Assessments of the tasks performed by CADTM Belgium for the network’s joint international Secretariat
Since 2013, ATTAC CADTM Morocco and CADTM Belgium share
A unit of ownership interest in a corporation or financial asset, representing one part of the total capital stock. Its owner (a shareholder) is entitled to receive an equal distribution of any profits distributed (a dividend) and to attend shareholder meetings.
the Joint International Secretariat (JIS) of the CADTM International network. During the World Assembly (WA) of the CADTM network that was held between 27 and 30 April 2016 in Tunis, Françoise Mulfinger, independent expert commissioned to evaluate the feasibility of creating a shared International administration presented (in French) a largly positive analysis. As a result, the mandate delivred to ATTAC CADTM Morocco and CADTM Belgium by the WA was renewed for the period 2016-2021. At the WA held in Dakar in November 2021 a comprehensive report on the tasks and activities of the JIS was presented and the ongoing structure of the JIS was confirmed for the next five years to 2026. We hereby present the work of CADTM Belgium in the JIS framework and the International Network. This report pairs with the complementary report by ATTAC CADTM Morocco that is consultable here: https://www.cadtm.org/Assessments-of-the-tasks-performed-by-ATTAC-CADTM-Morocco-for-the-network-
Table showing shared tasks
|Tasks assigned to ATTAC-CADTM Morocco||Tasks assigned to CADTM Belgium|
|Political statements, press releases, interviews involving the CADTM at an international level.|
|International training seminars on the issues of debt, international institutions, alternatives to the crisis and patriarchal and productivist capitalism.|
|Organizing the network’s World Assemblies.|
|Liaising with the World Social Forum, the World Assembly of Social Movements, and various partners throughout the world, including Globattac, ACME, Via Campesina, the WMW (as a threesome ATTAC-CADTM Morocco, CADTM Belgium and CADTM AYNA)||Drafting the CADTM network’s internal bulletin.|
|Developing and supporting CADTM activities in Africa, and in particular those in North Africa and the Middle East||Coordinating research for synergies in Europe, particularly coordinating the CADTM Europe group, of which CADTM Belgium is a member, as well as working with the coordination units in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and Asia|
|Developing and Maintaining the CADTM international website in Arabic, improving its visibility and possibly distributing an electronic newsletter in Arabic||Managing the CADTM website, www.cadtm.org in French, Spanish, English and Portuguese|
|Publishing a bulletin in Arabic and promoting articles and analyses as well as producing and distributing books, especially in Arabic, and articles translated into Arabic and from Arabic into French||Preparing and producing the CADTM magazine in French and the e-newsletters in French, Spanish and English|
|Looking for funding for the tasks ATTAC-CADTM Morocco performs as part of the International Secretariat as well as the accounting involved in such funding and assuming the responsibilities involved (drafting executive reports, backup of all supporting and accounting documents …).CADTM Belgium will help ATTAC-CADTM Morocco but while seeing to it that the latter can shoulder the responsibility on its own||Publishing books in French, Spanish and English
CADTM Belgium will provide technical and methodological assistance to ATTAC-CADTM Morocco
Our Main missions are to promote the emancipation of peoples through the struggle for the abolition of the “debt system” and to work for the establishment of ecologically sustainable alternatives that liberate humanity from all forms of oppression: social, patriarchal, neo-colonial, racial.
The CADTM Belgium approaches development issues in order to propose alternative strategies for the emancipation of peoples, through the analysis of debt. This emancipation requires the total and unconditional cancellation of illegitimate, odious, illegal and unsustainable public debts. Aware that other measures need also to be taken, the CADTM Belgium, together with its network partners and collaborators, promotes alternatives that respect human rights and nature’s rights.
We approach debt as a political and economic mechanism that has direct impact on populations. We focus on the links between debt in the North and debt in the South and analyse the ’debt system’ as a whole. We highlight the mechanisms of domination and exploitation that govern public debts as well as illegitimate individual debts, enslaving people as collective subjects and individuals (indebted peasants, families evicted from their homes by banks, women forced into the micro-credit system in the South, over-indebted students…). The CADTM Belgium promotes a new spirit of international solidarity between peoples, to challenge the traditional North/South patterns and thus to promote popular mobilisation for the cancellation of illegitimate debt in both the South and the North. CADTM Belgium considers popular mobilisation to be the preferred way to fulfil its mission. To mobilise citizens and challenge the political authorities, the CADTM Belgium relies on its expertise linked to the work done by its network in the South, its working groups and its various collaborations.
