Conference on Austerity in Brussels, 5-6 May 2012

(17 April 2012) Corporate European Observatory and the Transnational Institute are organizing a conference, that the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU) supports. The conference on Austerity will discuss some of the impacts witnessed in recent times since the financial bubble burst and Europe became embroiled in the severest economic crisis in human memory. Fine words by politicians in 2008 about the need to clean up 'casino capitalism' and that the 'banks will pay' are now a distant memory as youth unemployment across Europe soars and the people of Greece experience shocking levels of poverty and destitution. Meanwhile, the power, access and influence of corporations – and their lobbyists – grows to unprecedented levels. In the face of such challenges, it is easy to become despondent. Yet in 2011 the Indignados followed by the Occupy movement plus wave after wave of strike action gave many hope that another Europe was possible. They reminded us that we are not powerless and that we do not lack supporters, nor organisational ability, nor concrete ideas of what progressive alternatives to the dominant neoliberal ideology would look like. But as decision-makers in Brussels become more and more heavy-handed in imposing privatisation and public service cuts across the EU, and the Austerity Treaty threatens to lock-in this model for generations to come, the need for pan-European and EU-level analysis, resistance, and alternatives has never been stronger. The conference takes the advantage of the 15th anniversary of one of the key members of ALTER-EU. A NGO coalition that EPSU is a member of. With speakers from the north, south, east and west of Europe, from trade unions, from social movements and from academia, the event will bring together key voices to share and strategise. Action planning sessions will focus on reining in the financial markets; resisting social regression; a social and ecological way out of the crisis; economic governance and corporate rule; eurozone, debt and solidarity; resistance and alternatives to EU-driven privatisation; and countering the corporate lobby. All will focus on national-level and EU-level action. Join CEO, TNI, EPSU and many others on 5-6 May 2012 in Brussels. Find out more and register online at: [www.corporateeurope.org/EU-in-crisis-conf->www.corporateeurope.org/EU-in-crisis-conf] or email: [conference2012@corporateeurope.org->mailto:conference2012@corporateeurope.org] Speakers will include: Susan George, Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, Leigh Phillips, Esther Vivas, Mariana Mortágua, Alexis Passadakis, Miren Etxezarreta, Jakub Patočka, Andy Storey, Trevor Evans Information also available in: Français, Nederlands, Deutsch, Ελληνικά, Italiano, Portuguese, Español, Danish at: [www.corporateeurope.org/EU-in-crisis-conf->www.corporateeurope.org/EU-in-crisis-conf]