On 16-17 January, the transform! europe managing board met for a conclave in Vienna to define the work projects of the first half of 2013.
[nl] The common starting point of the debate was the conviction that the capitalist crisis in Europe with its dramatic social consequences and serious political risks, including the deepening of inner-European contradictions, has by no means been overcome yet. Regarding the struggles of the populations against the austerity policies it can be stated that progresses have been made in the dialogues as well as in the joint action of the social, trade unionist and political actors. Yet, so far they have not been able to change anything about the general trend of the development.
There still exists a gulf between the challenges brought about by the austerity policies and the authoritarian and centralist turn of integration on the one and the coherence and determination of the alternative forces on the other hand. Therefore the struggle for social, ecological and economic alternatives, which transform! as a leftist alternative think tank is part of, will continue to have priority. Those are the areas in which the network will have to prove itself in the first place.
With independent contributions, transform! europe will take part in the World Social Forum in Tunis (26 – 30 March), in the Central European Social and Environmental Forum in Vienna (2-5 May), in the Subversive Forum in Zagreb (16-17 May) and is moreover involved in the preparation of the Alter-Summit of European Peoples (cf. the special blog entry here) to take place in Athens between 7-9 June. As every year, transform! is also for 2013 preparing the EL- Summer University together with the Party of the European Left. As regards time, place and programme we will provide information later.
The major independent projects of transform! europe will be the publication of two research reports in the context of the “Strategy of the Left“-project, a seminar by the title “Radicalizing Democracy“ (26-27 April) in Vienna as well as a seminar to take place in Paris and scheduled for April on the recent development of the capitalist crisis in Europe.
The political debate at the conclave mainly focused on the question in which way transform! europe, whose network has in recent years been expanding considerably and whose impact has grown, can increase its utility value for the different sectors of the Left. Among others, the managing board suggests that the communication strategy of the network is subjected to critical examination. It was decided that, besides the further development of the electronic media, a new publication format by the title Policy Papers is being prepared in order to be able to provide political analyses in a more flexible way and at shorter notice.
General consensus has been achieved with regard to a document (see documentation on the right) on the basis of which the Akademia-network is to be established in the context of transform! whose objective consists in developing cooperation with experts in projects.
Eventually the conclave decided upon next steps towards further cooperation with the Party of the European Left, in particular the preparation of the Fourth Party Congress scheduled for the end of the year 2013.
The next members’ assembly of transform! europe due in autumn is to take place in Athens on 5-6 September – depending on further consultation with the members and observers of the network.
Participants in the conclave were: Haris Golemis (NPI, Greece), Elisabeth Gauthier (Espaces Marx, France), Ruurik Holm (Left Forum, Finland), Carla Luis (Cul:tra, Portugal), Jiri Malek (SPED, Czech Republic), Jonas Söderqvist (CMS, Sweden) as well as Walter Baier (coordinator), Heidi Ambrosch (finances), Eva Himmelstoss (website, public relations) and Barbara Steiner (office).