Marica Frangakis, Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Athens
07 October 2011
Every story needs a narrative, an explanation of why things happened the way they did. In such a narrative lie the answers of how to avoid/correct similar developments in the future and how to propagate positive ones.
Despite repeated democratic rejection of the Lisbon Treaty, the European Commission pushed ahead with it via the EU Constitution via a private, technocratic and non-democratic process. Susan discussed the treaty and its implications in a workshop at the EA4 summit in Madrid, 15 May 2010.
Europe’s aggressive external market
access agenda, combined with its push internally for market reforms in the
interest of competitiveness, poses new threats to workers in the North and South and will need a transnational trade union response.
Neoliberal market capitalism has dragged the world into a crisis which threatens human civilisation. Climate destruction, resource wars, and the replacement of democracy by an oligarchy face us if we don't act now to reduce the burden we place on our planet and reorganise society on a more egalitarian basis.
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
Three years since the outbreak of the global financial crisis, the banks are back making mega-profits while the burden has clearly shifted to citizens and workers. However civil society action at European level could still make a difference in reining in the financial sector.
As Brussels bureaucrats and established political parties struggle to answer the current crisis caused by a faulty economic structure, right-wing nationalist parties have increasingly come to the fore in Europe, with Finland's recent election the last contribution to a worrying trend.
Saturday October 11 saw an extraordinary mobilization success. Over 400 actions were organized in 20 European countries to reject the secret trade deals that the EU is negotiating (TTIP, CETA and TiSA)
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.