The conference ‘Social and economic conflicts of transition towards democracy and market economy’, organized on MRI’s silver jubilee anniversary, will be held in Budapest between 2-4 November 2014.
The conference ‘Social and economic conflicts of transition towards democracy and market economy – Central and Eastern Europe 25 years after, in a comparative perspective: 25 years of Metropolitan Research Institute (MRI)’ will be held in Budapest, in the European Youth Centre Budapest (1-3 Zivatar Str., 1024 Budapest, Hungary).
The language of the conference is English.
Conference fee: €130 (for Central and Eastern European participants: €90). These costs include the study tour, the Jubilee Party and the conference dinner.
Venue and hotel: Council of Europe’s European Youth Centre, Budapest
Hotel costs are approximately €78/day/participant including breakfast and lunch.
The central topic of the conference is the transition of the Central and Eastern European region towards democracy and market society. 25 years have passed since the collapse of communism, which gives us a good opportunity to reconsider/reevaluate the development of these countries in an European perspective, with a particular focus on the new EU member states. How did the relative position of the region change, what has been achieved, what are the main conflicts, what kind of diversification can be observed, where is the region heading to, how is the region seen from other parts of Europe?
After the informal discussions on the first day (Sunday) of the conference, the second day concentrates on housing and social issues while on the third day urban development and mobility/transport will be in the spotlight. The preliminary programme is as follows.
2 NOVEMBER, SUNDAY
DISCOVERING THE VISIBLE SIGNS OF CHANGES AND CONFLICTS
12.00 – 16.00 Study tour in Budapest by bus discovering the most interesting signs of post-socialist transformation and the emerging conflicts of post-transitional market-led development.
16.00 – 17.00 REGISTRATION AND COFFEE BREAK
OPENING DISCUSSION ABOUT THE CENTRAL AND EAST EUROPEAN REGION
17.00 – 19.00 Informal ’cafe bar’ discussion about the past, present and future of the Central and East European region
How can the last 25 years be evaluated „from inside” and from a European perspective? Impulse statements from Ivan Szelenyi, New York University Abu Dhabi; Robert Buckley, Julien Studley Fellow at the New School University, New York; and Pal Baross, Development Director at Central European University, Budapest.
19.00 MRI’25 – THE SILVER JUBILEE PARTY IN EYCB
3 NOVEMBER, MONDAY
THE GREAT FINANCIAL CRISIS AND THE POST-SOCIALIST HOUSING SYSTEMS
The first day’s program is supported by the ENHR Working Group on Housing and Urban Policy in Post-Socialist Countries.
09.00 – 11.00 Plenary session I: Convergence and divergence in post-socialist housing systems
Chair and introduction: J. Hegedüs (MRI)
Introductory talks: Stuart Lowe (University of York), Martin Lux (Prague, Institute of Sociology) and Mark Stephens (Edinburgh, Heriott-Watt University)
Discussants: Austin Jaffe (Penn State University), Paul Baross (CEU), György Sümeghy (Habitat for Humanity International)
In the morning plenary session various insights into the dynamics of the housing regimes in the last 25 years will be presented. The housing sector is part of the welfare regime (though it has close ties to the economic system as well), and there are conflicting views regarding the transformation of the post-socialist housing system.
11.00 – 11.30: COFFEE BREAK
11.30 – 13.00 Session A: Moving to market economy – between market and state failures
Chair and facilitator: Eszter Somogyi (MRI) and József Hegedüs (MRI)
Introductory talks: Robert Buckley (New School University, New York), Roy Friedemann (IFC – International Finance Corporation)
Panel discussion: Dorothee Bohle (Central European University), Austin Jaffe (Penn State University), Jacek Laszek (National Bank of Poland)
The workshop will focus on the risks and failures of moving to a market-based housing system. It will cover a wide variety of intervention types and solutions, including the rise and fall of mortgage development, particularly the effect of mortgage rescue programs.
