European Briefings on Globalisation, North-South Relations and International Ecology

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Issue 6/Nov-Dec 2007

Article no: EN20071123-Issue-6-2007

Issue 6/Nov-Dec 2007

* Lisbon EU-Africa Summit: The Day after ? Prepared for real change of relationship?
Will the Lisbon Summit (to be held on 8-9 December) and the new Africa-EU joint Strategy bring substantial change in the way both partners handle their relationship? As a facilitator of the public consultation on the Strategy, ECDPM believes it is useful at this stage to start looking beyond the Summit and, without seeking to be comprehensive, to raise a small selection of issues that amongst others will deserve attention in 2008. By Paul Engel and Marie-Laure de Bergh

* The Global Establishment and Global Inequality: Shift of tone in the globalisation debate?
There is no doubt: The way established economists and commentators talk about global economic inequality underwent a remarkable change. Even in traditionally orthodox circles there is a growing sense of urgency including calls for action. The debate on globalisation shows a very similar tendency which comes as no surprise since inequality and globalisation are two sides of the same coin. Rainer Falk gives an overview.

* Trade Unions and Globalisation: Enlarging Agendas. Trends, challenges and responses
Improved alliance-building, international collaboration and the promotion of the adoption of international labour standards are strategies the trade union movement has developed against the backdrop of globalisation. A new book (see reference) examines some of the crucial issues facing the trade union movement. Verena Schmidt, the editor of the book and coordinator of ILO?s Global Union Research Network, explains in an interview how the new policies are being shaped.

* Who's Afraid of a Falling Dollar? Strong dollar ? strong influenza
What do policy-makers in China, Japan, Argentina, Malaysia, Indonesia, the European Union and many other countries understand that ours don't? It seems they know that if the value of their currencies rises too much, it can hurt their economy. But for a number of reasons it hasn't quite sunk in here, comments Mark Weisbrot in Washington.

* Agro-Fuels and Social Movements in Brazil: Local production first
A heated international debate has been triggered by fuels derived from plants. Brazil plays an important role in this discussion. The country is a pioneer in the use of plant-based fuels, and a multi-faceted scene involving NGOs and social movements follows the current developments. The social movements of landless, agricultural workers and small farmers have now intensified their efforts to initiate a dialogue about the conflict-charged future of agro-fuels, reports Thomas Fatheuer.

* Argentina's Comeback has Lessons for Poor World: Despite, not because of, the IMF
A few years ago, Argentina suffered rampant unemployment and widespread poverty, but prudent macroeconomic policies by its political leaders since then have allowed the country to stage a remarkable comeback. The economic medicine prescribed by its leaders mostly counteracted the policies preferred by the International Monetary Fund, a fact that may have some important implications for other developing countries, writes Mark Weisbrot.

* WDEV News Blog: European Civil Society Round-Up
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