The members of the Socialist International Committee on the Economy, Social Cohesion and the Environment met in London on 15-16 April 2007, following its previous meeting in New Delhi this year and prior to the two further planned regional meetings scheduled for 2007.
The discussions at the meeting centered on plans for the Committee’s report, on the content and issues to be included in this document which will be presented at the next SI Congress, and on its elaboration, as well as on the work that lies ahead for the Committee.
With regard to the content of the report, agreement was reached that a first part, or a first paper, should address the social democratic vision of the market and the State in the 21st century, building on the growing consensus amongst social democrats from different parts of the world, from developed and developing economies, towards common approaches and emphasis on national policies. These included a common priority on education, health and social protection, as investing in people was a foremost shared priority. Equally, the regulatory role of the State with regard to the market, recognised today as a key principle to achieve social cohesion and more fairness, should be further examined and developed. A second part of the report, or a second paper, should address the regional dimension of the world economy, reviewing different regional experiences of integration, the opportunities and advantages that it brings, or the new problems that it poses. The third part, or a third paper, should address the global dimension, the institutional framework and the views of the social democratic movement for its reform, and the priorities to open up opportunities for all in the global economy.
The Committee members equally discussed and agreed on different individual tasks and the preparation of specific papers by members to contribute to the drafting of the report. Amongst them, one on regional integration in South East Asia, another with contributions drawing on the regional integration in Africa, one on the Mediterranean dimension of regional cooperation, and one on the European experience with integration.
With regard to the future activities of the Committee, the members decided that the planned regional meetings, the first to focus on economies in transition, should be held in Ukraine on 9-10 September. This meeting should give an opportunity to present and evaluate, from a social democratic perspective, experiences of the process of reform with contributions from Romania, Ukraine, Mongolia and Russia, and if possible also from countries in the Southern Caucasus.
The following meeting of the Committee this year, to focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, to take place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on 9-10 November, will examine the experiences of integration in that region, looking at some specific aspects of it, for instance energy, and the challenges posed to the social democratic movement to achieve more equality and decrease social injustice in the Americas.
The last meeting of the Committee for 2007 will then take place in London on 26-27 November to discuss and approve the final report of the Committee.