19. November 2016, 09:00 - 20. November 2016, 16:00, Kopenhagen

Plan B Konferenz in Kopenhagen: "'Alternatives to the Europe of austerity"

A next step in the Plan B process will be taken in Copenhagen

Livestream here!

Developments in the European Union over the past years presents the left, trade unions and progressive social movements with new challenges and has ignited a debate over alternatives and strategy. In particular, the steamrolling of the Greek left wing experiment in 2015, has put the authoritarian and neoliberal nature of current European integration on display. We urgently need a strong and clear response from the left. We need alternatives and strategy that can prevent a repetition. This has become even more urgent after the Brexit vote in June.

While such alternatives will necessarily be comprehensive, one debate requires special attention at the moment: The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and the euro. Many laws adopted over the past years – and those in the pipeline – are linked to the EMU and the euro, and they point towards a regime for member states economic policies that would make austerity and attacks on social rights, including labour rights mandatory.

This will affect all of us in the European Union, South and North, and whether in the Eurozone or not. There is a close link between the Troika in Greece and elsewhere, and the attacks on labour laws in France, Belgium and Italy.

If the move towards imposition of right wing economic policies is to be stopped and turned around, political parties and social movements will have to work closely together in a targeted manner. But there are obstacles we need to overcome, and disagreements we need to deal with in a constructive manner.

A meeting and a forum in Copenhagen on 19-20. November was agreed at the first Plan B meeting in Paris. In Copenhagen we will explore our options, share positions, and discuss what steps needs to be taken.  The main questions will be:

– Is it possible to reform the Economic and Monetary Union from inside the current EU framework, or is a rupture with the current framework necessary?
– What could be the alternatives to the eurosystem?
– Brexit changes the EU. How will the left influence the new Europe that is emerging?
– What strategic issues can the left in Europe gather around in the coming years?

We invite representatives of left parties, trade unions and social movements to join us in Copenhagen on the 19th and 20th of November 2016 to discuss these issues with us.

Saturday 19. november 2016

12.00 Registration starts
12.45 Doors closes

13.00-14.30 Opening
(Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)
(Moderator: Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden)

Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
Luka Mesec, MP, Iniciativa za demokratični socializem, Slovenia
Zoe Konstantopoulou, Former President of the Hellenic Parliament, and Head of Course to Freedom, Greece
Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MEP and co-founder, Parti de Gauche, France
Tiny Kox, MP and Chairperson of SP senate group, Chairperson in Unified European Left Group (UEL) in PACE, Socialist Party, Netherlands
Audun Lysbakken, MP and Chairperson of Sosialistisk Venstreparti – Socialist Left Party, Norway
14.30-16.00 Session 1

Workshop 1. The Euro: What does economic governance look like under the EMU and what are the alternatives?
(Moderator: Kenneth Haar, Corporate Europe Observatory, Denmark) (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)

Peter Wahl, Chairperson of Weed (World Economy, Ecology & Development) and founding member of ATTAC Germany, Germany
Andy Storey, Lecturer, University College Dublin, Ireland
Cristina Asensi, Democracia Real Ya and Money Sovereignty Commission, Spain
Workshop 1b. The euro and the debt-crisis
(Moderator: Malin Björk, MEP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) (English only)

Eric Toussaint, Spokesperson, Committee for the Abolition of Illegitimate Debt (CADTM) International, Belgium
Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian Deputy Minister of Economy and Finance, Sinistra Italiana – Italian Left, Italy
16.00-16.30 PAUSE

16.30-18.00 Session 2

Workshop 2a. Can the euro be reformed?
(Moderator: Nikolaj Villumsen, MP, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark) (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)

Fabio De Masi, MEP, Die Linke, Germany
Costas Lapavitsas, Professor of Economics at the University of London and former Syriza MP, Greece
Jeanne Chevalier, Parti de Gauche, France
Catarina Martins, Coordinator, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal
Workshop 2b. EU, the Common Market and Social Dumping
(Moderator: Hanna Gedin, National Board, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) (English only)

Joanna Bronowicka, Member of National Council, RAZEM, Polen
Finn Sørensen, MP and Labour Rapporteur, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark
John Douglas, General Secretary of Mandate Trade Union, Ireland
18.00-18.30 Closing
(Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)
(Moderator: Pernille Skipper, MP and Political spokesperson, Enhedslisten – The Red-Green Alliance, Denmark)

Special guest-speaker: Filiz Kerestecioğlu, HDP, Turkey
Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
18.30-19.30 Reception

Sunday d. 20 november 2016

8.00 Registration starts

8.45 Doors closes

9.00-11.00 Session 3: Challenges in Europe and the Left’s response
(Moderator: Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden) (Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)

Special announcement on next step in PlanB:
Stefano Fassina, MP and former Italian deputy minister of economy and finance, Sinistra Italiana – Italian Left, Italy
Malin Björk, MEP, Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden
Asbjørn Wahl, Director of Campaign for the Welfare State, Norway
Catarina Martins, Coordinator, Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal
Li Andersson, MP and Chairperson of Vasemmisto, Left Alliance, Finland
Myriam Martin, Member of the regional council of Occitania, Ensemble!, France
Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP, Podemos, Spain
11.00-11.30 PAUSE

11.30-13.00 Further discussions on Challenges in Europe and the Left’s response
(Translation: EN, FR, ES, DK)

Kl. 13.00 Closing and brief summary
Jonas Sjöstedt, MP and Chairperson of Vänsterpartiet – Left Party, Sweden

Wo?

Kopenhagen