The 3rd Conference organized by the European Research Network on Social and Economic Policy (EReNSEP) was held in Barcelona, the 16th and 17th of June, in collaboration with the University of Barcelona, SOAS of the University of London and eKona research institute. Academics, researchers, economic and political analysts and representatives from political parties and social movements from across Europe participated in this conference.
In the morning sessions, the recent research activity of EReNSEP was presented through studies focusing on the socioeconomic status of the periphery and the core countries of the EU and EMU.
Thematic discussions took place regarding the public debt of the European countries and its consequences in national sovereignty, the economic impact of a redenomination in an EMU country, the potential of European common policy strategies to reshape the existing structure and function of the EU, the recovery of the countries’ sovereignty, and the alliances and tensions that can lead to that direction.
The participants were very intrigued by the speakers’ presentations and interventions. The afternoon sessions focused mainly in political topics, where the speakers discussed about their experience and opinion on the EU crisis, and how alternative paths, international cooperation and political alliances could lead to reshaping Europe. The current Europe structure into core and peripheries was discussed, and winning elections and implementing radical policies was debated. In these sessions, political personalities, activists, elected representatives in Spanish local, national and European parliaments, and academics participated.
The discussions and interventions during the conference highlighted two major aspects towards the European prospect.
The first one deals the EU crisis as a problem that cannot be resolved with methods that have used before (see the Greek example of SYRIZA).
The existing EU and EMU structures cannot be reshaped, and countries must regain their sovereignty by achieving their national monetary and economic, independence.
The second one persists to the reform of the current shape of the EU by following strategies for the EU institutional democratization, and by implementing radical policies through election processes.
These two aspects display strong contrasts, but at the same time, they can be highly interactive.