The EU constitution sets all the key principles of neoliberalism in stone, effectively unchangeable – the free movement of goods, services, capital and ‘persons’ (this includes companies). That’s something that the bankers and transnational capitalists haven’t managed to get into a single national constitution outside the EU, not even the USA.

These basic rights are all about the market. It’s a far cry from ‘Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness’ or ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity’. In effect, the EU acts as a state whose constitution embodies the freedom of capital and capitalists in a way unheard of in any other.

The European Court of Justice always rules that the four rights to free movement come first. The right to strike in pursuance of what it calls social policy (jobs, pay, conditions, pensions) can never override the four basic rights.

ECJ Advocate General Poiares Maduro said on May 23, 2007, “the possibility for a company to relocate to a Member State where its operating costs will be lower is pivotal to the pursuit of effective intra Community trade.”

There’s the EU, in a nutshell: it’s a basic right for a company to move from country to country in search of lower and lower labour costs.

Will Podmore

Clavering Road, Wanstead