People’s Tribunal on EU Economic Governance and the Troika
15th – 16th May 2014 in Brussels
After six years of crisis and four years of new EU economic governance measures and Troika policies, it is high time to assess their devastating results. Since the economic crisis broke out in Europe, the narrative behind the policies imposed by the EU institutions has been based on fiscal consolidation and competitiveness, which in practice has meant dismantling of public services and destruction of social and labour rights.
This policy agenda has been accompanied by the creation of the Troika; a self-appointed body consisting of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund that has unprecedented powers to impose economic reforms on certain EU member states. The process has been presented as the solution to the economic crisis and the guarantee to avoid future crises, with active participation in policy-making by corporations, via undemocratic bodies and procedures. However, as demonstrated by the current state of the economy, the unprecedented high levels of unemployment and the tremendous increase in poverty in many European countries, the policies imposed from the EU on practically all European countries – next to the roll-back of democratic decision-making these involved – have been anything but effective in tackling the economic crisis.
Transnational Institute (TNI), Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and transform!, with the support of several European networks and organisations*, are organising a People's Tribunal on EU Economic Governance and the Troika on 15 and 16 May in Brussels.
The Tribunal aims to analyse and expose the EU policy measures taken in response to the crisis, by presenting the social consequences of these measures in countries all over Europe; it will mark a milestone in the resistance against the EU economic governance regime developed throughout the European crisis, which is increasingly regarded as unjust, undemocratic and a failure in terms of crisis management.
The Tribunal will bring together a dozen witnesses from different European countries in the South, West and East of Europe. In their testimonies, they will set out the social consequences of the EU’s crisis policies related to an issue specific to their own country: for example, Spanish anti-evictions campaign PAH, Greek neighbourhood solidarity initiatives, Portuguese dockworkers, German centre on precarious labour and Attac Hungary on the rise of neo-fascism.
The testimonies of the witnesses will be complemented by analyses of the broader European context in relation to the EU’s crisis policies. Jan Willem Goudriaan (EPSU) will cover the impact of EU policies on public services, Fintan Farrell (European Anti Poverty Network) will talk about the effects on poverty rates and Ronald Janssen (ETUC) will discuss the consequences for labour rights. Furthermore, the European context related to debt, democratic principles and austerity policies will be part of the debate.
A conclusion will be provided in the form of a verdict presented as a synthesis of what has been said in the presentations by the witnesses and the rapporteurs. This will be done by a judges panel which includes among others economist Miren Etxezarreta and Walter Baier from the transform! network. Marco Buti, Director-General of DG ECFIN at the European Commission, has also been invited to provide a defense (presence tbc).
This People‘s Tribunal will be a unique event, providing for the first time a Europe wide assessment of the realities of the EU austerity policies from the ground, across a broad cross section of witnesses and analysts from different countries and sectors. Live streaming will be arranged to move the discussions beyond the room in Brussels.
You are warmly invited to participate in the People’s Tribunal on EU Economic Governance and the Troika that takes place on 15 May from 14 to 18 hrs and on 16 May from 10 to 17 hrs. Please inform us whether you are coming via soltrumbovila (at) tni.org or leonie (at) corporateeurope.org.
* the European Attac Network and several of its national chapters, Stichting Weerbaarheid en Solidariteit, CADTM, Globalproject.info, European Anti Poverty Network, Alter Summit
Thursday 15 May
All participants welcome from 13 hrs, location: Rue Pletinckx 19, 1000 Brussels
14.00 - 14.30: welcome and introduction of witnesses, rapporteurs, judges
14.30 - 15.30: testimonies of witnesses
Italy Beppe Caccia, Globalproject
Slovenia Kira Cerjak, Democratic Socialism
France Nicolas Galepides, SUD PTT
15.30 - 15.50: coffee break
15.50 - 16.30: interventions of rapporteurs
Democracy Kenneth Haar, CEO
Debt Chiara Filoni, CADTM
16.30 - 17.00: conclusion / ending
Friday 16 May
Doors open from 9.30 hrs
10.00 - 10.30: welcome, round up of day before and introduction of witnesses, rapporteurs, judges
10.30 - 11.30: testimonies of witnesses
Romania Petru Sorin Dandea, Cartel ALFA
Ireland Vicky Donnelly, Debt Justice
Hungary Matyas Benyik, Attac Hungary
11.30 - 12.30: testimonies of witnesses
Greece Athina Teskou, SOSte to NERO
Germany Georg Rammer, Kinder- und Jugendhilfe Karlsruhe
Spain Ana Maria Jimenez, PAH
12.30 - 13.15: lunch break
13.15 - 14.15: testimonies of witnesses
Greece Christos Giovanopoulos, Solidarity4all
Portugal Antonio Mariano, Sindicato dos Estivadores, Trabalhadores do Tráfego e Conferentes Marítimos do Centro e Sul de Portugal
14.15 - 15.30: interventions of rapporteurs
Public services Jan Willem Goudriaan, EPSU
Labour rights Ronald Janssen, ETUC
Poverty Fintan Farrell, European Anti Poverty Network
Feminist perspective Gabriele Michalitsch, Vienna University
15.30 - 15.50: coffee break
15.50 - 16.30: interventions of judges panel
Miren Extezarreta, professor emerita Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona
Walter Baier, transform!
John Grahl, Middlesex University, EuroMemo Group
16.30 -17.00: verdict