Online - Saturday 16 January & Sunday 17 January
This New Year’s conference takes place under the continued shadow of the pandemic and will be held online for the first time. We will be meeting at a moment when the left in the UK and across Europe needs to look to the future, after Covid-19 and after Brexit. The conference will consider the policies that are needed to transform our society, economy and politics and seek a fresh vision for tackling the climate crisis and building a new partnership between the EU and UK.
The leader of the Labour Party, Keir Starmer MP, is confirmed as keynote speaker, alongside many others from the Shadow cabinet in the UK and other speakers from across Europe.learn more
Turning a crisis into an opportunity for feminism
On the occasion of the 7th edition of the Barbara Prammer Symposium, FEPS together with the Karl Renner Institute, the SPÖ-Bundesfrauen and the Parliamentary Group of the SPÖ will focus on the political stakes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic from a gender perspective. As women's rights had already been confronted with a previous backlash prior to the current crisis, the current situation has only further exacerbated this reality. At the same time, the crisis demonstrated that public social infrastructures are essential for a well-functioning society. This event will therefore focus on work programs to fight rising female unemployment, precariousness and how they interplay with the unequal distribution of care work. If we want to prevent the already predicted scenario that COVID-19 will erase years of progress towards women’s rights and gender equality, it is high time for strong gender-responsive measures not only to guarantee women's rights but also to foster resilience and regenerative societies and economies at large.learn more
On Tuesday, January 26th FEPS will host the workshop ‘Concrete Actions for Social and Affordable Housing in the EU’ in the framework for Progressives’ week for affordable and sustainable housing.
Building on the publication “Concrete actions for Social and Affordable Housing in the EU”, by Sergio Nasarre, Milan Ftacnik, Nuria Lambea Llop and Liga Rasnaca; experts and policymakers will discuss actionable points for local, regional and European actions to enhance access to a decent, inclusive and sustainable place to live.
Among our prominent speakers, Tom Copley, Deputy Mayor Housing & Residential Development of London, Sergio Nasarre Aznar, Full Professor of Civil Law and Director of the UNESCO Housing Chair at the University Rovira i Virgili, Milan Ftáčnik, Chairman of the Smart Solutions and Innovation Council, Former mayor of Bratislava and Nuria Lambea Llop, Postdoctoral researcher at the UNESCO Housing Chair of the University Rovira i Virgili will join the discussions.learn more
This FEPS Covid Response Paper provides observations from the failures and successes around the world in dealing with Covid-19 and its economic aftermath.
Professor Joseph Stiglitz explains why, even with the best policies, the economic fall-out from Covid-19 is likely to be severe: there will not be a V-shaped recovery, but rather a U-shaped one. The real question is how deep the U will be, and how long it will take before a robust recovery.
The author reviews the priorities for the recovery packages and highlights the areas in which government intervention is crucial.
Lastly, Professor Stiglitz examines the latest developments of the European response to the pandemic and puts forward a set of recommendations to complete the recovery pack
Even before the pandemic, 23 million children in the EU were at risk of poverty and social exclusion. The pandemic has further exacerbated children inequality and it is now time for the European Union to act. On the occasion of the World Children’s Day -November 20-, more than 300 prominent figures from the world of politics, academia and civil society have already joined a Call to demand a rapid entry into force of the European Child Guarantee and a Next Generation EU funding that truly works for Europe’s next generations.read more
Since its first edition in 2011, Call to Europe has become the signature conference of FEPS and a reference point for the progressive family in Europe. This is due to its capacity of bringing together a unique multi-stakeholder community of progressive politicians, civil society and media to discuss issues of common concern and develop concrete and positive responses to contemporary European challenges in the most interactive and inclusive way.read more
2018 may represent a turning point in the global governance of migration. The United Nations member states, in fact, are currently negotiating what it may become the first multilateral agreement on migration, the Global Compact on Migration, that should be officially adopted in Casablanca next December.
To reflect on one of the main challenges of the present and the future and to contribute to the general debate around the many aspects of this crucial topic, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies has established a high-level working group – chaired by former Italian Prime Minister Giuliano Amato and composed of academics, experts and practitioners from Europe, Canada, Mexico, India, Senegal, and Australia – who wrote a progressive proposal presenting a new progressive narrative on global migration, based on the fundamental principle of solidarity and respect of human rights, as well as on a real and deep understanding of the current political environment in many Western states. The result of this work will was presented in a conference in New York, during which participants will be also asked to reflect on the ways to implement the Global Compact in the years to come.
