CHAPTER II: ECONOMIC AFFAIRS, SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

    1. Recognizing that governments are carrying out painful policies to curb soaring public deficits and counter the effects of the European sovereign debt crisis,
    2. Disturbed by the impact of credit rating agencies on the formulation of economic and financial policies, and welcoming the reforms discussed in the European Parliament to reduce reliance on agency ratings, and eliminate conflicts of interest that could influence them,
    3. Noting that governmental responses to the economic crisis have often bypassed political debate and reduced the overall effectiveness of parliamentary oversight in OSCE participating States,
    4. Concerned that important economic policy decisions are being made within some OSCE participating States by technocrats without meaningful input from the people most directly affected or their elected representatives in parliament,
    5. Concerned by the negative effects of the austerity policies implemented across the OSCE region, in particular cuts targeting healthcare and education budgets, and observing growing evidence of a stagnant growth scenario,
    6. Acknowledging that the Institute of International Finance (IIF) has underlined that austerity is "excessive when carried out across the board," and encouraged governments to move beyond strict fiscal discipline to "avoid the risk of an austerity overload" on the world economy,
    7. Stressing the central role of innovation and entrepreneurship, as generators of growth and employment, in efforts to achieve economic recovery,
    8. Realizing that there is a weakness in the Shareholder Companies model, which becomes apparent when a shareholder company buys shares in another company and so on, allowing money to circulate and enabling insiders to create non-existent capital that artificially inflates equity with no real money,
    9. Understanding the likely role of the phenomenon mentioned in the previous paragraph in the 2008 collapse of the Icelandic economy and pointing out that it is widely used around the world,
    10. Noting with concern the most recent EU data which indicates that unemployment in the Eurozone has reached an all-time high, and emphasizing that excessive levels of unemployment restrain the long-run growth potential of the economy,
    11. Recognizing that those bearing the cost of economic failure often tend to be the most vulnerable members of society, including women, the young and the elderly, people belonging to national minorities, and migrants,
    12. Recalling the benefits of promoting women's economic autonomy for the prosperity of their families and countries, which is achieved by way of facilitating access to education, training, child care, credit and financing, and legal services, as well as by initiating and implementing legislation and programmes related to pay equity and employment, particularly in non-traditional sectors,
    13. Alarmed by mounting social unrest across the OSCE region and recalling once more the interrelationship between economic hardship and political extremism, nationalism, and xenophobia,
    14. Pointing to the urgent need for governments to live up to their commitments regarding climate change and step up efforts towards the finalization of a post Kyoto legally binding treaty to address global warming effectively by 2015,
    15. Mindful that several international organizations, most notably the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, have underlined that the economic crisis presents an opportunity to encourage greater green investments as a way to sustain the recovery,
    16. Noting that training policies have a major role to play within the global framework of realizing green growth and achieving economic recovery, and aware that the economic crisis has triggered changes in the global demand for skills, whereby knowledge-based industries require increasing levels of education,
    17. Stressing that governmental support is essential to drive innovation, foster scientific co operation, and generate new economic solutions to support growth in the OSCE region,
    18. Welcoming the discussions on "Fostering Economic Co-operation and Stability in the OSCE Region" held during the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly's Economic Conference in Batumi,
    19. Supporting the role of the OSCE Co-ordinator for Economic and Environmental Activities in promoting deeper economic co-operation between participating States, thereby contributing to the achievement of peace, prosperity and stability in the OSCE area,
    20. Welcoming the decision to hold an Economic and Environmental Dimension Implementation Meeting on an annual basis, with the aim of improving the implementation of OSCE commitments and the effectiveness of its work in the economic and environmental dimensions,
    21. Noting that gender equality is not only a crucial human rights issue, but also a question of smart economics,
    22. Stressing that when women take a greater part in society there are clear improvements for the public good and less corruption,

The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly:

    1. Calls on parliamentarians of OSCE participating States to play a greater role in overseeing and debating the economic policies implemented by governments across the OSCE region;
    2. Stresses that the necessary return to balanced budgets must be credible and bearable, excessive austerity being economically counter productive, destructive for the most vulnerable members of society and destabilizing for democracy;
    3. Is convinced that peoples will accept a recovery effort only if the burden is fairly shared, in particular by requiring a contribution from the financial sector, which continues to evade its responsibilities;
    4. Supports a reform of the credit rating system to encourage greater transparency and reduce possibilities for financial speculation;
    5. Encourages parliamentarians of OSCE participating States to discuss ways to decrease the frequency of short-term market trading through the implementation of a Tobin tax;
    6. Calls on the OSCE participating States to urgently review their corporate legislation to identify whether it allows the circulation of money to create non existent capital and if so, to introduce the necessary legislative amendments;
    7. Calls upon the OSCE participating States to further increase support to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) through adequate policies that will facilitate their access to financing, reduce administrative hurdles and support SME's access to new markets;
    8. Encourages governments of OSCE participating States to carefully analyse the long term effects of austerity-driven budget cuts, in particular with regard to healthcare and education budgets;
    9. Emphasizes that the opportunity cost of stagnant growth and high unemployment has a negative impact on the solvency of social funds, reduces the possibility of carrying out strategic investments, and undermines the future prosperity of the OSCE region;
    10. Encourages the Governments and parliamentarians of the OSCE participating States to apply a gender-based analysis of the long-term effects of austerity-driven budgets and economic stimulus initiatives;
    11. Recommends that the OSCE offers itself as a leading international organization to foster economic co-operation and encourage synergies among participating States, and encourages once more governments to consider the economic and environmental area of the OSCE's work as one of the most promising from the standpoint of their long-term interests;
    12. Calls upon the Ukrainian Chairmanship of the OSCE in 2013 and the Office of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Co ordinator to highlight alternative solutions to tackle the economic crisis in the OSCE area at the Twenty-first Annual OSCE Economic and Environmental Forum and its preparatory conferences in 2013;
    13. Supports the work of the United Nations and the Organization for Economic Co operation and Development to raise awareness among policymakers about the economic opportunity of green growth;
    14. Calls for increased international capital investment in the green economy, for developing and encouraging the wider dissemination of energy-saving technologies and renewable sources of energy, as well as the adoption of environmentally acceptable methods of working, with a view to promoting a post-crisis economic recovery, and also calls for the promotion of the establishment of global machinery under the aegis of the United Nations to make technologies for new and renewable sources of energy more accessible to developing countries and to countries with transition economies;
    15. Underlines that education and training policies are essential to combat unemployment, positively adapt the workforce of participating States, and retain a competitive edge in tomorrow's economy;
    16. Calls upon the parliaments of OSCE participating States to debate measures favouring greater labour mobility;
    17. Calls on the participating States of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to increase women's influence in their societies in order to strengthen their role as political and economic actors.