ETF condemns direct attack on democracy in the U.S. but warns that similar assault could be on the horizon for Europe if we don’t act now

7 Jan 2021

It was in shock and horror that Europe woke up this morning to news of the direct attack on America’s democracy by a mob that stormed Washington D.C and endangered the lives of all those in the U.S. Capitol.

Since U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, the current U.S. President, Donald Trump has been spreading falsehoods and attempting to dismantle the very basis of democracy itself by contesting the votes of the American people. His utter disregard for the democratic process and hate-fuelled speech spurred extremists to rampage the U.S. capitol.

Though this blatant attack on democracy occurred on the other side of Atlantic, European leaders must not fool themselves into thinking that we are immune to such violence. Through a stronger implementation of the rule of law’s key principles, the EU must act now to deter a situation like the USA’s in the future.

Populism and right-wing extremism spreading lies, hatred, fear, racism and xenophobia are fast proliferating in Europe. The current crisis we find ourselves in and the economic crisis stemming from it will not help matters and are the perfect breeding ground for attacks on democracy.

“Trade unions and all democratic organisations must take back the reins and create a new political climate. We must show leadership and steer conversations towards how to close inequalities, invest in resourceful welfare states and achieve meaningful democracy at work,” urged ETF General Secretary, Livia Spera

“Only by prioritising these issues and proposing real solutions can we bring working people back to democratic, progressive political parties and move away from empty ideas and hate-ridden speeches propagated by the populist right-wing movement that seeks to destroy our democracy with far-right policies,” concurred ETF President, Frank Moreels.

The ETF sends support to trade unions and all those who safeguard democracy in the USA. We will continue to protect democracy in Europe, and stand against those who would seek to have it dismantled.