“Crisis and alternatives” became the de facto theme of discussions at the 9th Asia Europe Peoples Forum (AEPF) in Vientiane, Laos recently as activists from Europe and Asia pondered on critical social, economic and environmental issues underpinning cross regional relations in the wake of the continuing European debt crisis.

What emerged from these discussions (spread across 40 or so workshops and two nights of intense discussions on the very topic of crisis and alternatives) was a strong critique of the current development model that continues to dominate across Europe and Asia and the urgent need for systemic changes towards a more equitable and sustainable pathway.

Focus talked to four activists from both Europe and Asia to get their views on the crisis and what lessons can be drawn from the experiences in both regions.

Mariana Mortagua – Portugal

Pavlos Kazakopoulos – Syriza, Greece

Sombath Somphone – PADETC, Laos