The strategy to achieve our objective of global popular emancipation rests on seven pillars:
- research, analysis and development;
- stregnthening the CADTM network, civil society and the alter-globalist movement;
- training and raising awareness in the populations, the NGOs and social movements;
- mobilizing the populations, the NGOs and social movements;
- informing the media;
- direct appeals to political structures and representatives;
- taking position – result of the success of the previously mentioned actions.
The virtuous circle supporting the CADTM’s global strategy describes the interrelationships and logics between the different fields of intervention of the organisation.
2016, CADTM Belgium organised international preparation classes in 2016 in Amsterdam from 14 to 16 November with about 30 participants. The Main issue was the doctrine of odious debt. The situation in Africa, the Arab region, Europe and two Latin American countries, Venezuela and Argentina, were also discussed.
2017, International classes took place in Bamako in November as a complement to a single-gender seminar on microcredit. There were about thirty participants. (See: The Bamako Seminar, The CADTM network reinforces the struggle against illegitimate debt!)
Between 2018 and 2021, international classes gave way to a priority given to regional workshops such as in West Africa, Central Africa, South Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Depending on the evolution of the pandemic, it will have to be seen whether intercontinental CADTM classes will be possible in 2022 or 2023.
2017: CADTM Belgium took part in several regional activities in Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia and Africa.
Between 2016 and 2019, the CADTM Belgium led a campaign against vulture funds
Investment funds who buy, on the secondary markets and at a significant discount, bonds once emitted by countries that are having repayment difficulties, from investors who prefer to cut their losses and take what price they can get in order to unload the risk from their books. The Vulture Funds then pursue the issuing country for the full amount of the debt they have purchased, not hesitating to seek decisions before, usually, British or US courts where the law is favourable to creditors.
both in Belgium and internationally. An international appeal was launched in 2017. The CADTM Belgium has multiplied the initiatives around this issue and has obtained important successes: the “Law against the activities of vulture funds” and in 2018 the Belgian Supreme Court announced a decision giving total victory against vulture fund NML Capital. Thus enhancing the credibility of the CADTM International network.
In 2016, the CADTM Belgium also initiated a collective appeal on the theme ‘What is to be Done with the Banks?’
In September-October 2016, CADTM Belgium was directly involved in the drafting of the Oviedo Manifesto, which was supported by 700 elected politicians, including councilors, MPs and MEPs. The Oviedo Manifesto was presented on 19 October 2016 at the Parliament in Madrid. Subsequently, a municipalist front against illegitimate debt was formed at a meeting held in Oviedo 25 to 27 November 2016. CADTM Belgium took an active part in collecting international personality’s signatures (in French, Spanish or Portuguese).
In 2019-2020, CADTM Belgium together with the Basque trade union ELA
Emergency Liquidity Assistance
Emergency funds loaned to the private banks by the Eurozone central banks.
and the European network EReNSEP launched with other movements the initiative ReCommonsEurope which published an international Manifesto in French, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Catalan, Basque, Serbo-Croat (see: ReCommonsEurope: Manifesto for a New Popular Internationalism in Europe),… Also on the initiative of the CADTM, ReCommonsEurope has published a second manifesto (see: Impact of European policies on the Global South and possible alternatives https://www.cadtm.org/Impact-of-European-policies-on-the-Global-South-and-possible-alternatives ). To draft this second manifesto, CADTM Belgium worked actively with ATTAC CADTM-Morocco, with members of CADTM Africa, with Papda in Haiti, with TNI,…
Participation in the climat justice movement: the CADTM supported the appeal from the popular, social and ecology movements (see in French: pour une mobilisation générale pour le climat et la justice sociale, les 20 et 21 September 2019. See https://fridaysforfuture.org/
In March 2020, the CADTM Belgium, together with the other CADTMs in Europe, also initiated the publication of a Package of common demands on debt and the need for citizens’ control on finance at European level. This document, published in three languages, was developed during 2019 and published on the occasion of the beginning of the 2019-2024 legislature of the European Parliament. It aimed to present the shared findings and common demands of 39 collectives and organisations across Europe on the issue of public and private debts and on the need for real citizen control, both over the means of financing states and the management of public funds, and over banks and other credit institutions.
In 2021, in the face of the international crisis and the pandemic, CADTM Belgium, together with SIP, initiated an important Manifesto “End the system of private patents!” that received large international acclaim: List of the first 360 signatures of people who support the End the Private Patent System Manifesto! #FREECOVIDPATENTS; over 250 organisations from many countries also signed, List of signatory organisations: End the private patent system! For a pharmaceutical industry under popular control and a free, universal and public vaccination system.
