Both the state and the municipalities play an important role in
the development of the welfare state. Increasingly, public services
have been transferred to the municipalities. At the same time, the
municipalities constitute the core element of democratic
governance. This combination of popular governance and public
welfare represent a unique possibility to create a public
administration and a society which can secure economic and social
security for all inhabitants, wherever they live.
Over the last years, however, we have experienced that
neoliberal politics have gained ground nationally as well as
internationally. Through deregulation, privatisation and
competitive tendering, public services, democratic governance and
control are being weakened. Internationally, financial speculation
has made national economies tremble. Market forces have gained
ground at the expense of public governance. This has caused the
development of increased inequalities in society, attacks on
welfare and public services and ruthless exploitation of resources
and the environment.
We therefore face a decisive struggle for public services and
the democratic governance of our society. The struggle is all about
protecting a strong public sector and creating a society which take
the environmental challenges seriously. We experience a
redistribution of wealth from public to private, and public budgets
are being put under increased pressure. The struggle is about what
kind of society we are going to build in the future. The struggle
against privatisation and competitive tendering is a defense for
the welfare state, for a just and equal distribution. The public
sector is our most important instrument for the distribution of
wealth and its role is decisive if Norway is going to continue to
be one of the best welfare societies to live in.
Our aim is a society of full employment, equality and a social
security system which encompasses everybody. The public sector
should have the responsibility that everybody gets his rights, in
health and care, education and nursery school, independent of place
of residence and economy. Through comprehensive public services, a
sufficient fine-meshed social safety net should be established to
safeguard everybody who, of different reasons and in different
periods of life, is unable to take part inn wage labour. These
should be services adapted to the users, which creates security in
daily life and which can develop in step with changing demands of
The public pension scheme must be maintained as an important
fundament of the welfare state – at a level sufficiently high so
that those out of work can lead a satisfactory life without having
to turn to individual pension schemes.
- We support the restructuring of the public sector, based on
security for and motivation of the employees, while making use of
their experience, their creativity and their knowledge of the needs
of the users.
- We stand up for the principles of the welfare state, while
rejecting a return to means testing and the undermining of acquired
rights. We will therefore fight against the development of
inequality and rising poverty in society.
- We support the democratically elected management of public
resources, while fighting decisions transferring important public
assignments to the market forces.
- We reject the current globalisation of the economy which is
based on liberalisation, deregulation and free flow of capital. We
demand action against financial speculation and restraints on the
enormous power of transnational corporations.
- We support the struggle for a just distribution of the
resources of the world.
- We oppose the trend of turning public sector monopolies into
private sector monopolies with the assistance of transnational
- We reject the policy of tenders for public services, which is
also used to undermine the wages and working conditions of
- We demand adequate funding of public services. It is
unacceptable that, in a society which is wealthier than ever
before, private riches and public poverty are increasing
In order to strengthen this struggle, the undersigned
organisations are establishing the organisation «For the welfare
state». The aim of this alliance is to further develop the
co-operation between our organisations, to widen it and to
strengthen the struggle against privatisation, deregulation and
market liberalism – for a strong public sector.