Series of podcasts related with the research and policy activity of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies
#FEPS Talks 102: Current transformations and the future of work
28:33Guy Ryder, ILO Director General, and László Andor, FEPS Secretary General analyse in this episode the main transformative challenges in the world of work: new technology, climate change, digitalisation and aging population. The International Labour Organisation proposed innovative solutions in three different fields: people and their capacities (social protection, lifelong learning), institutions of work (labour regulations/law) and jobs of the future (green economy, care economy etc.). The two speakers agree that the European Union’s example, even if not perfect, offers many forward-looking examples also for the rest of the world. They bring to our attention the problem of rising inequality and the very uneven recovery experience from COVID 19 in advanced economies and developing countries, even if the pandemic highlighted that global challenges need global responses, and stronger multilateral structures in the long-run.
#101 FEPS Talks: Standing up for women’s fair and safe access to abortion care
31:35September 28th marks the International Safe Abortion Day. It therefore presents an opportune moment to recall how a fair and safe access to abortion constitutes a crucial condition for the respect of women’s fundamental rights and to eliminate gender discrimination. What is the importance of international solidarity for gender justice? How do we end the stigma and discrimination towards abortion? How do we ensure access to safe and affordable abortion healthcare services? How did the Covid-19 pandemic impose further hurdles to women in need of access to sexual reproductive health and rights? Why are women’s bodies so highly politicized? What are the main lessons to draw from success stories such as the repeal the 8th amendment abortion rights campaign in Ireland? In this podcast, Rhonda Donaghey (PES Women executive member and women’s rights activist from Ireland) engages in conversation with Laeticia Thissen (FEPS Policy Analyst for Gender Equality) on these questions whilst exploring progressive answers living up to women’s rights and gender equality.
#100 FEPS Talks: Revitalising social democracy for the future of Europe
26:17Dr. Hannes Swoboda, former S&D group leader in the European Parliament, and current President of the International Institute for Peace, is our special guest in the #100 FEPS Talks episode. In a conversation with Dr László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, he shares his view about the erosion and current reconstruction of social democracy, pointing to examples of revitalisation like Norway or (according to the latest polls) Germany. Swoboda and Andor also reflect on the role of the progressives in the debate on the future of Europe. Our guest proposes to focus on job creation and address many new challenges in the new labour markets. Decent jobs and decent incomes remain paramount goals for social democrats. He also highlights the importance of giving to the young generation the possibility to build an EU with a stronger social dimension. They both agree that the issue of EU enlargement is not present enough in the ongoing debates on Europe’s future and discuss how the Western Balkans strategy should be based on solidarity and better take into account geopolitical aspects. The conversation ends with a book recommendation by Dr. Swoboda.
#99 FEPS Talks: Afghanistan, the emerging Biden doctrine and the way forward for transatlantic cooperation
26:47Matt Duss, Foreign Policy Advisor to US Senator Bernie Sanders, joins Vassilis Ntousas, Senior International Relations Policy Advisor at FEPS, for an episode focusing on the Afghanistan withdrawal, the emerging US foreign policy doctrine under president Biden, the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and what recent developments mean for ‘the West’ and the international liberal order, and the future of transatlantic cooperation after these momentous events.
#98 FEPS Talks: Employment and Wages for the post-pandemic Recovery
38:08Professor Thorsten Schulten, WSI Institute of Economic and Social Research at the Hans Blöcker Stiftung with Dr. David Rinaldi, FEPS Director of Studies and Policy The episode starts with a look at the consequences of the pandemic for employment and a reflection on the impact it has on wages and labour shortages. Prof. Schulten then comments on the changing attitude of national and European politics toward employment and wages. The Commission’s proposal on adequate minimum wages is discussed; despite its merits the initiative faces big resistances that are analysed in this talk.
#97 FEPS Talks: Swedish social democracy in a search for a new forward
29:38Following the recent resignation of the Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, professor Jenny Andersson from Science Po and Uppsala University and dr Ania Skrzypek, FEPS Director of Research and Training discuss the developments in Sweden in the context of the situation of the centre-left in Europe. Tune in to hear analysis of the last decade of the political history of Sweden and find out what the likely scenarios are when it comes to search for a new leadership and new way forward ahead of the general elections next year.
