First of all, please let me introduce myself. I’m Brian Booth, 28 years old and for the last two years, I’ve been active as Bureau Member of Ecosy, mandated by MJS Belgium.
During these two years, I had the pleasure and honour to directly or indirectly take part in almost every Ecosy activity, getting the chance to meet with activists from all the fraternal, associate and member organisation of our common structure, during the bureau meetings, of course, but also during the many seminars and formative activities that were set up during the mandate that is about to close.
Whether held in the Kurt Löwenstein Educational Center of our Comrades from the Falken movement, in Esbjerg, thanks to the hospitality of DSU or in the European Parliament in Brussels, these events have been the occasion of many fruitful debates and conversations that fuelled the work inside the Bureau.
In a few hours from now, we will reach the climax of this work and one of the most important moments in the life of our organisation, marking the outcome of this two years of work: the definition and approval of our Position Paper.
This will mark the end of a cycle but also – which is much more important to us – the beginning of a new one. And this cycle will only tend towards one goal: winning the European elections of 2009.
Only with a clear victory of the socialist and social-democratic parties across Europe in those elections will the newly elected presidium of Ecosy be in a position to implement the political lines that we will define together this afternoon and tomorrow. Only then will we stand a chance to implement our view of what Europe should be when it comes to public services, intergenerational solidarity, employment, the struggle for social inclusion or the fight against the rise of right-wing extremism. This is the reason why I am convinced of the necessity to have a strong Ecosy for the upcoming mandate.
“United we stand, Divided we fall”. For all of us on the left of the centre, this is not just a saying. This is the straightforward expression of what makes our strength. Union in our own organisation, fighting all together on the line fixed in the position paper. But also Union with our fraternal organisations, especially in the trade union movement – ETUC Youth in this case.
Loads of battles cannot be won through political lobby alone. Recent history shows us that it is when the whole of the left get together campaigning in the streets, on the field, knocking on every doorstep to convince people of the urge to defend our positions, that the left wins the day, that it can turn the tide of social regression that conservativesand neo-liberal forces are trying to impose on us. A strong Ecosy can and must be the spearhead of such a dynamic of victory, as it has been when it came to such important issues as the Bolkestein directive, to name but one example.
Dear friends and comrades, it is in this perspective, to initiate such a dynamic of victory towards 2009 for a strong Ecosy in a strong social movement that I am putting myself at the full disposal of our common organisation, if this congress would give me the mandate to do so.
Thank you for your support and attention.