'Europe must become a democratic political project—which it is not at all today—one that coordinates all economic policies, including monetary policy. Economic policies must break with the logic of neoliberalism and help promote a new development model, non-productivist, freed from the stranglehold of finance, and grounded in the respect of that which is held in common and the central role of public policy and services. In order to find a way out of the crisis we should fight for a social, ecological, and feminist transition.'
‘Europe is plunging deeper and deeper into crisis. Its governments are continuing with their failed austerity policies in spite of the ever-increasing struggles of the peoples of Europe in defence of the social and economic gains that they have made over many decades. The economic crisis has increasingly become a social and political crisis as
Since 2008, the austerity measures have deepened the crisis. The ETUC is deeply concerned at the dramatic rise in unemployment in Europe, and the increasing inequality and poverty which undermines the European Social Model. Meeting at the Executive Committee, on 5-6 June, Europe’s trade union leaders adopted the Social Compact for Europe and called on
The Executive Committee of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) called for a Day of Action and Solidarity, across Europe on 14 November in order to mobilise the European trade union movement behind the ETUC policies set out in the ‘Social compact for Europe’.
'The 400 participants of the Action Conference from February 24th to 26th in Frankfurt/ Main, Germany, have decided to call for days of protest from May 17th to 19th against the crisis dictatorship of the European Union. We resist the disaster that is applied to Greece and other countries, against the impoverishment and denial of rights of millions of people and the practical abolition of democratic procedures resulting from the decisions of the Troika consisting of ECB, EU and IMF.'
'2011 was an action-packed year. Inspired by the rise-ups in North Africa, hundreds of thousands of people around the world demonstrated against the global Capitalist crisis. In Greece one general strike took place after another; in Israel massive demonstrations against the rising cost of living filled the streets; in Spain tens of thousands of people camped in the central plazas; in the USA, Occupy Wall Street bolstered a worldwide movement; finally enthusiasm for taking to the streets reached Putin’s Russia as well as Nigeria. Germany, on the other hand, has remained relatively quiet. It’s high time to end this complacence and to send a signal of solidarity with this worldwide resistance, a signal against the Troika and their masters in Frankfurt and Berlin. For this reason, 250 activists, from various networks throughout Germany, met in Frankfurt on January 22. These activists arranged a European Action Conference, to take place in an eventful spring of 2012.'
The regeneration Europe group proposes an aspirational grammar for a new European generation which breaks through the dominant language of economic rationality to construct a Europe based on trust, shared aspirations, and a revived idea of the European public.
The Spinelli Group's forum in March will be considering the propsects for a federal Europe as a solution to a fragmented union still divided along national lines in crucial policy areas.
Alain Badiou assails the attack on Greek society that comes in the guise of 'rescue packages' and argues that the future of European democracy rests on saving Greece from the neo-liberal, anti-democratic experiment imposed by EU institutions. He calls for an urgent multiplication of efforts and initiatives by intellectuals and artists on behalf of Greece.
Coinciding with the day of the Spring European Council, the Permanent Forum of Civil Society will hold a dialogue and consultation with other initiatives in Brussels to discuss a revision of the Lisbon Treaty.
Corporate Europe Observatory and the Transnational Institute organise a panel to discuss the new budget treaty that will give Brussels further powers to intervene in economic and social policies in EU member states.
A two-day conference in Brussels is being organised by Corporate Europe Observatory to discuss the role of big business and finance capital in the European crisis and to strengthen the progressive response to the crisis.
European Trade Union Institute conference supported by the Socialists & Democrats and the Greens to discuss causes of and prospective solutions for the European crisis.
Germans have expressed solidarity with Greece by organising protests across the country – including at the Greek embassy in Berlin and outside the Berlin Film Festival.
Call for solidarity with the people of Greece endorsed by the Coalition of Resistance and the People's Charter. The call, a response to the Common Appeal drafted by Mikis Theodorakis and Manolis Glezos, criticises the EU policy response to the crisis in Greece, arguing that austerity measures protect the rich at the expense of the poor.
Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks calls for European religious leaders to come together to help save the euro and the European Union by reasserting the role of morals and religion in shaping shared social values and overturning the dominance of the markets.
The European Common Goods campaign proposes a radical reorganisation of labour production based around the notion of Common Goods as the basis of a new socio-economic order.
