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Labour Party Conference 2009: Policy Network fringe programme

  • Date(s)
    30 September 2009
  • Location

This year's Labour Party Conference will see Policy Network hold challenging and stimulating fringe events on the politics of climate change, the future of social democracy, the role of the EU in light of G20, and social investment strategies in a period of public spending constraint.

The politics of climate change: Is cross party consensus good for Labour?

Ed Miliband, UK secretary of state for Energy and Climate Change
Hugh Compston, reader in politics at the University of Cardiff
Clive Soley, member of the House of Lords and campaign director of Future Heathrow
Stephen Hale, director of the Green Alliance
Nicky Gavron, member of the London Assembly and member of the GLA Environment Committee

This event will discuss the political challenges of achieving a low-carbon future. So far, Britain’s three main political parties have expressed support for a green path to economic recovery. However, with mounting public debt restricting the scope of public spending, it is not clear that the parties will agree on a common strategy for low-carbon investment. Will the fragile cross-party consensus in favour of a progressive green agenda last, or will it fragment as parties seek to garner the support of penalised or dissatisfied voters? And how can the centre-left develop a distinct profile on climate change without destroying the consensus?

The event is taking place on Sunday 27 September from 17h30 to 19h00 in the Gresham Suite at the Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road (just outside the secure zone).

Spending with cuts: making the case for a social investment strategy

Anke Hassel, professor of public policy at the Hertie School of Governance
James Purnell, UK Member of Parliament for Stalybridge and Hyde
Rushanara Ali, Labour Parliamentary Candidate for the Bethnal Green and Bow
Jonathan Lewis, chief executive, The Social Investment Business
Roger Liddle, chair of Policy Network and chair of the UK government’s New Industry, New Jobs, Universities and Skills advisory panel

This event, co-hosted with The Social Investement Business, will discuss strategies for delivering public services and welfare provision in the 21st Century.  Seeking to learn from the experience of other European countries, it will examine whether a social investment-led restructuring of welfare policy can help alleviate new social risks and ensure social protection in periods of economic turbulence.

The event is taking place on Monday 28 September from 07.30 to 09.00 in the Gresham Suite at the Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road, Brighton (just outside the secure zone).

The end of an era? European social democracy at a crossroads

Matthias Machnig, German secretary of state for the Environment, Nuclear Safety and Nature Conservation
Jan Royall, Labour politician and leader of the House of Lords
Patrick Diamond, Head of long-term policy in the UK Prime Minister's Office, 10 Downing Street
Pierre Moscovici, member of the French Parliament and deputy president of its delegation for European affairs
Frans Timmermans, Dutch minister for European Affairs

This event, organised by Policy Network in partnership with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung will discuss the state of European social democracy just one day after the important German general elections. Over the last years we have seen the rise of conservative governments across Europe, sharply reversing the trend towards the end of the 1990s which saw Europe dominated by the centre-left. This development suggests a deeper malaise of social democracy which seems to affect even the most successful models, be it in Scandinavia or the Netherlands. Questions to be addressed at this event therefore include:

• What are the principal reasons for the decline of social democracy in Europe and what lessons can be drawn from different national experiences?
• How can the centre-left adapt to the new realities and form again plausible majority parties of a new type?

The event is taking place on Monday 28 September from 18h00 to 19h30 in the Gresham Suite at the Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road (just outside the secure zone).

Complementary or contradictory - What role for the EU in light of G20?

Peter Mandelson, president of Policy Network, first secretary of state, secretary of state for business, innovation & skills, lord president of the council
Richard Lambert, director general of the Confederation for British Industry
Philip Stephens, assistant editor of The Financial Times
Arlene McCarthy, member of the European Parliament for North West England for the Labour Party
Roland Rudd, founding chairman of Business for New Europe (chair)

This event, organised by Policy Network in partnership with Business for New Europe, will discuss European policy responses to the global economic downturn. When the financial crisis hit European economies last autumn, governments struggled to formulate a coordinated response, with countries prioritising different measures depending on their national priorities. As the first glimmers of hope for recovery start to appear, how can European governments translate their short-term policy responses into a coordinated future economic strategy for Europe?

The event is taking place on Tuesday 29 September from 07h30 to 09h00 in the Gresham Suite at the Old Ship Hotel, Kings Road (just outside the secure zone).

If you would like further information on any of the Policy Network fringe events, please contact Jade Groves, events manager at jgroves@policy-network.net, or alternatively call 020 7 3402216.

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