This year marks the 10th anniversary of our annual European seminars. The 2013 European seminar entitled: ‘Europe in Crisis – Citizens in Protest’ was organised in Nafplio from 4 until 7 July . Its main objective was to discuss the consequences of the policy choices made to address the economic crisis in individual countries and the EU as whole, as well as the reaction of European citizens. The sessions started with an appraisal of the austerity policies adopted during the crisis which covered the economic results and the effectiveness of these policies in meeting their proclaimed objectives, as well as their impact on domestic economies, societies and political systems. Furthermore, they explored the reaction of Europe’s citizens to the crisis more generally and these policies in particular, through an analysis of civil movements, which either protest against austerity or seek to assuage its effects though social cohesion initiatives. The discussion in the second day focused on the systemic aspects of the current crisis both at the domestic and European levels aiming at identifying the serious challenges created for European integration, as well as the political stability and economic prosperity in individual countries.
The European seminars of ELIAMEP are high-level seminars, which bring together a group of 40-50 leading thinkers and practitioners from different countries. The emphasis is on an interdisciplinary exchange of views with a strong policy orientation. Last year’s European Seminar at the island of Poros was devoted to the examination of Europe’s place in a rapidly changing global political and economic landscape. The main sponsor for our European seminars has been the European Commission.[Read More...]
Following a welcome address and introduction by ELIAMEP’s President, Professor Loukas Tsoukalis, the Seminar was launched with a presentation of the “Brusselsview” of the crisis. The aim was to present and assess the overall European response to the crisis. The European response can be seen as consisting of three pillars. The first was mainly driven by the realisation of the key role that financial integration plays in creating convergence. It involved the creation of mechanisms aiming to secure and stabilise financial markets. Among those, significant steps have been made towards the creation of a banking union inEuropewith a single supervisory mechanism operated by the ECB. The second pillar intended to address the public and private debt problem.Europe’s medicine to this consisted of rapid economic adjustments of the fiscal, current and external accounts of creditor countries. Those adjustments inevitably provoked short term economic hardship and are likely to lead to long term economic problems. This was also the main source of social problems which -at least in words- have also been the target of the European response. At the same time, the realisation that there is a fundamental problem with the architecture of the EMU has paved the way towards a third pillar of response. The need to strengthen the economic governance of the monetaryUnionhas emerged as stronger as ever in order to safeguard the viability of the Eurozone. We have indeed seen some proposals towards this direction such as President’s Van Rompuy’s report ‘‘The roadmap towards a genuine economic and monetary union” published in December. However, this stage remains incomplete.