The spectacular growth in public debt in South-East Europe is usually presented as a problem of excessive state spending caused by a lack of business-friendly environments for foreign investors. The question of whether reforms promoted under EU accession agreements or IMF Stand By Arrangements are making the region more dependent in the long term on foreign borrowing, whilst placing a strain on public finances in the short term, is rarely asked. In the same way, the EU is promoting debt financed infrastructure projects, primarily through the enlargement of the Transport and Energy Communities, where finance is conditional on public-private partnerships. However neither the public nor civil society organisations are consulted about whether investment in energy exports is ecologically or financially sustainable, or whether the chronic overdependence on road transport should be encouraged.
The conference will present innovative research from the civil society sector on the interlinked crises of public debt, infrastructure and the environment in the region. It will also outline policy alternatives to the models of financialization, mega-infrastructure and predatory extractivism in the region, hence providing an opportunity to discuss civil society perspectives and alternative models of public finance.
Participation in the event is free of charge, but for organisational reasons we welcome registration here.
9.00 – 9.30 Registration
9.30 – 10.00 Opening session – Framing the issue
10.00 – 11.45 Public Debt in South-East Europe: why public participation should be enabled?
11.45 – 12.15 Coffee break
12.15 – 14.00 Public Infrastructure in South-East Europe: in whose interest?
14.00 – 15.00 Networking
Dogodek je organiziran v sklopu projekta Balkan Monitoring Public Finance, ki ga sofinancira Evropska unija.