2nd Spring Social Conference: “Reclaim Democracy! Towards Common Actions at a European Level”

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.

(same place)

Concrete objectives

  • 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

Priorities for a European democracy

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.

Five “emergencies”

1.The ecological transition
2. Debt
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.

Seven « themes »

  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*
  5. Corruption
  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

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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Inter-networks conference

Call to Leftist personalities, movements and parties in Europe

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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JSC 2012


Thursday 29 March

10:00 Reception and registration

10:30 Plenary Session


·           Introduction

·           Comprehensive analysis of the crisis

·           Presentation of the workshops: 5 emergencies + 6 themes


12:30 Lunch

14:00Workshop on “emergencies”


Goal : To present proposals for action, organizing and planning of theseactions


16:00 Break

16:30Workshops on six “themes”


Goal : To clarify and deepen our analysis

18.00 End of day

Friday 30 march


9:00 Presentation of the draft press release

Overview of Actions

10:30 Preparation of the discussion on the “Alter-Summit”

13h00 End of the JSC 2012


Working languages

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 info@jointsocialconference.eu 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


Organisation Pays
AD FSR Romania
Friends of the Earth EU
ATTAC Austria, Belgium, Germany, Belgique, France
CADTM Belgium, France
Cartel-Alfa Romania
CGIL Italy
CGT France
CGT-P Portugal
CIG Galicia
CoR United Kingdom
CSC-ACV Belgium
CSDR Romania
ELA Basque Country (Spain)
FSU France
Labour & Globalization Italy
MSZ OSZ Hungary
Campaign for the Welfare State Norway
S2B – Seattle to Brussels EU
Solidar EU
Solidaires France
TNI United Kingdom
Transform EU
VER.DI Germany



Invited Organizations



Organization Country
ATTAC United Kingdom
CEO United Kingdom
CITUB Bulgaria
Czech social forum/SpaS Czech Republic
Euromarches France
GPA Austria