#96 FEPS Talks: Finding progressive pathways for sexual reproductive health and rights
26:42“My body, my choice” was coined as a feminist struggle setting the tone of this podcast addressing women and girls’ sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Women’s equal access to labour and their full control over their own bodies namely constitute the two core preconditions for women’s full emancipation. In fact, a woman’s power to control her own body is linked to how much control she has in other spheres of her life. It also lies in the European Union’s hands to demonstrate leadership in highlighting why bodily autonomy is a universal right that must be upheld by making SRHR a precondition for universal access to health and allowing no concession on this fundamental principle, such as the recently adopted report of the European Parliament on the situation of sexual and reproductive health and rights in the EU. Recent developments across the Union namely reveal how serious many of the shortfalls in bodily autonomy are; many have worsened under the pressures of the COVID-19 pandemic. Right now, for instance, record numbers of women and girls are at risk of gender-based violence and harmful practices, seeing their rights regressing dramatically. In light of current anti-gender developments across Europe, Neil Datta (Secretary of European Parliamentary Forum for Sexual and Reproductive Rights) engages in conversation with Laeticia Thissen (FEPS Policy Analyst for Gender Equality) showing, once more, that women’s rights and bodily autonomy are never granted but must constantly be fought for. Fore more details, look up the full report “Tip of the Iceberg: Religious extremist - Funders against Human Rights for Sexuality & Reproductive Health in Europe”(June 2021) available here: https://www.epfweb.org/node/837
#95 FEPS Talks: 50 years after the ‘Nixon shock’: The dollar’s past and the euro’s future
35:37Professor Jonathan Kirshner (Boston College) and Dr László Andor, FEPS Secretary General, mark in this podcast episode the 50th anniversary of the “Nixon shock”, the day when the convertibility of the US dollar to gold was suddenly ended. They discuss how in the post-war decades great imbalances developed in the global financial system which eventually brought the Bretton Woods currency arrangements to an end. This regime change is considered as a critical step by many economic historians which then motivated Western Europe to seek a greater monetary stability through deeper integration (creating the EMS and the EMU). For the euro to play a stronger international role, and serve as a pillar of strategic autonomy, Prof Kirshner points to criteria outlined in the optimum currency area theory: having a more robust common fiscal policy but less barriers to labour mobility. A return to gold should not be considered (could only lead to deflationary bias). Kirshner and Andor also elaborate on the personality of President Nixon, surrounded by influential figures like Henry Kissinger, Milton Friedman and John Connally – neither of whom encouraged Nixon to sacrifice domestic priorities for stabilising the international order or multilateral institutions. The conversation ends with an update of the reading list and even cinema recommendations related to political economy.
#94 FEPS Talks: The social dimension of EU industrial policy
26:47Dr. Cinzia Alcidi, Director of Research and Head of the Economic Policy Unit at CEPS and Dr. David Rinaldi, FEPS Director of Studies and Policy comment on the outcomes of CEPS Task Force on New Industrial Policy and its relation with the need to boost a job-rich recovery. The conversation insists on the need to link the European industrial policy to job quality, skills and regional cohesion. In this episode, Dr Alcidi also speaks about SURE and the need to potentiate this instrument for the lasting effects of the COVID-19 crisis on employment.
#93 FEPS talks: Football and politics: the tangled web
29:34For a more progressive sports model The day after the final of the UEFA European Championship 2021, Jean-Michel de Waele, Professor of Political Sciences at the ULB, joins François Balate, Head of Office of FEPS President, to analyse what is the relationship between sports, more specifically football, and politics. They reach the conclusion that a more progressive sports model is needed but they also comment on the results of the European Championship, the reactions of politicians in social media and how these kinds of tournaments could reinforce the European identity or could better reach some EU goals, such as the fight against climate change and minority rights.