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After the January 25th 2011 revolution, there were several new political parties that have emerged in the context of opening the public space and freedom to form political parties and diminishing previous restrictions on the process of creating parties, as this process was subject to the ruling party in terms of criteria and application. Hence, we saw the emergence of many political parties in the past four years, though few of them were effectively working, no matter what, these new parties are considered among gains of the revolution, and political parties are means to achieve policies that are more closer to its targets or not each according to its orientation and vision for the state and society and the nature of the political struggle. Thus, studying and evaluating the role of these parties in adoption of policies related to the revolution, led by the demand for social justice, seem very important, especially that all these political parties either newly established or pre-existed before the revolution conjure with sayings that are related to social justice though their differences in providing understandings and accurate description of social justice and related policies. Hence, political parties shall have to answer an important question about what is supposed to be doing to support and strengthen social justice policies and what are the most important tools that they own to make that happen.

The importance of writing policy recommendations to political parties on the subject of social justice in the current context, in that there is a coming parliamentary election that shall be followed by local elections, and these are considered as tests for these parties’ ability to translate their beliefs about social justice as a revolutionary demand that should be converted into policies and legislations through representatives of these parties in the legislative and local entities to be formed, and due to the status of severe confusion felt by many researchers and citizens about the nature of economic trends of the new regime and the extent of its support for rights of the poorest social groups and then whether it is going to approach the revolution or the former regime in economic and social policies.

We shall note as well to the frequent government talk about social justice, and there is a ministerial committee for social justice reconstituted in the first of October 2014 with certain credits and seeks to develop a plan for social and economic development, as well as coordination between ministries and sectorial departments responsible for establishing the infrastructure, or the provision of various social services[1], there is a concentration in economic and social development plan for the year 2014/2015, as well as the financial statement for the budget of 2014/2015 on social justice as a demand of the January 25th revolution, thus, multiple analysis of these data and plans and how it approached the stated biases of the government, to achieve any economic goal that requires a choice among several alternatives for implementation. And these alternatives usually differ in terms of their effects on various segments of the society in terms of the most benefited categories, those most resilient to burdens and costs of reaching the desired goal. Therefore, we can say that decisions related to implementation of various economic policies, usually reflect specific social biases, even if the ultimate goal of achieving it is agreeable from the community as a whole. This is the case, for instance, the goal of raising growth rates or reducing domestic and external debt ratios, or the provision of alternative sources of energy… etc. The last three months have witnesses since the end of June 2014 issuance of several economic laws and resolutions, some of which are directly related to the Egyptian daily life for the time being, other are regarding the trends and path of the Egyptian economy in the medium and long term, including its impact on the lives of the Egyptians in the next years[2], hence, it is useful for political parties to try to identify what these economic decisions and laws issued by the government reflect of social biases, on the ground, and particularly that the stated official discourse is aligned to the poor.

Political parties in international contexts supportive of social justice:

In some political experiences with an economic and social general trend of supporting ​​social justice in terms of targeting different indicators from the global economic system indicators in their budgets, for instance, countries of Latin America, where there were policies targeting lower inflation, unemployment and poverty rates, and not necessarily targeting the reduction of the budget deficit or to maintain high growth rates. These models have achieved economic stability and good rates of development with a just and qualitative spatial distribution of wealth what led at the end to lower poverty and unemployment rates.

Political parties in Latin America, a good target to improve economic and social rights:

Socialist parties in Latin American experiences and their ability to approve programs of transferring income for the poor in 18 countries by 2010, in addition to the ability of these programs to change conditions of 19% of the people of the region’s 600 million people, these programs contributed to “a significant reduction of extreme poverty and a significant reduction of inequality, “according to a study published by” the center of income distribution, labor and social affairs, “Studies of the National University in Buenos Aires.[3]

We shall as well benefit from the Workers’ Party’s experience in Brazil specifically that they could overcome extended struggles with coordination with labor movements, trade unions and civil society, and their two leaders Lula de Silva Dilma Vana Rousseff have made it to the presidency and they were able to read policies more closer to the concept of social justice. They managed through 10 years of government to provide a social security benefits plan that is of the largest social assistance programs in the world, known as Bolsa Familia, which included 47 million people in 2008, equivalent to almost a quarter of the population of Brazil, and was characterized with a certain level of spending that was 0.4% of the GDP, representing 1.8% of the federal government’s budget[4], the program was able to increase expenditure on health as a percentage of the GDP from 7.2% in 2002 to 9.3% in 2012, while increasing government expenditure on health as a percentage of the total expenditure on Health in the same period from 44.6% to 46.4%[5]. while these indicators declined in the case of Egypt from 6.1% spending on health as a percentage of the GDP in 2002 to 5% in 2012, as well as reducing government spending from 40.3% in 2002 to 39 % in 2012.[6]

More environment and human friendly policies experience… Green parties in Europe:

Green Parties experiences in Europe and their discourses also provides an affirmation on principles of equality and social justice, through introducing new approaches to deal with development and sustainable development concepts and linking growth to the environment and the rights of future generations[7], this is a discourse that can be benefited from and translating these concepts into policies in parliaments and localities, especially in light of the controversy over the use of new sources of energy or returning to traditional sources such as the coal. These issues can be networking on between civil society and political parties and movements and civil initiatives, at least to enhance more safe environmental requirements for workers in this industries consuming of energy sources that are more polluting to the environment, or the local community surrounding this industries.

