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.
Trevor Evans, EuroMemo Group / Berlin School of Economics, Centre for Law, Policy and Human Rights Studies
10 May 2013
Major industrial and financial corporations are organised internationally; at the European level there is a possibility of establishing greater democratic control over their activities; a step back towards the nation state would be a move in the wrong direction.
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.
A new Pan-European network to fight against the EU's austerity policies and support a fairer, greener, more democratic Europe has been launched in Brussels, following two days of discussion and debate at CEO's conference on the EU in Crisis.
It is clear that voices all across Europe and beyond, and from all across the political spectrum, are opposed to this treaty. Many are urging the Irish people to reject it and, if given the chance, would be campaigning for its rejection by referendum in their own countries.
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
We are punishing the innocent, the people who are supposed to pay through austerity, and we are rewarding the guilty because the banks are continuing to receive huge privileges and subsidies from our governments.
In brief video interviews, European activist scholars expose how the EU Fiscal Treaty is undermining democracy, and share their hope that the Irish referendum will open up debate on citizens' alternatives to the EU programme of 'permanent austerity'.