Press Release: Leading political analysts from Asia in Brussels to challenge ASEM

30 September 2010
Press release

TNI and the AEPF will call on the Heads of State and governments of ASEM member countries to pursue more just and sustainable solutions to current global crises.

To tie in with next week's Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM8) and the parallel civil society Asia Europe People’s Forum (1), global think-tank the Transnational Institute (TNI) is bringing a range of Asian academics, parliamentarians, political analysts and highly respected activists to Brussels.

"At a time of converging social, ecological and economic crises and as the balance of power shifts from Europe to Asia, both the ASEM8 and the People’s Forum offer an historic opportunity to take stock,” says TNI fellow Brid Brennan. “We need to look seriously at how we can make trade, economic and environmental policies responsive to people and not just beholden to the short-term profits of major corporations.”

TNI’s focus will be:

- how EU trade policies (focused on the EU-India FTA) are impacting people on the ground in Asia

- how civil society and social movements are responding

- how Asia is using its growing power and whether the big players are acting in the interests of the global south

- the continued rise of corporate power across both Asia and Europe and the subsequent impact on citizens

- whether the Euro-crisis has changed the way the EU governs trade and finance

- the international climate stalemate and the role of India, China and the EU.

TNI and the AEPF will call on the Heads of State and governments of ASEM member countries to pursue more just and sustainable solutions to current global crises.

Spokespeople in Europe for the week include:

Walden Bello - representative in the Philippine Congress, author of more than 14 books, and once described by the Economist as the man “who popularised a new term: deglobalisation”. A regular contributor to numerous periodicals Le Monde, Guardian, Boston Globe, Far Eastern Economic Review, and La Jornada, Walden’s expertise lies in the economic and financial crisis; WTO, alternatives to corporate globalisation and food and agriculture.

Praful Bidwai - former senior editor of The Times of India, Praful is a freelance journalist and columnist for several leading newspapers in South Asia covering all aspects of Indian politics, economy, society and international relations. He has written extensively from an Indian perspective on the UNFCCC climate negotiations.

Dorothy Guerrero - research associate for Focus on the Global South — an independent research and policy advocacy organization based in Thailand. Worked from 1990 to 1999 as research associate and coordinator of the International Programme of the Institute for Popular Democracy in the Philippines. Expertise includes developments in China, operations of International Financial Institutions, and social impacts of privatization.

For a full list of TNI spokespeople in Brussels and more information on the Forum see: http://www.tni.org/article/asia-europe-peoples-forum-2010

Contact for interviews or further information: Kathy Cumming (TNI Media) – 0031 657184159, and during the Forum – 0032 487973489

Or Nick Buxton (TNI media) - 0032 487973488

(1) http://www.tni.org/declaration/asia-europe-peoples-forum-8. The AEPF is organised by an international organising committee, of which TNI is a member. It began in 1996 in Bangkok, in parallel, and in response to the first ASEM summit. Today, it represents a growing interregional movement for economic, social, political and environmental justice, and continues to recommend alternative systems to replace failed free market ideology and practices.