Conclusion and recommendations:

There are good constitutional statements related to the approach of enhancing economic and social rights of citizens as a way to achieve a degree of social justice that may not achieve optimal justice at the macro level without policies and development plans that suggests innovative concepts of social justice, yet, in the Egyptian context we shall build on the constitutional articles related to the right to education and the right to health as an example of rights that certain determined ratios of spending according to the constitution[8].

  • In this context, political parties must prepare its cadres to be able to communicate with government institutions in charge of the budget and its discussion particularly certain circles in the Ministries of Planning and International Cooperation, Ministry of Finance, so that they are well-prepared to analyze biases of different governments and refute it from a social justice approach and can provide the parliamentary body with information and sufficient data for the government’s commitment to constitutional articles aforementioned, through what comes out of these ministries from economic and social development plans for different fiscal years, as well as financial data on the state budget project, so that makes it easier for parliamentary agencies of political parties to discuss these data and plans accurately and effectively and ability to detect its biases.
  • Political parties shall as well form special committees to monitor and follow up the overall policies in certain sectors (Education-Health-Housing), for instance, and compare with what policies adopted in good experiences that were able to develop these sectors with a great extent and introduce policy papers on them to the parliamentary agency of the party for its use in the policy debate. These parties can as well follow what comes out from other parties with respect to these sectors in order to network with parties close to their vision on these policies and respond to discourses that hinder approaching fair social policies with regard to these sectors, political parties should follow all released reports from international institutions concerned with education, employment, health and housing , in order to make comparisons between Egypt and countries with similar conditions that succeeded in making progress in some of the indicators associated with the justice of policies.
  • Political parties can benefit from researches and studies done by various research and study centers that have a broad interest in economic and social policies, therefore, those in charge of contacts in political parties can select a single list to deal with research centers and registering communication data of the party at these centers, so that they can benefit from what they issue of research studies and workshops and what they organize from seminars and conferences, as these events gives the greatest opportunity for parties to clarify their visions on policies and respond to opposite visions or reaching agreement points with similar or approaching visions.
  • Political parties eventually shall study referrals to the law in the new constitution regarding articles on health, education, housing, social security and progressive taxation and anti- discrimination agency, and studying laws that are regulating such sectors and agencies in the successful experiences and try to elicit good criteria to ensure these rights and to regulate existing agencies on them, hence, being able to put up strong legislations drafts and to be able to absorb the good criteria of fairness in discourses and application.

[1] موقع جريدة البديل، “«محلب» يعيد تشكيل «اللجنة الوزارية» للعدالة الاجتماعية”، موقع البديل، بتاريخ 1 أكتوبر 2014، http://is.gd/Bx66Tw HYPERLINK “http://is.gd/Bx66Tw”

[2] ياسر العنتري، الانحيازات الاجتماعية للقرارات الاقتصادية، موقع مجلة الديمقراطية، بتاريخ 29 سبتمبر 2014، http://is.gd/CEOH2G

[3] مارسيلا فالينتي/وكالة إنتر بريس سيرفس، تقرير بعنوان ” أمريكا اللاتينية تتقل موارد الدولة للفقراء “، موقع وكالة الأنباء العالمية انتر برس سيرفس، 2013، http://is.gd/KHrwHA

[4] أنظر التقرير السادس لمنظمة العمل الدولية بعنوان الضمان الاجتماعي من أجل العدالة الاجتماعية وعولمة عادلة، التقرير السادس المنبثق عن مؤتمر العمل الدولي الدورة المائة 2011، صـ48، http://is.gd/PDaLen

[5] انظر موقع منظمة الصحة العالمية، قاعدة بيانات البلدان، http://is.gd/gOwsRe

[6] يمكن مراجعة بيانا مصر على موقع منظمة الصحة العالمية، قاعدة بيانات البلدان، http://is.gd/cU10Gp

[7] انظر موقع حزب الخضر الأوروبي، المساواة والعدالة الاجتماعية، على الموقع الرسمي للحزب، http://is.gd/hRPkIf

[8] ينص دستور 2014 على التزام الدولة بتخصيص نسبة من الإنفاق الحكومي لا تقل عن 3 % من الناتج القومي الإجمالي للصحة (مادة 18) و4% للتعليم تحت الجامعي (مادة 19) و2% للتعليم الجامعي ( مادة 21) و1% للبحث العلمي (مادة 23).

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