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European funds: are they feminists?

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We are trying to build an ecofeminist critique on so-called European funds and, moreover, on green and digital capitalism..

The recovery plan NextGenerationEU (NGEU) is an economic policy tool that needs to be understand because of the amount of money that is involved. But, moreover, we need to and understand them because they clearly show what type of ecosocial transition is being promoted and how it takes us towards a new phase of capitalism: green and digital capitalism. In this phase, some of the core elements of neoliberalism are under dispute, such as the role of the State: is a more active public role playing in favour of citizenship or is it a new way for old purposes, corporate’s benefit? Who benefits from NGEU?

We do not trust in the official rhetoric according to which the transition towards such a capitalism will bring collective wellbeing and help us to fight climate change. Neither we trust in the Spanish version of such a discourse that promises a purple transition that will bring also gender equality. On the contrary, we think that:

  • It is corporate power, big companies, who truly benefits from green and digital capitalism. The green New Deal and the NGEU help European big companies.
  • Moving towards a green and digital capitalist transition prevents moving in the pathway of ecofeminist transition. They are non compatible.

This opinion piece shows our early reflection on the topic “Fondos europeos ¿feministas?” (November 2021). From then, we have gone deeper into the topic. mainly through those two activities:

  • Series of webinars “Feminist European Funds or green and purple washing? Coorganized together with OMAL-Paz con Dignidad, Calala Fondo de Mujeres and Observatori del Deute en la Globalització. Recordings and report are available in Spanish.
  • A process of collective ecofeminist internationalist analysis of five Strategic Projects for Economic recovery and Transformation (PERTEs). These are the main tool through which NGEU are applied in Spain. We looked at those five: health, energy, agri-food, water and care. All of them are sectors that should be part of the future reproductive sustainable matrix for which ecofeminism fights. We need to change how those sectors work, but they are essential to us. This process has been a collaboration with OMAL-Paz con Dignidad, Observatori del Deute en la Globalització, Xarxa per la Sobirania Energètica and Sempreviva Organização Feminista. The main resultas can be found here:

Webinar 1: A feminist view on Next Generation EU recovery plan

9th Feb 2022. With Nicola Scherer (Observatori del Deute en la Globalització); María Palomares Arenas (Calala Fondo de Mujeres); Carmen San José (de Audita Sanidad); and Isa Álvarez Vispo (Baladre and Red URGENCI).

Webinar 2: Another funding for another transition

16the Feb. 2022. With Iolanda Fresnillo (Eurodad); Nuria Blázquez (Ecologistas en Acción); Amaia Pérez Orozco (Colectiva XXK); and Blanca Bayas Fernández (Observatori del Deute en la Globalització).