THE NEW BUDGETARY DISCIPLINE IN THE EU: IMPLICATIONS TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENTS AND DEMOCRACY
A public seminar held from 12:00 to 15:30 on Wednesday 22 February 2012 at the Visitors’ Centre in the Little Parliament (Eduskunnan kansalaisinfo), Arkadiankatu 3, Helsinki.
Organisers: ATTAC Finland, ATTAC Parliament
Click on links below to see videos.
12:00 Opening remarks by Erkki Tuomioja, Chair ATTAC Parliament
12:10 Opening remarks by Heikki Patomäki, Chair ATTAC Finland
12:20 Professor Magnus Ryner: “The EU at a Turning Point: A Critical Political Economy Analysis of the New Mechanisms of Budgetary Control”
12:50 Independent EU lawyer and citizen blogger Ralf Grahn: “The New Stability Union: Implications to Transparency and Democracy
13:20 Corporate Europe researcher Kenneth Haar: “EU’s Silent Revolution in Economic Governance: Austerity Forever and No Democracy?”
14:00 Coffee break
14:30 PANEL: “Alternative Futures for the European Union” Ralf Grahn, Kenneth Haar, Heikki Patomäki, Magnus Ryner, Erkki Tuomioja. Chair: Marissa Varmavuori, Chair ATTAC Finland.
15:25 Conclusions: Do We Need a European Referendum?
15:30 End of the seminar
Outline of seminar content
The European Stability Mechanism involves the tightening of budgetary discipline in the EU but is designed to avoid any referendums, meaning that its practical effects are confined to moral pressure and externally imposed self-discipline. “An annual assessment of the risk of macroeconomic imbalances and vulnerabilities will be undertaken, using an alert mechanism based on a few indicators”, but sanctions only may apply to Euro- countries.
However, Eurobond-plans and a new proposal for inter-governmental treaty to tighten economic governance in the euro zone go farther. For instance the proposed new Treaty requires that Member States’ regard their economic policies “as a matter of common concern” and that their budgetary policies are guided by the need for “sound public finances” and concern for European “competiveness”. What are the implications of these plans and proposal for socio-economic developments and democracy in Europe? Is the further constitutionalisation of disciplinary neoliberalism sustainable in economic or political terms? Are there alternatives?