The transform! Economists Working Group at the EAEPE Conference

The European Association for Evolutionary Political Economy (EAEPE) held its annual conference in Paris on the future of industries from November 7 to 9. The participation in this important heterodox event was suggested at the occasion of the launching of the transform! Economists Working Group (TEWG) last April when the network gathered to discuss the debate on competitiveness shaking up the EU as a whole.

Our presence at the EAEPE conference was the first step towards a global reflection on the issue of productive reconstruction.
The TEWG held two panels dedicated to the choice of policies for a productive reconstruction in Southern Europe and the EU industrial policies that should be implemented in a time of crisis. More than 40 people attended our panels’ discussions, showing the relevance of this topic. 
First Panel:

  • Annamaria Simonazzi (University of Rome) presented her recommendations for an industrial policy in Italy while stressing the necessity of a development to fulfill territorial and sectorial needs.
  • Armando Steinko (University of Madrid) focused on the case of Spain, arguing that a social-ecological productive reconstruction is of crucial importance to make the welfare state sustainable.
  • Valia Aranitou (University of Crete) proposed policies to be implemented for a reindustrialization of Greece through an effective support to the manufacturing SMEs.
  • Gabriel Sakellaridis (Economic coordinator of Syriza at the Greek parliament) dealt mostly with the strategic objectives for a new productive model (e.g. democratic planning with the commitment of the citizens).

Second Panel:

  • Josef Baum (University of Vienna) analyzed the link between reindustrialization and energy both in Europe and in the USA.
  • Sigfrido Ramirez (University of Copenhagen) used an historical and legal approach to tackle the industrial policy at the EU level, showing how polysemous this notion is and hence addressing the Left to take it up.
  • In the absence of Jean-Christophe Le Duigou (General Confederation of Labor – CGT), we presented his set of priorities for a true European industrial policy: re-skilling of the workers to go with the ecological transition, increase efforts in research and innovation, develop a consequent energy policy, ensure a better funding of growth, and design a new trade policy.
  • Last but not least, Mario Pianta (University of Urbino) provided, among other things, answers regarding the content of a European industrial policy: greening of the economies, enhancement of the ICTs potential, developing the growth potential of the care economy in ageing European societies. His full contribution will be published in the forthcoming issue of the transform! journal early December.

Most of these contributions will be gathered and published on the transform! website in the days to come. In the meantime, the TEWG will focus on the elaboration of a working paper dealing with the issue of productive reconstruction. Scheduled for February 2014, it aims at participating in the debate of the forthcoming European elections. Moreover, transform! europe will organize a conference on this issue in the course of the year 2014.