The impact of the crisis on peripheral EU member states and on neighboring states of the EU
The Rosa Luxemburg Foundation provides a European-Israeli Dialogue for an exchange of ideas and experiences between progressive actors in Europe and Israel. In the long run this exchange shall lead to a network of civil society representatives, activists, scholars and politicians not only from Europe and Israel.
In May 2011, the first meeting of the European-Israeli Dialog Forum took place in Brussels. Our colleagues from the Tel Aviv RLS-office hosted the second meeting in October 2012 in Naveh Shalom, Israel.
This year´s meeting is going to occur in Athens, April 11th to 14th 2013. Focus of our discussion will be the present situation, especially in the peripheral member states and Israel, and implications of the crisis on economic, social and democratic developments.
The founding of a European Union after the Second World War was based on two ambitious goals: peace and prosperity. It was a matter of a peaceful future for everybody, of international understanding and – of course - flourishing economy and welfare.
The recovery of the economy in Western Europe in the fifties and the boom in the sixties seemed to prove, that the European Economic Community (EEC) was the right answer to the economic and political challenges. The ability for hundreds of thousands to travel across Europe and a readily accessible job market were important demonstrations, that an European Union without borders was advantageous for everybody. So it was not surprising that more and more European countries wanted to become a member of this European Union. And even in those peripheral and agricultural countries as Portugal, Spain and Greece with a difficult recent past, the business situation and the prosperity of the people improved.
This development ensured that a majority of the population in the EU agreed with its existence, well aware that the Union has a democratic deficit and problems to ensure the welfare state sustainable.
The crisis from 2008 changed everything. For the southern European countries and for the middle-east and east European countries, that joined the EU in the eighties and after the turn of the millennium, the dream of a sustainable economic prosperity is over.
Although the crisis and its consequences are a bitter disappointment for several million people especially in south and east Europe, there are still some countries – Croatia and Serbia, for example – that want to join the EU and others as Latvia that want to join the Eurozone.
There can be no doubt that the reputation of the EU has greatly suffered due to the crisis. But nevertheless there seems to be a widespread wish to belong to this Union. We’ll meet in Athens in order to discuss this phenomenon as well as the advantage and disadvantage of an EU membership for peripheral European countries and the special EU – Israel relations.
18:00 Opening and introduction
Dr. Klaus Sühl / Dr. Angelika Timm
18:30 The bankrupt Greece – A political hope for Europe?
Theodoros Paraskevopoulos (Greece)
10:00 Neoliberalism, economic crisis and the crisis of capitalism – case studies from the European periphery
Luca Mesec (Slovenia), Georgi Medarov (Bulgaria), Dani Filc (Israel)
11:30 Coffee break
11:45 Threats to the sustainability of the European welfare state
Maor Milgram (Israel)
15:00 The impacts of the crisis on the state of democracy and the rise of the right (Part I)
Mossi Raz (Israel), Uri Weltmann (Israel), Manal Shalabi (Israel), Algirdas Davidavičius (Lithuania)
16:30 Free time for individual meetings
17:45 Visit of Neighbourhood Initiative Myrmigki (Ant) in Kypseli
Departure of shuttle bus at RLS office at 17:45
10:00 The impacts of the crisis on the state of democracy and the rise of the right (Part II)
11:00 The emergence of protests against austerity – case studies on mobilization
Yifat Solel (Israel), Anat Saragusti (Israel)
12:00 Coffee break
12:15 Closing debate: Does the EU ruin itself?
Rena Dourou, MP (Greece)
14:00 Lunch at People´s Kitchen “El Chef” in Exarheia
16:00 Visit of Social Solidary Medical Centre of Anoihti Poli (Open City), the left communal party of Athens
17:30 Free time for individual meetings
>> Photos of the event