Finally, in December 2021, the CADTM Belgium, in the framework of its mission as a member of the SIP, launched an appeal explaining “Why Eurozone countries’ debt to the ECB must be cancelled” This appeal received strong support in different European countries.
The CADTM Europe Summer Schools, like the CADTM Belgium Summer Workshops, are activities that aim to raise awareness and train Belgian citizens and others in alternatives for socially just and environmentally sustainable human development. They pursue the general objective of informing and sensitising civil society, understood in a very broad sense, to the cancellation of the debt, the abandonment of structural adjustment
Economic policies imposed by the IMF in exchange of new loans or the rescheduling of old loans.
Structural Adjustments policies were enforced in the early 1980 to qualify countries for new loans or for debt rescheduling by the IMF and the World Bank. The requested kind of adjustment aims at ensuring that the country can again service its external debt. Structural adjustment usually combines the following elements : devaluation of the national currency (in order to bring down the prices of exported goods and attract strong currencies), rise in interest rates (in order to attract international capital), reduction of public expenditure (’streamlining’ of public services staff, reduction of budgets devoted to education and the health sector, etc.), massive privatisations, reduction of public subsidies to some companies or products, freezing of salaries (to avoid inflation as a consequence of deflation). These SAPs have not only substantially contributed to higher and higher levels of indebtedness in the affected countries ; they have simultaneously led to higher prices (because of a high VAT rate and of the free market prices) and to a dramatic fall in the income of local populations (as a consequence of rising unemployment and of the dismantling of public services, among other factors).
IMF : http://www.worldbank.org/
policies and the implementation of alternative development policies centered on the universal satisfaction of fundamental rights. Through continuing and popular education, they are also intended to turn participants towards mobilisation. The Main difference between these two events is primarily dimensional.
The International Council (IC – established at the World Assembly in May 2013) is a coordinating body between the continental structures in which the Joint International Secretariat participates. The International Council has a mandate of 3 years and meets at least once a year. The tasks of the IC include:
- monitoring the work of the network’s continental structures in relation to the evolution of the political context at regional and international levels;
- the strengthening of collaboration between the continental structures of the network on the basis of the actions they have already planned;
- launching the Main lines of action of the CADTM network in the face of the changing political context at regional and international levels;
- overview of the work of the JIS;
- preparing the Worldwide Network Assemblies;
- following up the decisions taken by the Worldwide Network Assemblies.
The International Council (IC) met just after the WA in Tunis in 2016, in November 2017 in Bamako, in the margins of the CADTM Summer Universities and Meetings in Liege (Belgium) on 11-12 September 2018 and 2019, during two days of online meetings on 8-9 December 2020 and on 14 September 2021. With the restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, the online format was Maintained.
Less restrictive in many respects, this format allowed for more JIS meetings and a wider range of participants, including IC members representing all the continents where the CADTM is present as well as a representative of the Women’s Commission. These meetings took place on 8 April, 1 June, 20 July and 6 December 2021.
8. The participation of the CADTM Belgium in the coordination of feminist struggles of the international CADTM network
Since 2017, a coordination of feminist struggles of the CADTM network has been established. CADTM Belgium has actively participated in this structure which brings together women active in CADTM in Africa and Europe. An assessment of the coordination of feminist struggles is published separately.
The CADTM Belgium has been strongly involved in feminist mobilisations in recent years, whether during feminist strikes or other important initiatives. Several online conferences have also been organised, the latest of which is : Your debt or your life: a feminist approach to the multidimensional crisis.
9. The international dimension of the Lundis contre la dette and the Comptoirs de la dette organised by the CADTM Belgium
The CADTM Belgium also organises regular events such as Lundis contre la dette (LCD) in Liege and the Comptoirs de la dette (CDD) in Brussels. More than just conferences, these activities are part of a real work of popular education, created with the activists of the CADTM Belgium and the CADTM international network. Intended as pedagogical, friendly and very open activities, they propose a diversity of formats according to the topic, the objectives to be reached and the speakers. They take the form of political cafés for the presentation of publications or the presence of activists from the international network, assemblies for discussions specifically concerning social movements, animated sessions to raise greater awareness and interaction, video screenings followed by debates or more traditional conferences. The CADTM’s priority and adjacent themes are discussed in relation to current events. Above all, it is a time for meeting, training, informing and sharing, catering for both a new and a regular audience. For the CADTM Belgium, it is also an opportunity to forge links with active persons and organisations. Among others, mention the LCD « A bas le patriarcat et les violences faites aux femmes ! (in French)» on 12 March 2018 as a participation in the International Women’s Day on the 8th March; the LCD : « Dette & Migrations » (in French) organised, on 8 Janruary 2018, with l’Occupation des Sans-papiers Liege, Emmanuelle Vinois from l’asbl Point d’Appui and Collectif liégeois pour la justice migratoire and « Groupe CADTM Migrations », LCD is implicated in the european movement in defense of migrants’ rights; the LCD 11 March 2019 « En lutte pour un changement en RDC » (in French) in the presence of a La Lucha member; the LCD « Crise du Coronavirus au Nord et au Sud » (in French) on 14 March 2020 with two members of CADTM Belgium and d’Attac CADTM Morocco; not forgetting on 14 June 2021 with LCD « Résistances africaines à la domination néocoloniale » (in French).
