Abstract

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The need to effectively tackle global warming puts under pressure the existing industrial relations models in Europe. A new logic of sustainability needs to be incorporated into the social contracts in order to (re)build harmonious labour relations. A viable world of labour requires a new sustainability paradigm, which encompasses all three of its dimensions: economic, social and environmental.

Achieving economic sustainability (within the planetary boundaries) has become more challenging. Actual economic growth has come at a critically high cost in terms of inequality of opportunities and outcomes, planetary resources, biodiversity and environmental degradation, thus undermining both social and environmental sustainability. Social sustainability is also likely to come under increasing pressure from the impending fourth industrial revolution. In turn, widening inequality and climate change are forcing us to question the way we measure prosperity and wellbeing.

The magnitude of the required paradigm shift to ensure economic, social and environmental sustainability implies large-scale economic and societal change and serious deliberation. All workers need to be actively involved in a just transition and nobody should be left behind. Massive societal coalitions will have to be built for a shared vision to emerge and for the just transition, with fairly distributed costs, to be supported. But this is also an opportunity to redefine what we consider to be our societal goals and how they relate to the current focus on (green) growth.

The next ETUI-ETUC conference will pursue different lines of inquiry and discussion, seeking to understand not only the challenges before us but also to identify what we can do today and tomorrow in order to establish a new social, economic and environmental contract. What targets or objectives should be set, and how might they be reached? How can we create a sustainable European growth model? How can we reverse the trend towards growing inequalities? What kind of Green New Deal is a realistic and feasible prospect for Europe? What elements of justice, solidarity and equity constitute a fair and sustainable social foundation? What are the roles of the market, the state, industry and civil society? And what role can trade unions play to build a sustainable future that addresses all of these dimensions? 

Confirmed speakers include Mariana Mazzucato, Nicolas Schmit, Philippe Lamberts, Hans Bruyninckx, Maria João Rodrigues, Luca Visentini, Ann Pettifor, Markus J. Beyrer and Sharan Burrow.

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PROGRAMME

(regularly updated)

Wednesday 3 February 2021

  • 13:00-14:00 - Registration participants

14:00-16:00 - Plenary A: The need for a new economic, social and environmental sustainability paradigm 

Welcome speech by: Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

Chair: Philippe Pochet, General Director, European Trade Union Institute

Opening speech by Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

-          Laurent Berger, President, European Trade Union Confederation

-          Philippe Lamberts, MEP, The Greens/European Free Alliance, European Parliament

-          Hans Bruyninckx, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency

-          Maria João Rodrigues, President of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS)

  • 16:00-16:30 - Networking tea break
  • 16:30-18:00 - Plenary B: Rethinking value and capitalism 

Keynote speaker: Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value at University College London (UCL), and Founder/Director of UCL's Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose

Panel with national trade union leaders

-          Reiner Hoffmann, chair of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB)

-          Inga Ruginienė, President of the Lithuanian Trade Union Confederation

-          Josef Středula, President of ČMKOS Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions

-          Pepe Álvarez, General Secretary of the General Workers Union (UGT) TBC

-          Miranda Ulens, General Secretary of the General Labour Federation of Belgium (FGTB/ABVV)

  • 18:15-19:30 - Networking cocktail

 

Thursday 4 February 2021

  • 09:00-10:30 - Plenary C: How to achieve social and environmental sustainability 

This plenary should look into the social dimension of climate change policies. What policies can contribute to transitioning to a climate-neutral economy while at the same time ensuring a just transition that leaves nobody behind. Ho do we achieve a fair ‘burden sharing’ across all dimensions, from climate and environmental justice, to managing job transitions and re-skilling, to job quality and equality in a zero-carbon world? How do we make sure that all workers are equally prepared to operate in a more sustainable economy? 

Chair: Per Hilmersson, Deputy General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

Speech by Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

-          Marie-Hélène Ska, General secretary of the Belgian Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (CSC/ACV)

-          Luc Triangle, General Secretary, IndustriAll

-          Ian Gough, LSE

-          Dominique Méda, Université Paris Dauphine

-          Nikolaj Villumsen, Vice-Chair of the Group of the European United Left in the European Parliament

  • 10:30-11:00 - Networking coffee break
  • 11:00-12:30 
    • Panel 1 
    • Panel 2
    • Panel 3
    • Panel 4
    • Panel 5
  • 12:30-13:30 - Networking lunch break
  • 13:30-15:00 - Plenary D: How to make the economic model fit the planetary boundaries 

This plenary should look into the economic sustainability of climate change policies. What economic targets or objectives should be set, and how might they be reached? How can we create a sustainable European growth model? How can we reverse the trend towards growing inequalities? What kind of Green New Deal is a realistic and feasible prospect for Europe?  What are possible alternative economic models? Do we need a new economic thinking which incorporates analyses of climate change, population growth, and resource depletion into its realm? 

Chair: Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

-          Grace Blakeley, research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research

-          Ann Pettifor, Director, Policy Research in Macroeconomics

-          Aurore Lalucq, MEP Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament

-          Tim Jackson, Director of the Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity (CUSP)

  • 15:00-15:30 - Networking tea break
  • 15:30-17:00
    • Panel 6
    • Panel 7
    • Panel 8
    • Panel 9
    • Panel 10
  • 17:00-17:30 - Networking tea break

17:30-19:00 - Plenary E: Global perspectives for sustainability 

Chair: Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

-          Sharan Burrow, General Secretary, International Trade Union Confederation

-          Maria Helena André, Director ACTRAV TBC

-          Teresa Ribera, Fourth Vice President of the Government of Spain and Minister for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge TBC

-          Richard Kozul-Wright, Director of the Division on Globalization and Development Strategies at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

  • 19:30-21:30 - Networking dinner

 

 Friday 5 February 2021

  • 09:00-10:30
    • Panel 11
    • Panel 12
    • Panel 13
    • Panel 14
    • Panel 15
  • 10:30-11:00 - Networking coffee break
  • 11:00-13:00 - Plenary F: What actors, actions and tools do we need to mobilise to establish a new social, economic and environmental contract EN/FR

This closing plenary should look into what kind of tools the trade union movement can use in order to achieve a new social, economic and environmental contract. What are the perspectives for action? What alliances do we need to build in order to reach a wide support for the just transition? What will be the role of social dialogue, the enterprises, the NGOs in this process? And what should the trade union movement do in order to rise from its ashes and become a decisive actor in developing the roadmap for a sustainable future.

Chair: Isabelle Schömann, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

-          Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission TBC

-          Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation

-          Markus J. Beyrer, Director General of BusinessEurope

-          John Elkington, world authority on corporate responsibility and sustainable development TBC