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Professor Dave Gordon invited to speak at Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union Conference

6 November 2014

About 100 politicians, senior business and trade union leaders and academics from all over Europe discussed the ways of alleviating the detrimental effects of the financial crisis and austerity measures and the importance of strengthening the European Social Model using a Social Quality Approach.

Professor David Gordon was invited to speak at a meeting in Rome of the Italian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (the Presidency rotates every six months among the 29 EU countries). About 100 politicians, senior business and trade union leaders and academics from all over Europe discussed the ways of alleviating the detrimental effects of the financial crisis and austerity measures and the importance of strengthening the European Social Model using a Social Quality Approach.

The conference on ‘Strengthening the European Social Model: The contribution of the Social Quality Approach to strengthen social justice, human dignity and solidarity of the EU in a changing world’, was held in the hall “Sala Multifunzionale” of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on Friday 31 October and was funded by the Italian Department of European Policies and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation.

One unusual aspect of this meeting was a discussion of a recent apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis who argued: ‘No to an economy of exclusion... today we also have to say “thou shalt not” to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills. How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points? This is a case of exclusion. Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving? This is a case of inequality. Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without work, without possibilities, without any means of escape.’

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