The EU Fiscal Pact and the Constitutionalisation of Austerity Forever
Kenneth Haar, Andy Storey, Arjan Vliegenthart
The economic crisis has reached a new momentum with the EU heads of government signing the Fiscal Pact on 2 March. What German Chancellor Angela Merkel triumphantly called a ‘milestone in the history of the European Union’ opens up Pandora’s box. Critics warn that the new Fiscal Pact constitutes a massive assault on democracy and leads to a further deepening recession.
Signatory states will have to commit themselves to harsh and permanent fiscal discipline in order to be eligible to the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the rescue fund following up the interim European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). Exceeding the agreed debt ceiling will be subject to fines by the European Court of Justice. This clears the road for ever more cuts in social welfare spending, privatisations and labour market flexibilisation, with further wage repression, mass lay offs, and lowered living standards as likely consequences.
The redistribution of revenues from labour to capital, which has been observed in the last three decades, will be deepened. Undemocratic bodies such as the European Commission and the European Court of Justice are assigned sovereign rights and new competencies, while national parliaments find their own budgetary powers curtailed, and the European Parliament is left without a say.
In order to enter into force by 2013, the new Pact needs to be ratified by national parliaments, and Ireland by a popular referendum. Debates about the Pact’s profoundly undemocratic elements and its disastrous socio-economic impacts seem however largely absent thus far.
This Real World Economics evening is devoted to explaining the Fiscal Pact and its consequences. With Kenneth Haar (Corporate Europe Observatory), who is an expert on the Fiscal Pact; Andy Storey (University College Dublin), who will cover its socio-economic impacts and the Irish referendum; Arjan Vliegenthart (Senator of the SP), who will brief the debates of the Dutch parliament; and Kees Hudig (Real World Economics), who will inform about upcoming actions such as the blockade of the ECB in Frankfurt on May 17-19. Moderated by Angela Wigger (Real World Economics).
Date: Monday 7 May 2012, 20.00 -22.00
Location: CREA Café Amsterdam Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
Admission: students free, others € 5,-; no reservations.
Join us: https://www.facebook.com/events/285130694896641/
more information: http://www.globalinfo.nl/tag/real-world-economics