The internal newsletter of the international network reports on the various activities of the CADTM and provides follow-up. It also promotes the strengthening of a “global vision” of the network among its members and regional coordinations.
There was an internal network newsletter in July 2017 and another in January 2018, both produced by CADTM Belgium with the help of ATTAC CADTM Morocco (produced in 3 languages by CADTM Belgium). In 2019, the liaison bulletin was sent at the end of December in French and at the beginning of January 2020 in English and Spanish. There was no international network newsletter in 2020 – 2021. A bulletin will be produced in February 2022 with all the WA documents.
The CADTM website (https://www.cadtm.org/ ) is Mainly available in four languages (French, English, Spanish and Portuguese). In collaboration with CADTM France, CADTM Belgium assures the technical maintenance on the site and ensures the publication of articles. ATTAC CADTM Morocco is in charge of the CADTM site in Arabic. Finally, a number of CADTM articles are available in Italian, German and Greek.
All visits to the CADTM website (total French, English, Spanish and Portugese sections))
Since 2016, several improvements have been made to the CADTM website:
- conversion of the site to responsive design (adaptation of the site to the size of the display screen) and https (increased security)
- Updates and add-ons:
ABC de la dette : https://www.cadtm.org/ABC-de-la-dette
Highlighting the analyses and études produced by the CADTM Belgium
The CADTM electronic bulletin is available in three languages (French, English and Spanish). Accompanied by an editorial, it references the latest articles written by members of the CADTM network as well as a series of external articles published on the CADTM website. The “Events” section also highlights the CADTM’s latest works and the network’s upcoming activities. The latest newsletter is also available on the website.
|Production||CADTM Belgium||CADTM France||CADTM Belgiu|
|Editorials||CADTM Belgium||CADTM India||CADTM AYNA|
|To subscribe, all you need to do is enter your e-Mail address in the “Subscribe to Bulletin-cadtm” section opposite the “Your e-Mail address” field and click on “Subscribe”. It is not necessary to enter any other information.|
Given the difficulty of accessing documents and information on the African continent, CADTM Belgium is collaborating with ATTAC CADTM Morocco in order to carry out a watch on social-economic document issues, mainly in French. The aim is to regularly send to the members of the network in Africa and to people who want to follow what is happening on the continent a whole series of information and documents at first hand. The letters sent include IMF
International Monetary Fund
Along with the World Bank, the IMF was founded on the day the Bretton Woods Agreements were signed. Its first mission was to support the new system of standard exchange rates.
When the Bretton Wood fixed rates system came to an end in 1971, the main function of the IMF became that of being both policeman and fireman for global capital: it acts as policeman when it enforces its Structural Adjustment Policies and as fireman when it steps in to help out governments in risk of defaulting on debt repayments.
As for the World Bank, a weighted voting system operates: depending on the amount paid as contribution by each member state. 85% of the votes is required to modify the IMF Charter (which means that the USA with 17,68% % of the votes has a de facto veto on any change).
The institution is dominated by five countries: the United States (16,74%), Japan (6,23%), Germany (5,81%), France (4,29%) and the UK (4,29%).
The other 183 member countries are divided into groups led by one country. The most important one (6,57% of the votes) is led by Belgium. The least important group of countries (1,55% of the votes) is led by Gabon and brings together African countries.
team press releases, IFI and development bank reports, as well as articles from the African and international press and websites on the issues covered by the network: debt, economies, monetary policies, agriculture and food, microfinance, social situations, health, etc. The objective is to encourage debate and collective analysis.
