On 9 December 2011 the transform! Brussels Working Group organised a conference on “Radical Perspectives on European Union Studies”.
The conference aimed to complete the first year of work of the Working Group and to complement the conference organised on 8-9 December by transform! europe in the frame of its crisis project. The objective was to provide larger perspectives to the crisis of the European Union by arguing that the crisis of this political project pre-dated the impact of the financial crisis which has exacerbated all its structural deficiencies at political and institutional levels.
In order to introduce this topic we invited several academics specialised in EU studies as well as practitioners and intellectuals to discuss these analysis which are often the result of many years of research. We individualised three thematic panels (historical, constitutional and economic perspectives) and a more political debate on future perspectives. In the historical panel intervened Professor Magnus Ryner, from Oxford Brooks University who made a presentation about the epochal transformation of the political economy of European integration since its inception until the current crisis placing the watershed in the period 1986-1992. This presentation was discussed by Lutz Brangsch from transform! and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. In a second moment, Professor Adoración Guamán, a specialist of European labour and economic law introduced an overview of the constitutional perspectives opened by the Treaty of Lisbon and the little spaces left for labour and citizenship rights in front of the logic of the single market and free movements reasserted by the European Court in different rulings. This was discussed by Thierry Leguay, building on his experience working as parliamentary assistant of French Members of the European Parliament for nearly 12 years. Coming to economic perspectives Jean-Christophe Defraigne, lecturer at the Université Saint-Louis in Brussels, provided a long-term analysis of the roots of the crisis as a movement of deregulation of financial flows and capital movements whose origins are back to the 1960s and the rising of the City of London as global financial hub. Such a long-term analysis was discussed by Raffaele Fargioli, who has practical experience as an economist dealing with European Union questions. Last, but not least, on the future perspectives for the EU, Alfonso Gianni from the Study Centre Cercare Ancora delivered an analysis about the European crisis from the Italian perspective, which meanwhile has become an issue of great concern, if we consider that the Italian Left had always been an important part and driver of the relationship between Europe and the Alternative Left. The text was briefly discussed by Walter Baier, coordinator of the transform! network.
A report of the meeting will be prepared by the Working Group members in due time to take stock of the interpretations and provisional conclusions. Some of the contributions will be published in different formats. For further information, you can contact the Working Group at wgbrussels [a] transform-network.net