Reclaiming Power – The Struggle for Europe’s Energy Future

Today, energy is at the center of huge social and political conflicts in many parts of the world, and the number of struggles is proliferating. Driven by concerns about air and water pollution, land seizures and displacement, climate change, etc. workers, farmers and communities are increasingly working together to fight extractivism. As part of the search for alternatives, the idea of energy democracy is clearly resonating. The crisis conditions of Europe present opportunities to establish energy democracy as a clear message and programmatic commitment among unions and their social and political allies.

Driven by a commitment to make Just Transition a reality, create jobs, and reach climate goals, trade unions’ support for more democratic control and social ownership of energy resources and infrastructure has grown. Grassroots efforts to restructure electricity systems in a way that can facilitate the growth of locally owned and controlled renewable power have emerged in several countries in Europe, North America, Australia, and elsewhere. Energy democracy is becoming a global movement.

Goals of the meeting:
To discuss the rise of energy democracy both as a policy option and as a movement-in-formation. What can unions do to both shape and strengthen both the policies and the movement itself?
To assess support for the idea of a European sub-network of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy in order to continue to shape trade union debates on energy in the European contexts.

Participants:
Trade unions already involved in the Global Network TUED as well as others who wish to participate; activists and campaigners working on energy democracy.

General information:
Date: 14-15 June 2017
Venue: Genève
Organization: Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED), Global Labour Institute (GLI), Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Brussels Office, and others
Contact: Marlis Gensler, marlis.gensler(at)rosalux(dot)org