Hybrid conference
Hotel DoubleTree by Hilton (room Willow), Brussels
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It is now almost a cliché to say that Europe – and the world – is facing multiple crises. The climate emergency, energy and cost-of-living crises, geopolitical tensions and armed conflicts, as well as the rise of far-right political parties cast a shadow over our collective future. It is clear, in particular, that existing economic models are not working to deliver decent living and working conditions for all, and that the pressures of the ‘polycrisis’ are exacerbating inequalities and deepening social divides. Yet, the post-pandemic context also offers a window of opportunity to explore alternatives pathways and develop new economic and social models that respect ecological boundaries while promoting human wellbeing, equality and social justice.

Looking ahead to the year of European elections and a new Commission, the aim of this event is to discuss transformative policy solutions to some of the major social challenges ahead with leading scholars, trade unionists and civil society actors. It will draw on some of the chapters in the ETUI book "Transformative ideas – ensuring a just share of progress for all", in particular, those relating to fighting inequality, promoting democracy at work and trade unionism, and policies to ensure a decent standard of living for all. Speakers include Esther Lynch, Tea Jarc, Isabelle Ferreras, Oliver De Schutter and Guy Standing.

Preliminary programme

9.15 Introduction by Bart Vanhercke, Director of the ETUI Research Department

9.30 Panel 1: Reducing inequalities as a central objective

Claes-Mikael Stahl, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC    
Laura de Bonfils, Secretary General, Social Platform
Jiri Svarc, Head of Unit for Social Policies, Child Guarantee, SPC at DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion, European Commission
Colm O'Cinneide, Professor at the University College London (UCL)
Olivier De Schutter, Professor at UCLouvain and Sciences Po in Paris

Chair: Wouter Zwysen, ETUI Senior researcher

11.00 Coffee break 

11.15 Panel 2: Transformative policies for a new green and social deal

Guy Standing, Professorial Research Associate at SOAS University of London
Rania Antonopoulos, Senior Scholar at the Levy Economics Institute in New York

Tea Jarc, Confederal Secretary ETUC 
Andrea Casamenti,
Just Transition Policy Coordinator SOLIDAR

Béla Galgóczi, Senior researcher ETUI

Chair: Bianca Luna Fabris, Researcher ETUI

12.45 Lunch break 

14.00 Panel 3: Democracy at work as a means to citizen empowerment

Isabelle Ferreras, Professor at the School of Economics, UCLouvain
Benjamin Denis, Senior policy advisor industriAll
Claude Didry, Director of Research at the French National Centre for Scientific Research
Stan De Spiegelaere, Director of Policy and Research at UNI Europa

Chair: Kalina Arabadjieva, Senior researcher, ETUI

15.30 Conclusions 

The conference will be hybrid - please register via the link above before 2 October, and indicate your choice to participate in the meeting room, or online, via Zoom. As places are limited, please only register to attend in the room if you are absolutely sure that you will be able to come. Should you change your mind, please inform us so that we can give your seat to somebody else.