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15 & 16 May: EU crisis policies put on trial

Location: 
Rue Pletinckx 19, Brussels
Date: 
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 14:00 to Friday, May 16, 2014 - 17:00

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. Transnational Institute (TNI), Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) and Transform!, with the support of several European networks and organisations1, 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.

The Tribunal will bring together a dozen witnesses from different European countries. 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 child poverty
  • 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
  • Ronald Janssen (ETUC) will discuss the consequences for labour rights and child poverty

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 economists Miren Etxezarreta and John Grahl, 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 to be confirmed).

The People's Tribunal on EU Economic Governance and the Troika will take place on 15 May from 14:00 to 17:00 and on 16 May from 10:00 to 17:00. Live streaming will be arranged to move the discussions beyond the room in Brussels.

Program:

Thursday 15 May
 
14.00 - 14.30: welcome and introduction of witnesses, rapporteurs, judges 
 
14.30 - 15.30: testimonies of witnesses
            Italy                               Guiseppe Caccia, Globalproject
            Slovenia                          Kira Cerjak, Iniciative for
                                                 democratic socialism (IDS)
            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
            Portugal                            António Mariano, Sindicato dos
                                                   Estivadores, Lisboa
            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

            Romania                           Petru Sorin Dandea, Cartel ALFA

            Belgium                            Mikael Franssens, CIRE
            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

To cover the costs of these actions, as well as other investigative work and outreach activities, CEO has launched a call for donations. We welcome your contributions, however big or small. Thank you for being a part of this struggle.

  • 1. The European Attac Network and several of its national chapters, Stichting Weerbaarheid en Solidariteit, CADTM, Globalproject, European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) , Alter Summit
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