In light of the unprecedented crisis brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the profound economic, social, and political challenges now facing our societies, we put forward the following

DECLARATION OF REGIONAL SOLIDARITY

For the majority of people in the countries that formerly comprised the territories of Yugoslavia, the last thirty years have been marked by nationalist disputes, widespread suffering, impoverishment, the privatization of public and social goods, and austerity measures, as well as an ongoing pattern of conflicts and competition. The introduction of capitalist relations in this region have brought about deindustrialization, deepening class inequalities, emigration and population decline. Neoliberal policies have targeted and decimated public health infrastructures and capacity, leading to high costs for individuals, increased mortality rates, and the mass emigration of healthcare workers.

Although it has been over thirty years since we belonged to one country, our societies continue to share many common social and economic challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic and resultant containment measures have only exacerbated and intensified these preexisting problems. The pandemic will certainly come to an end, yet our societies will not be the same. The global economic depression which we face thus presents us with two choices: either we passively observe the continued decline in living standards and working conditions, and the dependence on local tycoons and transnational capital interested solely in their own profits; or we stand up and fight for the basic needs of the majority of  population to be met. Such a struggle is only possible through collective effort and regional solidarity.  

The model of regional solidarity which we propose is based on:

  • social justice and equality
  • gender and sexual equality
  • national and ethnic equality
  • the preservation of the environment and its resources
  • antifascism
  • mutual collaboration and peace-building
  • empathy and mutual aid

Guided by these principles, we, the undersigned to this Declaration, commit ourselves to actively fighting, within our respective societies as well as regionally,

against

  • the destruction and neglect of public and common goods, and the continued contravention of the general public interest
  • the privatization, marginalization and commodification of health, education, and scientific research
  • the auctioning of natural resources, strategic infrastructures, the energy sector, urban public space, and agricultural lands
  • debt bondage, for our countries as well as their populations
  • incitements of conflicts, interethnic hatred, and other threats to good neighborly relations
  • militarization and the proliferation of arms 
  • discrimination on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity or religion
  • xenophobia towards migrants and refugees
  • historical revisionism and the public rehabilitation of defeated fascist and Nazi forces and their collaborators
  • the relativiziation, minimization, and glorification of mass crimes committed against civilian populations.

In addition to actively resisting the above mentioned, we commit ourselves to fighting

for

  • mutual aid in contexts of economic crisis, natural disaster or other emergencies which threaten our populations
  • the revitalization and development of public health as a collective priority, which guarantees that every individual, regardless of citizenship, has unfettered access to free, high quality healthcare
  • the restoration of publically owned economic and industrial resources which are essential for social progress and survival, ranging from agricultural, pharmaceutical, and medical capacities, to mining, construction, shipbuilding and digital technologies
  • the protection of natural resources and the environment, and investment in publically owned, renewable energy infrastructure
  • the renewal and improvement of regional transport infrastructures
  • intensive academic collaboration in the development of university programs and scientific research projects, through the pooling of resources and staff exchanges
  • labor regulations and working conditions which protect the interests of workers rather than profits
  • social, economic and political democratization through models based on participation and collective decision-making
  • legal regularization of collective ownership and the development of self-managing cooperatives
  • freedom to move, live, study and work without restriction within the region
  • regional cooperation on questions related to refugees, migrants, asylum and settlement
  • the support of all official and informal initiatives which forment connection, collaboration, peace, and mutual respect amongst the peoples and nations of the former Yugoslav territories, as well as their neighboring countries.

Initiators of the Declaration of Regional Solidarity
Socialdemocratic union, Serbia (Socijaldemokratska unija, Srbija)
The Left, Slovenia (Levica, Slovenija)
Worker’s Front, Croatia (Radnička fronta, Hrvatska)
The New Left, Croatia (Nova ljevica, Hrvatska)