socialist international was the courage to make a difference. And i am glad that soLiDAr, over the last 60 years, has shown the courage to make a difference and i am positive that it will continue to do so in the future.

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History oF A MoveMentin 2008 soLiDAr celebrates its 60th anniversary. but the origins of this international union of welfare organisations can be traced back much further than just 60 years. in July 1928 delegates from all over the world gathered in Paris to attend an international Conference on public and private welfare. While on the one hand this conference led to the founding of iCsW, the international Council of social Welfare, which still exists today, it also became obvious that the delegates from the socialist welfare organisations had a differing view on how to organise their work both on a national and a global level. the idea of a closer collaboration between socialist organisations was born, and in 1930 German Labour Welfare (AWo) celebrated its 10th anniversary by inviting socialist welfare organisations from other countries to berlin to create the first international Labour Welfare organisation. Delegates from Austria, Germany, switzerland and Germanspeaking Czechs elected Marie Juchacz as President and a news bulletin and childrens holiday encounter were planned as its joint international activities. A meeting during the conference of socialist and Labour international in vienna in 19311 proved to be more successful with regards to participation and the planning of activities. but unfortunately no actions could be carried out as fascism rose to power shortly afterwards, and european social democracy was disbanded, prohibited and forced into exile. the socialist and Labour international ceased to operate.

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36 countries and a total of 753 delegates were present. In the International Labour Welfare Conference on July 24th participated delegates from Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Switzerland.

Amsab-isg

Austrian delegation at Entraide Ouvrire Internationale meeting, Dec 1951

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TOgeTher we are a fOrce fOr change

Solidarity, not charity

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After the end of World War ii (and the downfall of the nazi regime) social democracy soon re-emerged in europe. Many organisations were re-established, like the socialist international. the socialist international Liaison office (siLo) was set-up and in 1946 developed into the international Committee of social democratic and labour organisations, CoMisCo. And it is with CoMisCo in 1948 that the history of the organisation now known as soLiDAr started, with the establishment of a work group called entraide socialiste internationale under CoMisCos roof. Five socialist parties namely from Austria, belgium, France, Germany and switzerland - were interested in participating actively. entrAide socialiste internationales goal was strictly humanitarian; it contributed to easing the hardships endured by workers and, with this help, to strengthening the belief in international solidarity. Work at that time was mostly centred on caring for refugees and displaced persons. Coordinating colis (aid shipments) was one of the major tasks of entraide socialiste internationale. A first relief action was carried out and a Centre daccueil (reception shelter) for spanish children in France was set-up. However, the belgian socialist Party was out for more. Jan Luyten3 and Adrian Geets wanted to establish entraide socialiste internationale as an independent organisation. After a first attempt in strasbourg in 1950, which proved to be unsuccessful due to a lack of participants, they succeeded in founding entraide socialiste internationale (esi) in February 1951 and gaining approval from CoMisCo in March 1951.2

Dans le but de coordonner les actions de Solidarit le COMISCO (Comit Mondial des Partis Socialistes) dcida la cration de lEntrAide Socialiste Internationale. (...) Notre tche consiste donc appliquer en matire des secours lun de nos principes essentiels, savoir: la Solidarit et non la bienfaisance. Le Peuple. Organ du Partie Socialiste Belge, 1948 [An excerpt from The People by the Belgian Socialist Party] Jan Luyten, 1912-1975; Secretary of the Socialist Mutual Insurance Federation of Gent (Fdration des Mutualits socialistes de Gand); prisoner of war until 1941, afterwards part of the resistance; 19451975 nati...