High Level Seminars
Rome, 1-2 March 2018
Dakar, 16-19 May 2018
New York, 22 September 2018
Public Conference in New York (21 September 2018)
Watch the interviews with the speakers:
See the photos of the eventread more
In the summer of 2015, migration became a key issue within European politics. Although the number of refugees and migrants entering the EU has decreased since then, the topic gained even more importance on the political agenda. There have been several European summits, policies were drafted and the EU Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), consisting of over three billion euros, was created.
These current policies are based on the idea that by increasing development in African countries, through for example job creation, the need for African youngsters to migrate to Europe will reduce. But is this really the case? Many academics claim that economic development in African countries gives potential migrants the capabilities for their migration aspirations, as it provides migrants with the financial means to migrate. Again, what is true? And also, what would be an alternative to this policy directive?
Alarming is that the voice of Africans themselves, living in the countries of origin and the diaspora living in Europe, are not included in the European debate on migration. This debate now focuses on European perspectives of how to deal with the incoming groups of migrants. To fill this gap FEPS and FMS are carrying out a research that focus mostly on Ghana and Tunisia, two countries of origin for irregular migrants, to research the incentives for migration and policies targeting this. Why do people want to migrate? What is the importance of migration for them? And how can we make migration beneficial for all?
In this magazine, we will keep you updated on our progress and the outcome of the research!read more
Ahead of the upcoming climate summit in New York in September FEPS together with its partners is setting up a steering committee in order to be able to reflect on and test ideas of guiding proposals to be presented on this topic.
The group will be chaired by Teresa Ribera, Minister for the ecological transition in Spain and will bring together expert policy advisers, political representatives, civil society activists, academics and other key stakeholders in the climate justice debate.
10th -11th April - First meeting of the steering committee in Madrid
24th – 25th June - Second meeting in Brussels
20th September - Third and final meeting with high-level side event open to the public in New York
FEPS with the support of the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung New York office, Foundation Max van der Stoel, fundación Pablo Iglesias and the Environment and Development Resource Centre (EDRC).
Climate change is gaining more understanding and thus more prominence in worldwide debates. The Paris agreement brought international agreement to a clear objective. Since then the IPCC report published last autumn warned that there is a crucial twelve-year window of opportunity for action against global warming to be effective. Nevertheless influential actors still threaten to derail these agreements and negate the science of climate change.
In Europe we are witnessing social challenges in regards to climate change; the ‘gilets jaunes’ movement in France has brought about social unrest, based on inequalities but the introduction of a diesel tax was the catalyst. Indeed populists are now commandeering the issue and taking it off track; there is resistance to transition from declining industries such as coal, despite many people recognising that the industry is economically viable and is a major contributor to dangerously high levels of air pollution in cities. Many people in influential positions are already banking against climate issues, favouring a narrative of jobs and economy for today, climate later. Worryingly these political movements are expected to achieve a good result in the European elections, changing the political landscape in Brussels and the agenda setting of the Union which has always been a key actor in climate policy.
Internationally the current Presidents of the USA and Brazil are case examples illustrating already the extent of the destruction that is possible, when bypassing the objectives of the Paris agreement; all to the detriment of the most vulnerable in society and those least able to oppose the policies. Moreover they are also usually the ones who have contributed least to climate change. Another pertinent example is the drying up of Lake Chad. There is still no common climate strategy in the region of Lake Chad or policies of how to allocate the water in the region.
Interestingly the World Economic Forum in Davos again this year recognised that climate risk is a top issue however the response to address this is insufficient.
Climate change is affecting our biodiversity, weather patterns, agriculture etc and is increasing security issues. Droughts, forest fires and flooding are becoming more common and it is wreaking havoc on our societies and our natural environment.
As Secretary General Antonio Guterres expressed at the COP 24“Climate change is the defining issue of our time and now is the defining moment to do something about it.” People are suffering the consequences of climate change already and many are calling for urgent action. Progressives need to be prepared and offer sound policies.
Opportunity for Progressives:
Defending social justice, fighting inequalities and caring for our common well-being are traditional progressive values. Despite having a decent record of implementing climate policies on paper compared to other political movements, there is still a lot that progressives could have done and still choose not to. They need to do more if they are to ensure that they are the most credible and well-placed movement able to harness the right narrative and bring about effective change for people and planet.