13.00 – 14.00: LUNCH
14.00 – 16.00 Session B: Households’ coping strategies under financial pressure
Chair and facilitator: Nóra Teller (MRI) and József Hegedüs (MRI)
Introductory talks: Marja Elsinga (OTB) and Hannu Ruonavaara (University of Turku)
Panel discussion participants: Adrienne Csizmady (Institute of Sociology and Social Research of the Hungarian Academy of Science), Christiane Droste (UrbanPlus Droste&Partner), Mina Petrovic (University of Belgrade), Jan Vranken (Centre on Inequality, Poverty, Social Exclusion & the City, Universiteit Antwerpen)
Households’ reactions to financial hardship (including mortgage defaults, the threat of homelessness, private bankruptcy regulations, etc.): the role of the extended family network in the adjustment process, the informal economy as an escape route, etc. The effect of welfare programs on the outcomes of household strategies will be discussed in the context of social stratification (“class” position, inequality, poverty). How were the households able to cope with increasing hardship (inequality, poverty, mortgage crises etc.) and what happened to the social housing sector?
16.00 – 16.15: COFFE BREAK
16.15 – 18:15 Session C: Between the private and social rental sector – social rental agencies?
Chair and facilitator: Hanna Szemző (MRI) and Vera Horváth (MRI)
Introductory talks: Marietta Haffner (OTB) and Stefan Kofner (Hochschule Zittau/Görlitz)
Panel discussion: Gojko Bezovan (University of Zagreb), Thomas Knorr-Siedow (UrbanPlus), Alina Muziol-Welawowicz (National Economic Bank) Elena Szolgayova (Ministry of Transport, Construction and Regional Development), Rosa Maria Garcia Teruel (Rovira i Virgili University)
During this session we will discuss options for new flexible social and private rental models, which can increase the efficiency of the housing system, with an emphasis on the legal and financial framework of an efficient private rental sector and the possibility of launching Social Rental Agencies.
20.00 CONFERENCE DINNER IN THE CITY
4 NOVEMBER, TUESDAY
THE GROWING URBAN DIVIDE: THE CONSEQUENCES OF MARKET ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT IN POST-SOCIALIST CITIES
The number of capital cities in the CEE region increased from 7 to 20 after 1990 due to the split of many of the countries. The political changes were accompanied by rapid economic changes, determined first and foremost by the market forces.
The capital cities, both the old and the new ones, were the winners of the transition, absorbing most of the new development opportunities of their countries. As a consequence of the dominant market approach to urban development and the rapidly shrinking public sector, territorial and urban development became increasingly uneven regarding both social and spatial aspects.
The program will start with a plenary session (9:00-10:30), followed by workshops between 11.00 – 13.00 and 14.00 – 15.30 with two parallel sessions; and a closing plenary (15.45 – 17.00).
09.00 – 10.30 Plenary session II: the development of post-socialist metropolises from a pan-European perspective
Chair and introduction: Iván Tosics (MRI)
Keynote speakers and panel participants: Chris Hamnett (King’s College London), Sandro Balducci (Milan Politecnico), Hugo Priemus (Delft University of Technology), Robert Stüssi (Urban and Mobility planner, Portugal/Switzerland)
In the morning plenary four keynote speakers will shed light onto the development of post-socialist metropolises from a pan-European perspective. The speakers are all experienced scholars who were already active in their professional carreer when the transition started 25 years ago. Since then they visited many of the post-socialist cities and had also worked on joint projects with the representatives of these cities and with academics from the area.
Based on this background they are asked to give their views about the development and restructuring of the post-socialist countries and cities – how is the transition of the region seen and evaluated from the core countries of the European Union?
Specific topics might include the following: international migration, economic competition, environmental sustainability, social and housing problems, transport links and mobility. How are post-socialist cities seen to differentiate along these lines, which of them are doing better and why and to what extent might these cities become important centers/hubs in the European eastern half-periphery?
