The « Joint Social Conference » (JSC) was launched two years ago by a group of 30 trade unions and social movements, precedently involved in the European Social Forum and/or members of ETUC. The JSC is held, in March of each year, as a social alternative to the EU “Spring Summits”.
All relevant information on the JSC objectives, member organizations, press releases can be found on the JSC Website : www.jointsocialconference.eu.
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The 2012 edition of the JSC is of particular importance.
Since 2011, we are witnessing a turning point in Europe. Economic turn: most European countries are now experiencing recession; social turn: unprecedented austerity plans are implemented, generating broad social mobilization by social movements and unions (Indignados, demonstrations, general strikes ...); political turn: Neoliberalism has never been so obvious and democracy so threatened in the EU.
All this happens against a background of serious ecological imbalances, the current orientations will only aggravate.
Faced with the indifference of leaders vis-à-vis social mobilization, it is urgent to intensify the struggle, and in particular to develop coordinated action at European level. This will be the JSC’s priority this year.
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The second spring social conference will be held in Brussels,
at the ITUH (International Trade Union House - building ETUC),
(Boulevard Albert II, 5 - 1000 Brussels)
On Thursday 29 and Friday 30 March, 2012
(From Thursday 10:00 a.m. until Friday 1:00 p.m.)
Followed by a great Inter-networks Conference on Friday 30 March, from 14:00 to 17:00.
· Define alternative policies to current neoliberal policies;
· Unite social movements and trade unions around shared standpoints and action programs at European level;
· Discuss with intellectuals, social movements and European politicians so as to contribute to the launching of a European social movement
The current crisis is not "simply" an economic crisis; it is also a crisis of democracy in Europe: European citizens are paying a very high price for three decades of neoliberal drift.
The JSC identifies a set of priorities to overcome the current crisis and to rebuild a true democracy in Europe. Two levels are distinguished: "emergencies" (which require immediate answers) and "themes" (which require medium-term answers).
During the conference, two workshop sessions will be organized to deal successively with these emergencies and themes.
1.The ecological transition
3. Monetary policy and the role of the ECB
4. Tax Justice
5. Freedom of collective bargaining and action
Goal : Based on the diagnosis presented at the conference, prepare proposals for coordinated action and coalitions to carry them.
1. European social protection
2. Wage and guaranteed income in the EU
3. Defense of public services and of common goods (water, education system, health ...)
4. EU External trade, WTO*
6. Truly democratic institutions for Europe
7. Rise of xenophobic nationalisms and authoritarian parties (This workshop will take place if enough organizations register to it)
Goal : Deepen our diagnosis on these six themes, promote alternatives for a Europe of social progress
Working groups in advance of the JSC will prepare the workshop discussions on the 5 emergencies and 6 themes of the JSC. The names and contact information of those responsible for thse working groups will be announced later. If you want to contribute to some of these, you are invited to do so by contacting these persons.
Working papers produced by these working groups will be put on the Website www.jointsocialconference.eu
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Given the worsening social and economic situation, the JSC decided this year to appeal to components of the European Left who share our diagnosis (or at least part of it).By "components of the left", we mean social movements, heterodox economists’ networks, intellectuals, European politicians from various parties refusing the current logic of austerity and ready to actively work against it .This discussion will take place immediately after the JSC, that is to say, on Friday, March 30 from 14:00 to 17:00. Several ideas for action will be discussed: arrangement of an alternative European summit ("Alter-summit"), launching of a broad European social movement or any other idea that can bring together a broad consensus among the various left forces in Europe.
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Thursday 29 March
10:00 Reception and registration
· Comprehensive analysis of the crisis
· Presentation of the workshops: 5 emergencies + 6 themes
Goal : To present proposals for action, organizing and planning of theseactions
Goal : To clarify and deepen our analysis
Friday 30 march
Overview of Actions
The plenary sessions will be based on 7 working languages (English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Romanian and Polish).
Workshop discussions will use two working languages (English and French).
Please complete and return as quickly as possible the attached registration form to this address firstname.lastname@example.org or CNE – Monique Son, avenue Robert Schuman, 52, 1400 Nivelles, Belgium.
As the number of participants is limited to 200 people, it is recommended that interested organizations send their application form as soon as possible. The Initiative Committee will proceed to the selection if necessary.
The following criteria will be considered to make the selection:
• Good balance between trade unions and other movements
• Good representation from all regions of Europe
• Priority given to persons with an official mandate from their organization.
A registration confirmation will be sent before March 1.
Practical information regarding hotel reservations, reimbursements for travel and subsistence will be sent in the coming days
Member Organizations of the JSC Initiative Committee
Friends of the Earth
Austria, Belgium, Germany, Belgique, France
Basque Country (Spain)
Labour & Globalization
Campaign for the Welfare State
S2B – Seattle to Brussels
Czech social forum/SpaS