Foundation Forum 2009 - Global recession: Europe's way out

Logo Forum 2009Foundation Forum 2009 will take place in Dublin Castle, Dublin, Ireland, on 5-6 November 2009

Day 1 - Day 2


New See details of breakout sessions

Thursday 5 November 2009

08.15-08.45 Registration and coffee

09.00-09.15 Welcome

An Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD [speech]

09.15-9.30 Introduction to theme

Jorma Karppinen, Director, Eurofound
Erika Mezger, Deputy Director, Eurofound

09.30-10.45 FIRST PLENARY SESSION: Reflections on recession - past and present

What are the social consequences that are unique to this crisis? Do they differ in scope or nature from those suffered as a result of the crises of the last century? Have the different constituencies looked to earlier experiences for guidance in responding to the current situation?

Panel discussion and questions from floor
Moderator: Samira Ahmed, Television journalist and broadcaster, Channel 4 News

10.45-11.15 Coffee


11.15-12-15 SECOND PLENARY SESSION: Weathering the storm

Chair of session: Mary McCaughey, Eurofound

Big solutions must be developed to respond to the global crisis. Governments around the world are searching for the right mix of fiscal and monetary policy to stimulate the economy and to prevent a deepening of the recession. Among the most controversial issues is the future of the financial sector. Its malfunctioning is blamed for causing the crisis, rebuilding it is seen as a prerequisite for a return to growth.

But is helping the banks get back on their feet the right way to proceed? Are the spending cuts and tax hikes that finance bank bail-outs justifiable? Is public money not better spent on active labour market policies and job creation measures to prevent the economic crisis developing into an employment crisis? And if banks and investment companies receive support from government coffers, what new global standards must be set to ensure that risks are minimised and longer-term interests are also taken into account?

An American way

Amy Domini, CEO, Domini Social Investments, USA [abstract, pdf, 19kb]

A European way

Maria João Rodrigues, Special Advisor on Lisbon Strategy


12.15-13.00 THIRD PLENARY SESSION: Quo vadis Europe - Consequences of the crisis

Chair of session: Armindo Silva, Vice-chair (European Commission)
Eurofound Governing Board

Three areas where the recession has had significant impact are the labour market, public services, and social security and welfare reform. These, and the roles of the different actors, will be reviewed in this plenary session and then taken up in the respective breakout sessions.

'Conversation starters'

  1. Consequences for labour market policies
    Paul Swaim, Head of the Employment Outlook section of the OECD [abstract, pdf, 9kb]
  2. Sustainability of public services
    Imelda Redmond, CEO, Carers UK [abstract, pdf, 15kb]
  3. Social security and welfare reform
    Anton Hemerijck, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Free University of Amsterdam [abstract, pdf, 9kb]
  4. Joint efforts to tackle the recession
    Fintan O’Toole, Writer and broadcaster

13.00-14.30 Lunch


14.30-16.30 Breakout sessions take place

1. Consequences for labour market policies - background note [.pdf, 148 kb]
  • Respondent: Rudi Delarue, Director, ILO Office for the EU and the Benelux countries, ILO, Belgium
  • Respondent: Paul Sweeney, Irish Congress of Trade Union, Ireland
  • Respondent: Maria Jepsen, European Trade Union Institute
  • Moderator: Donald Storrie, Eurofound
2. Sustainability of public services - background note [.pdf, 125 kb]
3. Social security and welfare reform - background note [.pdf, 124 kb]
  • Respondent: Szusza Széman, Institute of Sociology, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
  • Respondent: Ivan Svetlik, Minister for Labour, Slovenia
  • Moderator: Aurelio Fernandez Lopez, Advisor to Secretary of State for Social Security in Spain and Chair of EU Social Protection Committee
4. Joint efforts to tackle the recession - background note [.pdf, 131 kb]


16.30-18.00 Third plenary session resumed

Responses from the breakout sessions.
Discussion and wrap up.

20.00-22.30 Forum dinner

Host: Mary Coughlan TD - Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and

St Patrick's Hall
Dublin Castle


Friday 6 November 2009

08.45-09.15 Registration and Coffee

09.15-10.30 FOURTH PLENARY SESSION: All in this together? The role of social dialogue

Chair of session: Stefania Rossi, Vice-chair (Employers)
Eurofound Governing Board

Social dialogue is an important feature of the European Social Model. Some Member States, notably Ireland, have built their modern economies on the basis of national agreements with the social partners. What is their position on social dialogue in recessionary times? Can it deliver the hard decisions? And what of the governments of Member States where social dialogue is not part of their culture or was considered a luxury they could not afford in the past? Will they turn to it now as a way of spreading responsibility for the hard decisions? What are the alternatives?

10.30-11.00 Coffee


11.00-12.45 FIFTH PLENARY SESSION: The crisis as a catalyst for positive change

                                    Plenary debate, moderated by Samira Ahmed 

Europe is at a turning point, institutionally as well as economically. A new European Parliament has just been elected and a new Commission will be in place by the end of the year. What direction will be taken? What changes are desirable or feasible? Who are the players and what are their roles? Will we try to repair the fabric of the old European Social Model(s) or is there an opportunity to weave a new and better one?

Debate initiator – Michal Boni, Minister, Member of the Council of Ministers, Poland [abstract, pdf, 37kb]
Debate leaders:

  1. EU institutions: Proinsias De Rossa MEP
  2. Workers: Judith Kirton-Darling, Policy Advisor, European Metalworkers’ Federation
  3. Business: Niamh McCarthy, Head of EU Competition and Regulatory Law,
    British Airways
  4. Civil Society: Conny Reuter, Secretary General of SOLIDAR and President of the European Platform of Social NGOs


Closing remarks: Jorma Karppinen, Director, Eurofound

13.15 Lunch

14.30 Depart for city and/or airport

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