transform! europe has established a working group on the economic crisis which followed the outbreak of the coronavirus. We are now looking for articles on the anti-crisis programmes for selected EU Member States.
We call for contributions which provide an overview on the programmes of the national level Member States have implemented to help their economies.
We are looking for articles on the following countries:
1. Demand and supply side support – where is the money being spent?
a) What are the measures defined by governments that are on the demand side (consumption incentives, i.e. measures to support individual demand to buy goods and services) and those that are on the supply side (essentially measures aimed at stimulating investment by companies, the size growth of companies, strengthening them in terms of capitalization, etc.).
b) If individual incentives are provided for the purchase of certain goods, are these goods produced in the country or are they imported? (For example, if incentives are provided for electric cars, are electric cars built in that country?
c) If there are incentives for companies (supply-side), are there any special conditions for obtaining them? (e.g. if a company receiving public subsidies cannot relocate, cannot dismiss workers, etc.)
d) Are firms in difficulty excluded from the subsidy and aid scheme?
2. Are there any measures to support companies' need for liquidity? (e.g. through state guarantees on bank loans, etc.)
3. How much do the plans speak about a shift to a sustainable economy? Which measures will be taken to lower CO2 emissions and generally to protect the environment?
4. Horizontal vs. sectoral approach?
a) Is there a sectoral approach in the government's plan? If so, which sectors (automotive, steel, chemicals, pharma, energy, TLC/ICT, textile, domestic appliances etc.) are covered? What are the main measures related to each sector mentioned in the government's plan? Attention: this question refers to specific sectors of the economy (to be understood, therefore, as a vertical approach), not to horizontal measures (generic infrastructure, incentives for companies in all indistinct sectors, support for research and development in general, etc.).
b) If the sectoral-vertical approach is not present, or if it is scarcely present, indicate which horizontal type measures have been taken (e.g. the Italian plan is almost entirely horizontal, in line with the neo-liberal approach of the European Commission). In the case of a horizontal approach: which investments are foreseen, for example in which kind of general infrastructure?
5. Protect national firms from foreign take over?
a) Does the plan provide for the possibility of exercising public powers within industrial sectors or companies? These are, in particular, powers that can be exercised in the fields of defence and national security, as well as certain defined areas of activity of strategic importance in the energy, transport and communications sectors. For example, in Italy the Golden Power (Special Power) law has been extended, which allows the Italian Government to block the entry of foreign companies within the companies operating in the strategic sectors (energy, space, TLC, defence etc.). Special powers (golden power) include, among others, the power to dictate specific conditions for the acquisition of equity investments, to veto the adoption of certain corporate resolutions and to oppose the purchase of equity investments. In Italy, the aim of the measure is to make the national regulation of the special powers of the Government compatible with European law, which is linked to the "golden share" and "action spécifique" institutions - provided for in the English and French legal systems respectively - and which in the past had already been the subject of censures raised by the European Commission and a ruling condemning them by the EU Court of Justice.
6. Public ownership in firms – active vs. passive state
a) Does the plan provide for the possibility of public ownership of companies? Does it provide for intervention by the State, or other public authorities, to acquire all or part of the capital of companies? What role does the state want to play once the public has acquired share and equity in private firms? Should the equity just provide liquidity and the shares are only “dormant equity”, or does the state foresee an active role in the strategic management of the firms? (An example is the needed restructuring of the airlines towards environmentally friendly behaviour with cutting short distance flight and investment in new climate friendlier fuels)
b) Does the plan provide for a special role for (existing or to be created) public companies?
7. Workers and trade unions
a) What measures are planned on the work side? (Measures to support workers, such as stopping redundancies, support measures for temporary suspension of work, subsidies, etc.).
b) Is the creation of new jobs planned through public programmes? (Creation of real work, not just training programmes)
c) What role do trade unions have? (Role in bargaining, participation in the definition of economic and social objectives and programmes, etc.).
We offer in total 2,000 EUR for each paper (the authors shall be responsible should any tax be imposed on the honorarium).
The application must contain the following information
The application must be submitted to Roland Kulke (firstname.lastname@example.org) subject line: “[your name] – Abstract: Country study national recovery plans”, by Wednesday, 30 September 2020, 11am, CET. Late submissions will not be considered.
transform! europe is a network of 35 European organisations from 22 countries, active in the field of political education and critical scientific analysis, and is the recognised political foundation corresponding to the Party of the European Left (EL). This cooperative project of independent non-profit organisations, institutes, foundations, and individuals intends to use its work in contributing to peaceful relations among peoples and a transformation of the present world.