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Developments in the European Union over the past years presents the left, trade unions and progressive social movements with new challenges and has ignited a debate over alternatives and strategy. In particular, the steamrolling of the Greek left wing experiment in 2015, has put the authoritarian and neoliberal nature of current European integration on display. We urgently need a strong and clear response from the left. We need alternatives and strategy that can prevent a repetition. This has become even more urgent after the Brexit vote in June.

While such alternatives will necessarily be comprehensive, one debate requires special attention at the moment: The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro. Many laws adopted over the past years – and those in the pipeline – are linked to the EMU and the euro, and they point towards a regime for member states economic policies that would make austerity and attacks on social rights, including labour rights mandatory.

This will affect all of us in the European Union, South and North, and whether in the Eurozone or not. There is a close link between the Troika in Greece and elsewhere, and the attacks on labour laws in France, Belgium and Italy.

If the move towards imposition of right wing economic policies is to be stopped and turned around, political parties and social movements will have to work closely together in a targeted manner. But there are obstacles we need to overcome, and disagreements we need to deal with in a constructive manner.

A meeting and a forum in Copenhagen on 19-20 November was agreed at the first Plan B meeting in Paris. In Copenhagen we will explore our options, share positions, and discuss what steps needs to be taken. The main questions will be:

– Is it possible to reform the Economic and Monetary Union from inside the current EU framework, or is a rupture with the current framework necessary?
– What could be the alternatives to the eurosystem?
– Brexit changes the EU. How will the left influence the new Europe that is emerging?
– What strategic issues can the left in Europe gather around in the coming years?

The European Left realizes the need of a program, which will directly challenge the EMU and the EU and the European Research Network on Social and Economic Policy is at the forefront of this effort. EReNSEP has already processed positions for Europe in general, and proposals for Greece in particular. A first presentation will take place in Copenhagen and others will follow. The battle for the future of Europe has just begun.

More information on the conference here.

 

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Summit Agenda

Saturday 19 November 2016

12.00 Registration starts
12.45 Doors close

13.00-14.30 Opening  
(Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)
Speakers

  • Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
  • Luka Mesec, MP, Iniciativa za demokratični socializem, Slovenia
  • Zoe Konstantopoulou, Former President of the Hellenic Parliament, and Head of Course to Freedom, Greece
  • Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MEP and co-founder, Parti de Gauche, France
  • Tiny Kox, MP and Chairperson of SP senate group, Chairperson in Unified European Left Group (UEL) in PACE, Socialist Party, Netherlands
  • Audun Lysbakken, MP and Chairperson of Sosialistisk Venstreparti – Socialist Left Party, Norway

(Moderator: Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden)

14.30-16.00 Session 1
Workshop 1. The Euro: What does economic governance look like under the EMU and what are the alternatives? (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK) (Conference Room 1)

Speakers:

  • Peter Wahl, Chairperson of Weed (World Economy, Ecology & Development) and founding member of ATTAC Germany, Germany
  • Andy Storey, Lecturer, University College Dublin, Ireland
  • Cristina Asensi, Democracia Real Ya and Money Sovereignty Commission, Spain

(Moderator: Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory, Denmark) 

Workshop 1b. The euro and the debt-crisis (English only) (Conference room 2)
Speakers:

  • Eric Toussaint, Spokesperson, Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) International, Belgium
  • Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Sinistra Italiana – Italian Left, Italy

(Moderator: Malin Björk, MEP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) 

16.00-16.30 Break

16.30-18.00 Session 2
Workshop 2a. Can the euro be reformed? (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK) (Conference room 1)
Speakers:

  • Fabio De Masi, MEP, Die Linke, Germany
  • Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at the University of London and former Syriza MP, Greece
  • Jeanne Chevalier, Parti de Gauche, France
  • Catarina Martins, Coordinator, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal

(Moderator: Nikolaj Villumsen, MP, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark) 

Workshop 2b. EU, the Common Market and Social Dumping
Speakers:

  • Joanna Bronowicka, Member of National Council, RAZEM, Polen
  • Finn Sørensen, MP and Labour Rapporteur, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
  • John Douglas, General Secretary of Mandate Trade Union, Ireland

(Moderator: Hanna Gedin, National Board, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) (English only)

18.00-18.30 Closing (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)
Speakers:

  • Special guest-speaker: Filiz Kerestecioğlu, HDP, Turkey
  • Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden

(Moderator: Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark)

18.30-19.30 Reception

Sunday 20 November 2016

8.00 Registration starts

8.45 Doors closes

9.00-11.00 Session 3: Challenges in Europe and the Left’s response (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)
Speakers:

  • Special announcement on next step in PlanB:
    Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian deputy minister of economy and finance, Sinistra Italiana – Italian Left, Italy
  • Malin Björk, MEP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
  • Asbjørn Wahl, Director of Campaign for the Welfare State, Norway
  • Catarina Martins, Coordinator, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal
  • Li Andersson, MP and Chairperson of Vasemmisto, Left Alliance, Finland
  • Myriam Martin, Member of the regional council of Occitania, Ensemble!, France
  • Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP, Podemos, Spain

(Moderator: Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) 

11.00-11.30 PAUSE

11.30-13.00 Further discussions on Challenges in Europe and the Left’s response
(Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)

Kl. 13.00 Closing and brief summary
Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden