Euro Memorandum 2016

Addressing Europe's Multiple Crises: An agenda for economic transformation, solidarity and democracy

Feb 2016

Euromemorandum 2016 critically reviews economic policy in the EU in 2015. It argues that the current slight easing of fiscal pressure should be replaced by co-ordinated fiscal expansion. It also discusses the EU democratic deficit with special reference to Greece, as well as migration, youth unemployment and TTIP.

The EuroMemorandum 2016 critically analyses recent economic developments in Europe and emphasises the strong need for an alternative economic policy that is based on the principles of democratic participation, social justice and environmental sustainability. 

The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the EU to emerge from the crisis which began in the financial sector in 2007/2008 and which shifted into the sphere of public finances in 2009/2010, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks, in many cases caused by the destructive policies of the EU and of its member states. 

The continuing low growth rate environment in many countries, stagnation in others and even recession in some, have led not only to a general slow-down, but also to deepening divisions within the EU, both between member states and between regions. Such divergences are reflected in the basic economic and social indicators of the area, as well as in the democratic process on the political level, as certain countries acquire a hegemonic role in the shaping of EU policy, while particular group interests, notably those of financial capital, become dominant across the EU as a whole. The Greek experience amply revealed the connecting links between politics and economics in the EU, i.e. the power imbalance between the ruling elites and society at large. Furthermore, it raises serious issues of constitutionalism: namely, the tendency of the EU institutions to restrict the area of democratic decision making by democratically elected governments, focusing instead on technocratic rules imposed by undemocratic decision bodies. In this sense, a discussion of alternative proposals to the current EU economic and social policy needs to take into account the underlying political process and the squeezing out of democracy. 

More than 320 economists and social scientists from all over Europe and beyond have declared their support for the new EuroMemorandum (click here for the list of signatories)

The summary of the EuroMemorandum 2016 is also available in Greek. Translations into other languages of the summary and the full text will follow soon. 

The EuroMemorandum 2016 draws on discussions and papers presented at the 21st Workshop on Alternative Economic Policy in Europe, organised by the EuroMemo Group, from 24-26 September 2015 in Roskilde, Denmark. 


1 Recent macroeconomic developments, policies and alternatives for economic growth and employment
1.1 Weak, fragile and uneven recovery continues in 2015
1.2 Recent official policies and proposals: Little progress, old errors and new dangers
1.3 Alternative macroeconomic policies

2 The democratic challenge
2.1 Making an example of Greece
2.2 The EU’s democratic deficit
2.3 A shift to democratic priorities

3 Migration, labour market and demographic change in the EU
3.1 Current developments
3.2 EU migration policy
3.3 The need for a more active and inclusive migration policy

4 Youth unemployment in the EU
4.1 The extent of the problem
4.2 The policy response and the youth guarantee
4.3 A social rights based approach to social policy

5 The challenge of the TTIP, and the Eastern Partnership
5.1 Recent developments: protests on the rise, and reform proposals
5.2 Official policies under scrutiny
5.3 Alternatives: an EU trade agenda centred on democracy and international cooperation, and genuine good regulatory practices

Declaration of support