Climate Justice therefore is a key endeavour of our times and progressives need to be leading on this issue, even more so against the current civil society backdrop which is calling for more and urgent climate action. Consequently Progressives should be setting the agenda on this, the opportunity is New York, this September 2019.
Therefore FEPS, as the Progressive European foundation will hold a high-level conference on the fringe of the United Nations General Assembly entitled “UNited for Climate Justice” on 20th September 2019. In order to prepare for this a reflection group or steering committee will be brought together which will help identify a guiding set of proposals to be presented there.
The concept of climate justice frames climate change as a political and ethical issue.
It recognises that environmental injustice stems from social and economic injustices within our societies. The fact that it is the most fragile and vulnerable, the most marginalised and disadvantaged who are affected most by climate change and the least able to deal with its consequences. Furthermore it considers climate change is further exacerbating already existing inequalities. The idea is to consider the fairness of this often disproportionate impact of climate change on different sectors of our societies in both developed and developing parts of the world. It acknowledges that sustainable choices are not accessible to all equally.
Existing data proves there is a direct link that disasters affect the most fragile states most of all and fragility affects where disasters happen. There are limitations to the current political responses to rising climate instability and the need for systemic change if we are to truly address the issue.
The meaning and definition of climate justice has various strands and interpretations, with two main approaches; the main difference being about who bears the responsibility of polluting, i.e. the ‘industrialised north’ and developed or newly-developed countries, contrasting with who are the victims, i.e. the poor ‘global south’. Then the questions about burden-sharing, prevention and having effective capacities to adapt come into play. Whether the burden should be equal or whether a higher amount of responsibility should be accepted by those parties who have polluted more and are better equipped to deal with the challenges and whether they should provide more to help the global south to be better adapted.
There is also of course a legal element to this debate about legal justice and litigation on climate-related issues. This is something that is gaining much more ground in recent years with some positive examples and developments in the legal arena.
Whilst acknowledging these varying strands of climate justice theory this initiative will mainly focus on how to bring about key changes that will raise ambition, financing and help create long-term, solid and holistic ambition, this in responsibility-bearing states but also by empowering and enabling more capacities in an equal manner globally.
Focus of the initiative:
The substance of this initiative aims to bring about fresh-thinking into the core of this debate. The fundamental objective is to create a sound narrative of raising notably political ambition on climate action. The approach should be holistic and global-orientated with key policy proposals and guidelines as the output. It should be above-all, forward-looking. Yet it also needs to answer to the urgency of the current situation. Viable policies and alternatives should be brought forward and tested.
As a progressive political foundation FEPS can offer a space that enables different stakeholders to come together; academics, policy experts with civil society, political representatives and other various stakeholders.
The discussions should consider commitment and accountability, political leadership where momentum can come from, how to move from analysis to action and how to ensure sustained leadership. How to avoid talking and acting in silos and move to a multi-disciplinary approach and how to share the knowledge in a multidisciplinary approach. Having in mind that this is not intended to be about duplication or about creating new tools, it is about enhancing existing ones and using them better.
The summit itself will play a big role in keeping momentum alive; scaling-up ambition and continuing to work together to stop the climate issue being derailed. There will be some importance given to speaking with a common voice, with a common plan forward on the international stage in New York. Climate security may also be a large part of the discussions but it’s not yet clear what place it will have on the agenda at the September summit.
With the support of Secretary General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres FEPS was advised to set up an annual fringe event in the framework of the UN General Assembly, which takes place annually in New York in September. FEPS carried out its first initiative of this kind last year, 2018 and the topic was on migration. The steering committee and the proposals gave successful output in helping ensure the migration compact came about. This year and especially considering there will be an extraordinary summit for climate change on the 23rd September, FEPS decided to hold its annual UN fringe conference on the topic of climate change. The title will be “UNited for Climate Justice”. This will be done with the support of several partners; the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung New York, the Fondation Jean-Jaurès, Foundation Max van der Stoel, fundación Pablo Iglesias and the Environment and Development Resource Centre (EDRC).
 Prof. R Ladrech, 2017 https://www.feps-europe.eu/Assets/Publications/PostFiles/466_1.pdfread more
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