GOALS: A co-ordinated pan-European movement to challenge neoliberal economic governance, with particular reference to the crisis in Europe.
Since the economic crisis broke out in Europe in 2008, its policy agenda has been driven by the so-called ‘Troika’, comprised of the European Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund. A new set of EU treaties has been approved at record speed, with both national and European-level policies prompting further dismantling of public services and destruction of social and labour rights.
TNI positioned itself as a critical hub for European resistance by facilitating contact and strategy coordination transnationally, helping to forge better links between organised labour and other civil society movements. This was done through publishing useful resource materials; co-organising public events, strategy forums and supporting mobilisations.
TNI has engaged with new social movements such as the Indignados, Occupy and Blockupy alongside longer established civil society actors, such as the trade unions and organisations long associated with the global justice movement. As a result, there is a now fluid communication between social actors from a variety of countries and different political traditions.
An example of TNI’s role in facilitating these processes was the TNI-hosted European Social Movements Strategy meeting held in Amsterdam in October 2013. 60 European organisations and networks spent three days working to shape common strategies aimed at challenging the EU economic governance regime. This meeting produced several initiatives which have marked European social movements’ agenda since.
TNI co-organised the ‘For a European Spring’ coalition in March – an alliance of 60 organisations from 17 countries that organised decentralized actions in 7 different countries as well as a peaceful demonstration in Brussels aimed at DG-ECFIN, the body responsible for designing the austerity measures imposed within the EU. TNI also participated in the Blockupy alliance, which has been instrumental in publicly exposing the role of the European Central Bank.
TNI played a key role in the success of the Alter Summit organized in June in Athens, with the specific intention of bridging the traditional divide between trade unions and the newer social movements. The meeting of 200 organisations from all over Europe represented an important moment of political convergence.
The trend towards convergence at European level also occurred among critical economists. The European Progressive Economist Network (Euro-Pen), to which TNI is affiliated, is working on feasible alternatives to current Troika measures in the context of the crisis.
TNI also initiated dialogues between civil society and the European Commission. In May and June, two public policy debates were convened in Brussels, which required the EC to defend its policies and engage with critical scholars and civil society representatives.
TNI updated and re-published the successful EU Crisis Pocket Guide, in English, Dutch and Italian. Privatising Europe, a working paper and infographic, provided an overview of the devastating ‘fire sale’ of public services and national assets across Europe. It proved popular, logging more than 4,000 downloads by the end of the year. These publications were been complemented by a series of articles and videos about different aspects of the European crisis.