19th Conference on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe
from 20-22 September 2013, organised by the EuroMemo Group, in London at School of Oriental and African Studies
The deepening divisions in Europe and the need for a radical alternative to EU policies
The EuroMemo Group conference 2013 was held in London at the School of Oriental and African Studies from 20-22 September 2013. The programme was as follows:
Friday afternoon: The state of the Union
- Klaus Dräger (GUE-NGL, Brussels): The political state of the Union
- Engelbert Stockhammer (Kingston University): The economic state of the Union
- Marcella Corsi (Sapienza University of Rome): Economic crisis and gender equality in Europe (summary)
Saturday morning: Workshops
Saturday afternoon: Plenary on policy proposals from workshops and special plenary on the impact of the crisis and the way forward
- Dany Lang (University of Paris 13 & Appalled Economists): Les économistes atterrés - Que faire de l'Europe? (What to do about Europe?)
- Marica Frangakis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute): Greece: The futility of austerity
- Jože Mencinger (University of Ljubljana): Central and Eastern European Countries between the Collapse of Socialism and the Crisis of Capitalism
- Mario Pianta (University of Urbino): Italy: The political economy of decline
Sunday morning: Planning meeting: EuroMemorandum 2014 and other activities
The second day was dedicated to key themes of EU policy within five different workshops:
- Economic and financial policy: The official policy focus on fiscal discipline and austerity has driven the European economy into a renewed recession, with widening economic and social divisions both within and between member states. This workshop will focus on the macroeconomic and financial policies necessary to promote full employment with good jobs and an end to the hardship and social differentiation that has been rising in many parts of Europe.
- Governance and democracy in the EU: This workshop will examine critically the recent changes in EU governance towards a ‘surveillance union’: the Fiscal Compact, the six-pack of legislation and the associated ‘scorecard’, the proposed two-pack and the bailout conditions imposed by the troika. It will also ask whether governance changes are possible to promote an effective and solidaristic alternative to austerity - what moves towards federalism could be economically feasible and politically legitimate?
- Tax policy, poverty & inequality: Economic and social deprivation is rising in Europe. As major corporations shelter their profits from taxes, public spending on economic and social programmes is subjected to renewed restrictions. Contributions to the workshop are particularly encouraged on the role of tax policy, including combating tax avoidance and promoting a more progressive system of corporate and personal taxation.
- Industrial policy and social-ecological transformation: The European single market, the common currency, and now austerity policies have all contributed to a deepening process of deindustrialisation in many parts of Southern and Eastern Europe. This workshop will focus on the need for the development of industrial policies that promote good jobs in socially and ecologically desirable investment projects in every part of Europe.
- The EU-US free trade agreement and EU external relations: The EU’s mercantilist approach to trade policy has contributed to the paralysis at the WTO and a shift to bilateral negotiations. Contributions on the proposed EU-US trade agreement, and its implications for employment, social cohesion and the environment, both in Europe and in other parts of the world, are especially encouraged.
The list of presentations scheduled for the workshops can be found here.
Papers for the conference are uploaded here.