The speaker began her reflection with the words Pope Francis addressed in his speech to the European Parliament (November 25, 2014):
"Dear Members of the European Parliament, the time has come to work together in building a Europe which revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values (…) A Europe which cares for, defends and protects man, every man and woman. A Europe which bestrides the earth surely and securely, a precious point of reference for all humanity!”
She stated that the Social Doctrine of the Church affirms: "the economy must be at the service of the person, of the whole person and of all people, especially the most disadvantaged."
The three essential sections in the presentation were:
- A description of the trends of the current economic and social reality, emphasizing what needs to change the current economic system to move towards a social economy.
- The fundamental characteristics of a social economy: ethics in the economic activity and in the company, the limits to the market.
- Review of the economic policy of each government: creation of decent employment, inclusive social policy and fair redistributive fiscal policy and equity.
Finally, she addressed some experiences of new ways of doing economics: "the economy of the common good" and "the economy of communion".
She finished her excellent and lively presentation by contributing her "conviction that only with a profound change of the socioeconomic model that prioritizes the collective good, a powerful welfare state that invests to guarantee the rights of citizens and the integral development of each person, and fiscal policies that promote a more co-responsible and equitable society, will we be able to overcome the obstacles that today marginalize a good part of the population.
To conclude, she quoted Ignacio Ellacuría who urged "to reverse history, subvert it and throw it into another direction," to "overcome the civilization of capital," to "cure the sick civilization." Clinging to these words, she pointed out that the ideas presented were not pointing to utopia, but rather to a just and achievable eutopia that goes through the reconstruction of social cohesion in the time we have to live.
In this task we are all involved. As Pedro Poveda said "Start by doing."
The presentation ended with questions from the group of participants.
Pedro Poveda Chair, UPSA