15th and 16th May in Brussels

People's Tribunal on EU economic governance and Troika

A public discussion about four years of neoliberal management of crisis, organized by TNI, CEO and transform!

13 / 5 / 2014

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

PROGRAM

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

Discussion/questions

15.30 - 15.50: coffee break

15.50 - 16.30: interventions of rapporteurs

Democracy                                                    Kenneth Haar, CEO

Debt                                                               Chiara Filoni, CADTM

            Discussion/questions

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

            Discussion/questions

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

            Discussion/questions

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

Belgium                                                             tbc

            Discussion/questions

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

            Discussion/questions

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

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