Workshop: “The impacts of international subsidies on ‘Socially Just Development’ in the MENA region”

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FES Palestine and its partner Bisan Center for Research and Development conducted the second workshop of our “Socially Just Development Project” on 27 September. The workshop contributed to a final study that analyses the roles and activities of international and financial institutions in the MENA region in general and in Palestine in particular. A previous workshop had focused on exposing the effects of the international subsidies system on social justice and the economic and political situation in Palestine. This week’s workshop at the Bisan Center in Ramallah presented first results of our long term study that served as a starting point for the following discussion. The round table discussion brought together a variety of participants from academics and Palestinian civil society, in order to exchange their ideas.

The study was conducted in the context of current negotiations by MENA countries over loans by International Financial Institutions that are being heavily criticized for resulting in structural adjustment programs that enable and promote further neoliberal policies such as privatization, economic liberalization and decreased state oversight on economic matters. The participating stakeholders – a variety of intellectuals, decision makers and activists within Palestinian society – shared with us their thoughts on the study, compared the socio-economic situation in different MENA-countries and discussed further contributions to our aim of Socially Just Development.