Debating Europe: Progressive perspectives on solving the global economic crisis: a challenge to the upcoming EU Summit (Video)

10 December 2008
Multi-media

Civil society has developed serious alternatives and proposals for radical reforms that should be considered in this crucial debate.

The global financial system is unravelling at great speed. This is happening in the midst of a multiplicity of crises in relation to food, climate and energy. In the face of these multiple crises, governments are responding unilaterally as well as in forums such as the Washington Meeting of the G20 which took place on 15 November. Likewise, the EU Governments and Finance Ministers have initiated the development of an EU response to the financial crisis, which will be a priority on the agenda of the EU Summit which meets in Brussels on 11 and 12 December. Civil society has developed serious alternatives and proposals for radical reforms that should be considered in this crucial debate. This Forum presents key alternative perspectives on the current crises and proposals for the EU’s role in solving it.


Francois Houtart about the financial crisis
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Sue Branford and François Houtart about Colombia
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“Progressive perspectives on solving the global economic crisis:
a challenge to the upcoming EU Summit”
Organised by Transnational Institute (TNI)
DATE: Wednesday, 10 December
TIME: 14.00 – 15.30 (Public Forum) / 15:45-16:30 (Press Conference)
VENUE: Résidence Palace - International Press Centre
Pasage Room, Rue de la Loi 155 - Bloc C, 1040 Brussels, Belgium   

The global financial system is unravelling at great speed. This is happening in the midst of a multiplicity of crises in relation to food, climate and energy. In the face of these multiple crises, governments are responding unilaterally as well as in forums such as the Washington Meeting of the G20 which took place on 15 November. Likewise, the EU Governments and Finance Ministers have initiated the development of an EU response to the financial crisis, which will be a priority on the agenda of the EU Summit which meets in Brussels on 11 and 12 December.

Under the impact of the crisis, the situation of communities, ordinary citizens and fragile ecosystems are rapidly deteriorating. Meanwhile, governmental responses have mainly focused on short term stabilisation measures, calls for further liberalisation of trade and investments and a reaffirmation of the same financial institutions (especially the IMF) whose policies over so many decades have contributed to the crises. To date, governments have also largely responded by spending more than one trillion dollars bailing out private financial institutions and corporations while ignoring calls for thorough and lasting solutions to the crises.
 
As Francois Houtart stated in his address to the UN General Assembly on 30th October “The world needs alternatives and not merely regulation. It is not enough to rearrange the system; we need to transform it”. Civil society has developed serious alternatives and proposals for radical reforms that should be considered in this crucial debate. This Forum will present key alternative perspectives on the current crises and proposals for the EU’s role in solving it.

PANELISTS

Francois Houtart – Member of the UN High-level task force on the financial crisis. Founder and President of the Centre Tricontinental and Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Université Catholique de Louvain.

Sven Giegold – Economist and tax-specialist. Founding member of ATTAC Germany and member of its Working Group on Financial Markets and Tax Evasion. Founder member of the Tax Justice Network.

Sue Branford – Co-editor of The Seedling, and a journalist with extensive radio and print media experience, including with the BBC World Service and The Guardian. Co-author of the book: “The debt squads: the US, the Banks and Latin America”.

Fiona Dove – Director of Transnational Institute (TNI) since 1995. Previously, she was a Trade Union official and also Founding editor of the National Magazine of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).