One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
A useful pocket guide on how a crisis made in Wall Street was made worse by EU policies, how it has enriched the 1% to the detriment of the 99%, and outlining some possible solutions that prioritise people and the environment above corporate profits.
The fiscal treaty was voted on in a referendum in Ireland on 31st May and was approved by a margin of 60% to 40% (with a turnout of barely 50% of eligible voters). To understand the significance of the treaty and the referendum result, it is necessary to understand the origins of the Irish and European debt crises.
European political leaders and the institutions of the European Union have reacted to the Euro crisis by creating conditional debt packages, in cooperation with the IMF (International Monetary Fund). Such “aid packages” typically prescribe severe austerity measures, similar to the structural adjustment programmes applied to many troubled developing countries, especially since the 1980s. The results have rarely been a success. 2
Despite the strong and growing resistance in Greece and other European countries to the direction of EU policy responses to the crisis, the process for this new treaty has unfolded with disquieting speed: initiated in November, an agreement was already reached by end of January among the EU25. This comes at the expense of stifling democratic debate and, indeed, shortcutting the normal consultative procedures in the treaty process through legal manoeuvres.
The real news in Greece is not about riots, but of a growing number of people who have broken away from fear and decided to fight back against the austerity imposed by the 'Troika' of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
The philosophy and experience of radical movements in the 1960s and 70s are in several ways complementary to the ideas of the direct action movements of today. Hilary Wainwright examines the possibility of forging a new kind of political economy by learning from the best of both of them.
The Davos class run our major institutions, know exactly what they want, and are well organized, but they have weaknesses too. For they are wedded to an ideology that isn't working and they have virtually no ideas nor imagination to resolve this.
2011 witnessed the implementation of some of the most comprehensive undemocratic structural changes in the EU since the Lisbon Treaty. Alternative proposals for a progressive exit from the euro crisis are laid out here.
Susan George, Fiona Dove, Yiorgos Vassalos, Dominique Plihon, Kenneth Haar
02 November 2011
In a podcast debate, four activist researchers debate why the European Union is wedlocked to economic policies that will only worsen the crisis and further undermine democratic control of public budget.