10.30 – 11.00: COFFEE BREAK
11.00 – 13.00 Session D: The recent performance of post socialist cities: a critical overview
Chair and facilitator: Éva Gerőházi (MRI) and Iván Tosics (MRI)
Panel members: Bob Buckley (New School University, New York), Grzegorz Weclawowicz (Institute of Geography, Polish Academy of Sciences), Zoltán Kovács (University of Szeged), Mina Petrovic (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade)
Case contributors: Gojko Bezovan, Mary Rédey, Bence Kováts, Tamás Horváth, Tuna Tasan-Kok, Annamária Orbán
Post-socialist cities finished the transition period and many of them became part of the EU. How do the emerging democratic political system and free-market economy perform? What are the effects of the free market of capital, labour and services on these cities?
The analysis should concentrate on the different factors of development and their interplay on the urban area level: demographic changes and migration, economic development, environmental sustainability, social and housing problems, urban mobility. How are the changing government and governance systems of the cities capable to integrate these different factors of development in the large urban areas? Which of the post-socialist cities are doing better and to what extent might these cities become important centers/hubs in the European eastern half-periphery?
13.00 – 14.00: LUNCH
14.00 – 15.30 Session E1: The effects of EU funding on post-socialist urban development
Chair: Thomas Knorr-Siedow (Berlin)
Panel members: Márton Matkó (European Commission,) Éva Gerőházi (MRI), Catalin Berescu (Bucharest), Franz Thun (Warsaw), Karel Maier (Prague), Peter Ramsden (London)
Since 2004 huge amount of EU Cohesion Policy money has been spent in post-socialist cities along different nationally determined development programmes, supported by various cross-country technical assistance initiatives (such as Interreg, Urbact, JPI, Central Europe, South Eastern Europe). In the case of some countries the share of EU funding within all publicly financed urban developments reached 90-95%.
Thus it is crucial to understand how the EU programmes have been planned and implemented, how did the regions and cities contribute, how did the supporting institutional structure perform. Although experiences are growing, the real effects of EU funding on the development of the post-socialist cities are rarely analysed. Monitoring is usually limited to financial and absorption aspects, the critical evaluation of EU supported development (confronting it to the real needs of cities) is very limited. This session aims to contribute to this kind of critical analysis.
14.00 – 15.30 Session E2: The specific issues of urban mobility: from heritage to potentials
Chair: András Ekés (MRI)
Introductory talks: Ciprian Barna (Transregio Intercommunity Development Association), Jiří Došlý (DPP Prague), Łukasz Franek (Krakow University of Technology)
Panel members: Jiří Došlý (DPP Prague), Łukasz Franek (Krakow University of Technology), László Sándor Kerényi (BKK Centre for Budapest Transport), Gergely Pongrácz (Mobility expert, Budapest), Robert Stüssi (Urban and Mobility planner, Portugal/Switzerland)
In terms of transport and mobility, the past 25 years in Central and Eastern Europe were characterised by a controversial learning process of managing infrastructures, and maintaining and developing the inherited extensive public transport networks without letting these structures collapse. The challenge remains to provide an attractive choice of soft and public modes of transport, which are able to compete with individual car use. In this region social and affordability aspects of mobility have been extremely important, creating special dimensions of accessibility. The aim is to identify the milestones of the CEE mobility context on the way from heritage to potentials.
15.30 – 15.45: COFFEE BREAK
15.45 – 17.00 Plenary session III: The future of post-socialist urban Europe: growing gap or catching up?
Chair: Iván Tosics (MRI)
Keynote speakers: Thomas Knorr-Siedow (Berlin), Jan Vranken (University of Antwerpen), Ludek Sykora (Charles University, Prague), Jens Dangschat (Technical University, Vienna), Bence Kováts (PhD student at Corvinus University, Budapest)
The closing plenary of the conference aims to summarize the challenges ahead of the post-socialist cities and to discuss the obstacles and potential problems in their development. To what extent will the EU-proposed new, integrated approaches to urban development gain ground in these cities, how fast will social innovation spread, what will be the effects of migration on the whole of Europe, how could the increasing social polarisation be tackled?
The four keynote speakers are all involved since long in pan-European research and knowledge exchange programmes. In their capacities they were involved in many European networks and projects which analysed and compared the performance of the cities of different parts of the EU. Based on this background they are asked to give their opinion on the future of the post-socialist countries and cities – will this region gradualy catch up to the core EU areas or will the development gap remain stable (or even grow)?