Mikis Theodorakis and Manolis Glezos decry the anti-political dominance of the markets, which, unchecked, have already demolished Greek democracy and threaten the rest of Europe. They call for coordinated action by intellectuals, artists, activists and other public figures to resist unbridled economic globalisation. Amongst their demands is an immediate halt to austerity and privatisation, debt restructuring, and radical treaty reform in the EU.
Six European newspapers organised a joint series to explore the European Union - it's strengths and its weaknesses - with more nuance. The aim was to surpass national divisions in the news media - while not ignoring the different perceptions that seem to divide Europe along national lines.
The We Are More campaign emphasises the importance of public arts funding for maintaining a conception of public life that goes beyond production and consumption and includes creativity, innovation, and diversity.
The Manifesto of the Apalled Economists, launched initially by a group of French economists, sets out to contest the economic terms in which policy resonses to the crisis is being justified. By stating and debunking 10 premises and providing several proposals for each, the group hopes to move the debate beyond its current orthodoxy.
The European Charter of the Commons Campaign proposes a European Citizen's Initiative which conceives of public rights in terms of the commons. The goal of this reconception is to move away from existing economic dichotomies which have blocked debate about how to distribute tangible and intangible resources.
The Minimum Income, Common Goods and Democracy forum was held in an occupied theatre in Rome and set out to begin articulating an alternative vision of Europe based around an idea of the commons. The agenda is closely tied to the Commons Sense campaign, but includes a wide network of organisers and participants including newspapers, academics, NGOs, and even the Municipality of Naples.
The European ATTAC (Association for the Taxation of Financial Transactions for the Aid of Citizens) network gathered in Freiburg to discuss alternatives to the financial crisis. Their demands included a financial transactions tax to fund public services, public regulation of financial institutions, debt cancellation, and an end to austerity.
Ulrich Beck warns against the dangers of saving the Euro along the lines of German euro-nationalism. Instead, he suggests a revived European democracy 'from below' which encourages civic activity across a political and cultural community.
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI), as introduced by the Lisbon Treaty, allows citizens to request new EU legislation once a million signatures from a significant number of member states have been collected asking the European Commission to do so. First initiatives can be registered on 1 April 2012.
Donatella della Porta and Fabrizio Bernardi at the European Union Institute organised a roundtable in November to discuss the protests. A video of the discussion can be found here.
On the occasion of a lecture given at the European Union Institute by EU President Herman van Rompuy, a political collective of PhD researchers posted a list of greivances to the door of the church in which he was talking. The accompanying statement reaffirms the founding values of the European Union and argues that they must be reasserted to maintain the dignity of Europeans against EU policy and the power of the markets.
Statement of indignation written by a number of Italian student activists which not only expresses anger at European governments’ ‘dogma of the balanced budget’ who have failed in their basic democratic role to care for citizens and have instead become the harbingers of cuts, privatization, and job insecurity. It engages in a number of specifically
A manifesto by a Spanish collective of economists – academics, researchers, students, journalists – declaring an economy of everyone for everyone. Apart from the manifesto, they are working on creating a wiki of heterodox economics. They are generally friendly with the 15M movement. Signed by 834 people, mostly Spanish, many academics and economists.
A large group of economists sign on to support a tax on financial transactions, which, even at low rates, could tame the profligacy of global financial speculation and raise billions of dollars to fund public goods.
The manifesto of the Spinelli Group aims to push the process of European integration further at a time when the crisis threatens to shake it apart. The premise is that challenges like climate change, resource exhaustian and financial regulation cannot be dealt with at a national level and instead require a post-national and federal Europe.
Avanti Europe, rather than taking aim at specific issues, hopes to provide an active space for debate about the future of Europe. Its existance is a recognition of the profound problems Europe is confronting, and Avanti would like to find solutions which are neither populist or nationalistic but which take Europe forward as a set of institutions with new priorities.
A group of academics call on other intellectuals to challenge the terms of the debate about Europe's future and lead an effort to devise solutions free from the shackles of a stultified debate.
The EuroMemo Group's annual report, Euromemorandum, this year criticises EU policies that have led to the crisis and lays out a set of policy proposals that promote more integrated - but more progressive - European economic policies. The focus is on strengthening democracy and social justice by reforming trade policy, rejecting austerity, protecting labour rights, and proposing alternative models for growth.
Another Road for Europe lays out positive proposals for Europe to emerge from its crisis based on reformed values of social justice, environmental responsibility, democracy and peace. The appeal aims to articulate a program around which coordinated action can be organised across Europe.