by Alessandra Garda
The current public debt crisis compromises development objectives and poverty eradication across the world. How should we move from discussion of root causes to focus on solutions? What should the roles of the state and the private sector be in overcoming debt crises and creating alternatives? How do we need to change our thinking and economic structures to prevent future crises?
The Eurodad biennial conference – which takes place in Prague from the June 3-5, 2013 – offers the perfect opportunity for thorough discussion of the concerns outlined above and to prepare the ground for future joint strategising and thinking on crucial issues of finance and development.
Co-organised by Eurodad Czech member Glopolis, the conference is a leading forum for discussion, idea-sharing and collective strategising for civil society groups advocating for reform of development finance. The Eurodad conference will bring together more than 100 leading civil society thinkers from around the globe working on issues ranging from debt, tax justice, aid, private finance, the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and global monetary reform. There will be significant Eastern Europe and Southern participation.
Focus on solutions
The debate this year will be focused not only on the consequences of the world economic crisis but mainly on the solutions. By the time of the conference, an increasing number of developed and developing countries are likely to have suffered further debt distress, with negative consequences for their economies and people. EU countries will face decisions about collectivisation of national debts – implying stronger EU regulatory, fiscal and political union or national defaults and possibly Eurozone break-up. The Eurozone debt crisis threatens further regional – and possibly global – recession with obvious consequences for public debt accumulation.
The root causes of the current public debt crisis are multifaceted, and much debated. Many argue that rising public and private debt levels have been driven by the increasing dominance of the financial sector over the real economy. History shows us that financial crises are always followed by public debt problems as the public sector underwrites losses and economies suffer. But the roots of this crisis – and previous crises – go deeper, and it is clear that major change is needed to overcome this crisis and prevent future recurrences. But what kind of changes?
What can be learned from countries that have weathered the current crisis well? Which proposals for change should civil society groups be emphasising now? This is a topic that is extremely relevant in North and South, East and West – and the conference can provide a forum for genuine sharing of experience and ideas. It’s time to take us beyond analysis of the problems to a focus on solutions.
Eurodad’s biennial conference has been held at least every two years for more than a decade, offering Eurodad members, allies and partners the opportunity to broaden understanding of key issues, identify and move forward on collective struggles, forge new alliances and meet inspiring people.
Find out more about the conference here.