Abstract

Getting Europe back to Work: Alternatives to Austerity
Date
Location
International Trade Union House, Blvd du Roi Albert II 5, 1210 Brussels: Auditorium

Europe is in its fifth year of crisis with no signs of any improvement. Rising and persistent unemployment across Europe in the wake of the banking and sovereign debt crises have been further aggravated by the choice of a therapy based on austerity. Over recent months the policies have been challenged by public demonstrations and have led to extreme elections results. Leading figures from the EU and international agencies have expressed deep concern over the direction the European economies have taken. Publications from the IMF have revised estimates of the negative impact of cuts in public spending and European Commission President Barroso has spoken of austerity policies reaching ‘their limits’. So far, the only medicine on offer is a continuation of austerity alongside measures aimed at reducing wages and security of those in employment. This conference will bring together researchers and practitioners to discuss the effects of past policies, the changes taking place in labour markets and the alternatives to current policies.

Programme

9.15-9.30 Welcome

9.30-11.00 Failing austerity and beyond

Speakers:

  • Maria Helena Andre (Director of ACTRAV, Bureau of Workers’ Action, ILO, Geneva, former Minister of Labour, Portugal)
  • Nikos Christodoulakis (Professor, Athens University of Economics and Business, former Minister for Economy and Finance, Greece) -
     
  • Cinzia Alcidi (Head of Economic Policy Unit, Centre for European Policy Studies)

11.00-11.30 Coffee break

11.30-13.00 The myth of success from labour-market deregulation: what lessons from Germany and Poland?

Speakers:

  • Klaus Dörre (Professor, Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, author of books and articles on the effects of the Hartz Reforms in Germany, recently Bewährungsproben für die Unterschicht?: Soziale Folgen aktivierender Arbeitsmarktpolitik) -
     
  • Adam Mrozowicki (University of Wroc?aw, author of books and articles on precarious work and trade unions in Poland and Eastern Europe) -
     
  • Agnieszka Piasna (ETUI)

13.00-14.00 Buffet lunch

14.00-15.30 Collective bargaining in the crisis and the real way forward

Speakers:

  • Magdalena Bernaciak and Torsten Müller (ETUI, leading projects comparing changes in collective bargaining across Europe) -
     
  • Vera Glassner (Johannes Kepler University of Linz, Austria, author of articles on transnational collective bargaining) -
     
  • Andrea Garnero (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, joint author of Minimum wages in Europe: does the diversity of systems lead to a diversity of outcomes? ETUI Report 128) -
     

15.30-16.00 Coffee break

16.00-17.20 The alternatives

Speakers:

  • Bernadette Ségol (General Secretary ETUC)
  • Mehrdad Payandeh (DGB, Head of Department for Economic, Financial and Fiscal Policy)
  • Guillaume Duval (editor in chief Alternatives économiques, author of Made in Germany: Le modèle allemand au-delà des mythes)
  • Gerhard Huemer (European Association of Craft, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises)

Moderator:

  • Willy De Backer (ETUI)

17.20-17.30 Closing remarks