EU in Crisis Conference: Analysis, Resistance and Alternatives

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As the European Union faces an ever-deepening crisis over its economic policies, economists, activists and trade unionists will gather in Brussels on the 5th-6th May 2012 to call for an alternative way forward.

More than 250 people from across Europe  have registered to attend the event, jointly organised by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and the Transnational Institute (TNI) to focus on the EU in Crisis: analysis, resistance and alternatives[1].

Criticism of the EU’s approach to the current crisis has grown in recent months, as it has become evident that it will deepen the crisis, with US economist Paul Krugman describing the EU’s policies as “just insane” [2]. In Greece, citizens are trying to take the government to the International Criminal Court claiming the austerity measures being imposed are crimes against humanity [3]. The eurocrisis and the EU’s austerity push has brought down eight EU governments so far, with The Netherlands as the latest example [4].

CEO’s research and campaign coordinator Olivier Hoedeman said:

“There is growing public opposition to the undemocratic austerity policies being enforced by the European Union. Only big business lobbies are cheering about the European Commission’s rigid neoliberal stance, but these policies are causing social havoc and deepening the crisis.”

This crisis is not the result of high wages or profligate governments – it was caused by excessive speculation by the finance sector and the deep imbalances within the eurozone that unfairly weakened the economies of many countries. Now the European public is being made to pay the price.”

Speakers at the conference include:

Walden Bello – Author, political analyst and environmentalist and academic, recognised as one of the leading critics of the current model of economic globalisation.

Susan George – TNI fellow, President of the Board of TNI and honorary president of Attac France (the Association for Taxation of Financial Transactions to Aid Citizens).

Professor Trevor Evans, Professor of Monetary Economics, Berlin School of Economics.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, Deputy General Secretary, European Federation of Public Service Unions.

Dr. Andy Storey, lecturer in development studies and political economy in University College Dublin (UCD)

Sessions will also focus on the growing resistance to EU policies, including the ‘Occupy’ and  ‘Indignados’ movements, and the conference aims at contributing to building strong pan-European campaigns, for example to halt the ratification of the EU’s new Austerity Treaty [5].

Ahead of the conference Corporate Europe Observatory has invited several authors and commentators to contribute essays on some of the themes of the conference, to inspire debate and comment. Read them here.


Notes:

[1] EU in Crisis – analysis, resistance and alternatives, 5-6th May 2012, see: http://www.corporateeurope.org/eu-crisis-conference-registration

[2] Krugman, Paul, Europe’s Economic Suicide,New York Times, 16 April 2012,http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/16/opinion/krugman-europes-economic-suici…

[3] See: http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=38901&Cr=austerity&Cr1

[4]  Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands

[5] See the full programme:http://www.corporateeurope.org/eu-crisis-analysis-resistance-and-alternatives-corporate-europe