Addressing Europe’s Multiple Crises: An agenda for economic transformation, solidarity and democracy
Presentation of the EuroMemorandum 2016
Organizers: ÖFSE, BEIGEWUM, in cooperation with Wirtschaftspolitischen Akademie
20 April 2016, 18.00 Uhr, C3-Centrum für Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3
- Context and Motivation
The continuing low growth rate environment in many EU countries, stagnation in others and even recession in some, have led not only to a general slow-down, but also to deepening divisions within the EU, both between member states and between regions. Such divergences are reflected in the basic economic and social indicators of the area, as well as in the democratic process on the political level, as certain countries acquire a hegemonic role in the shaping of EU policy, while particular group interests, notably those of financial capital, become dominant across the EU as a whole. The experiences in countries like Greece or Portugal amply revealed the connecting links between politics and economics in the EU, i.e. the power imbalance between the ruling elites and society at large.
Furthermore, it raises serious issues of constitutionalism: namely, the tendency of the EU institutions to restrict the area of democratic decision making by democratically elected governments, focusing instead on technocratic rules imposed by undemocratic decision bodies. In our debate we will address this anti-democratic bias by discussing the case of Portugal and highlight some policy areas like trade, genderand fiscal policies.
In this sense, a discussion of alternative proposals to the current EU economic and social policy needs to take into account the underlying political process and the squeezing out of democracy. The EuroMemorandum 2016 critically analyses recent economic developments in Europe and emphasises the strong need for an alternative economic policy that is based on the principles of democratic participation, social justice and environmental sustainability.
Moderation: Romana Brait (BEIGEWUM)
18.00 – 18.10: Welcome Address
18.10 – 18.20: Presentation of the EuroMemorandum 2016 (John Grahl, EuroMemo Group)
18.20 – 19.15: Roundtable Discussion “The crisis of democracy in the EU: implications and possible remedies”, with:
- Luís Lopes, University of Coimbra, Portugal
- Werner Raza, ÖFSE and EuroMemo Group
- Stefanie Wöhl (FH des bfi Wien)
19.15 – 20.00: General discussion
The EuroMemorandum 2016 can be downloaded here