Because of the success the number of documents sent has continually risen:
- 2017 : 6
- 2018 : 18
- 2019 : 25
- 2020 : 32 (passage to ten day regularity in April)
- 2021 : 33
Although the CADTM network takes a critical view of social networks and, more broadly, of the GAFAM, these tools are nonetheless essential to ensure a large dissemination of our publications and to reach an ever-wider audience, outside of the traditional activist framework. In this respect, the CADTM Belgium administers various pages and groups on Facebook and Twitter.
Since 2012, the CADTM has produced 13 educational videos. They can be found at this address: https://www.cadtm.org/Videos-pedagogiques.
|1. 21 November 2012, A qui profite la dette ? (in French)|
|2. 21 July 2016, The Greek debt, a European Tragedy|
|3. 31 August 2016, L’ABC de la dette des pays du Sud en 11 vidéos (in French)|
|4. 4 April 2017, Faut-il avoir peur des fonds vautours ? (in French)|
|5. 24 April 2017, A qui profite la dette grecque ? Les prêts bilatéraux (in French)|
|6. 16 October 2017, A qui profite la dette grecque ? Les banques privées (in French)|
|7. 21 February 2018, Au festin des rapaces (in French)|
|8. 27 March 2018, A qui profite la dette grecque ? Questions pour du pognon (in French)|
|9. 18 June 2018, The Audit. An Enquiry into Greek Debt|
|10. 21 January 2019, A qui profite la dette grecque ? Le FMI (in French)|
|11. 11 May 2020, Que financent les banques ? (in French)|
|12. 15 June 2020, Qui finance les banques ? (in French)|
|13. 23 March 2021, SYSTÅM DËBT – How to become a wealthy creditor!!|
All CADTM press releases may be seen here: https://www.cadtm.org/Press-releases
|2019 – 10 Press releases|
|1. 11 January 2019, The resignation of the World Bank president should encourage countries to terminate all agreement with the Bretton Woods institutions|
|2. 3 March 2019, Appeal: Let’s make March 8th, 2019 a women’s strike, a day of solidarity among women|
|3. 24 April 2019, Municipalities and citizens movement defeat anti-democratic EU directive|
|4. 15 May 2019, La politique du logement accessible en Région bruxelloise reste à l’Ouest !|
|5. 6 June 2019, The Sudanese revolution is our honour! Down with the Transitional Military Council!|
|6. 24 July 2019, Puerto Rico rises…|
|7. 6 August 2019, Soutien à l’homme qui a tenté de s’immoler à Liège et aux autres victimes des politiques migratoires et du néo-colonialisme|
|8. 15 October 2019, Ensemble avec le peuple équatorien|
|9. 15 November 2019, Sortir du piège de la dette pour garantir la justice climatique et sociale|
|10. 16 December 2019, « Le Consensus de Dakar » n’est pas une rupture vers le Développement|
The CADTM publishes a magazine entitled AVP – Les autres voix de la planète. It examines all debt related themes through articles, analyses, examples… It is published in French only and is available on our website and at CADTM activities in Belgium and France.
AVPs are consultable and telechargable here: https://www.cadtm.org/Revue-Les-autres-voix-de-la-planete, by subscription or purchase.
As from 2022, AVP will be annual.
|CADTM Belgium, Répondre aux questions qui piquent sur la dette et l’austérité|
|Olivier Bonfond, Il faut tuer TINA – 200 propositions pour rompre avec le fatalisme et changer le monde
Éric Toussaint, Stathis Kouvelakis, Benjamin Lemoine, History of the CADTM Anti-Debt Policies
Éric Toussaint, The Debt System, A History of Sovereign Debts and their Repudiation. Also published in Spanish, italian, French (original language), Arabic, Greek and Polish. Swedish and Turkish editions will appear soon.
|ACiDe, 15 choses que vous devriez savoir sur la dette de Liège|
|ReCommonsEurope, Manifesto for a New Popular Internationalism in Europe|
|Renaud Duterme, Petit manuel pour une géographie de combat
Éric Toussaint, Greece 2015: There was an alternative, published in French, English, Spanish and Greek..
ATTAC/CADTM Maroc, Femmes du Maroc à l’ère de la mondialisation
|Éric Toussaint, Banque mondiale : Une histoire critique. Published in French and sent-out to members in December 2021. The book was published in Brazil in May 2021 and will be available in Spanish and English in 2022. An Arabic version is also in preparation..|
|April/May 2022, Camille Bruneau, Christine Vanden Daelen, Nos vies valent plus que leurs crédits. Face aux dettes, des réponses féministes,Le Passager Clandestin.|