In evaluation of transform!’s General Assembly, which has agreed on core projects for 2015, the transform! managing board drafted the following work plan.
1. Core Projects
1.1 Productive Transformation and Left Industrial Policy
From the last quarter of 2014 and through 2015, the new transform! Core Project on Left Industrial Policy / Productive Transformation will allow for a more efficient work on issues related to a progressive EU-wide industrial and investment policy contributing to the social, ecological and democratic transformation of Europe.
To do so, an interdisciplinary transform! Working Group of economists, trade unionists and historians was set up in early September. Its representatives could participate in the workshop held by the Brussels office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation on a Left industrial policy, which paves the way for a larger cooperation with members of GUE/NGL, national MPs and EL parties. For more information, see the first report (http://www.transform-network.net/blog/blog-2014/news/detail/Blog/-0ed412f973.html) .
The cooperation will also be deepened with European heterodox economists’ networks such as EuroMemo and EuroPEN.
The new Core Project will also foster the exploration of other research questions by launching four calls for Papers: “Third Sector” – and its link to productive activities, “External Imbalances” – drafting proposals for a Left trade policy within a globalized environment, “Youth Unemployment” – as a crucial concern of a Left plan for productive transformation, and “Common Goods” – with a focus on the needed institutional transformation to allow them to flourish.
Moreover, the Core Project “Productive Transformation and Alternatives” will cooperate with the following other transform! projects: “Self-Management and Commons” (Espaces Marx, Copernic Foundation and other French organizations, transform! italia) and the Energy Transition project (Akademia Working Group on Science, Society and Democracy)
A Working Paper on Left European Industrial Policy co-signed by about twenty European stakeholders (unionists, economists, progressive politicians, social and political actors, foundations’ officers) scheduled for end of January 2015 – at the time of the official presentation of the EC President’s Investment Plan and as a contribution that might be useful to in the case of SYRIZA’s political victory.
Participation in a large conference at the European Parliament conceived as a space for discussion between the Left, the Greens, some social-democrats, the unions and heterodox economists’ networks on the “social and ecological transformation of Europe, beyond austerity” – scheduled for spring 2015 (tbc)
A booklet addressing in-depth core issues related to a Left European industrial policy / Productive Transformation scheduled for the first half of 2015
Four Papers on other research and political questions (see above) throughout 2015
Several workshops, presentation of our work at the “Forum of Alternatives” (EL), end of May and at the time of the International Conference on Climate Change in Paris (COP21).
1.2 Crisis in Europe – Crisis of Europe
In the framework of the Core Project on Crisis, a Social and Economic Quarterly will be issued. It intends to provide an analysis of current economic, social and/or geopolitical issues on a regular basis. The first one is to be found here: http://www.transform-network.net/publications/publications-2014/news/detail/Publications/europe-a-continent-between-stagnation-and-a-geopolitical-turning-point.html .
The Core Project on Crisis will also carry on the European research work on “Citizens’ Perceptions and Consciousness in the Crisis” undertaken in 2014 at the initiative of Espaces Marx and Sozialismus. Particular emphasis will be placed on what citizens consider “credible” with regard to alternatives in favor of social change and working conditions. Over thirty years of neoliberal cultural and political hegemony, sharpened by the severity of the crisis and its even harsher management, has produced tremendous effects upon the working class, its perception of capital-labour relation, as well as the scope of its social demands. The research work comes in response to these concerns, and aims at finding out shared progressive convergences towards social change among the working class.
Three international workshops to be held in France, Germany and Greece on representations of labour and firms
Publication of a study resulting from these international workshops
Issuing of an Economic and Social Quarterly
1.3 Critical History
Having in mind that the EU is working towards the institutionalization of a narrative regarding the European construction through the “House of European History” (opening 2016 in Brussels), transform! wishes to take part in the debate by shedding light onto the contributions of communist and Left parties, the trade unions and the social movements. The struggle for another Europe starts with the struggle over the past – and against a biased misuse of it. It is therefore of the utmost importance to provide another narrative than the one being currently developed.
transform! will take part in a European project dedicated to Eurocommunism and co-organize a workshop in Madrid on the issue
A larger conference on the contributions of communist and left parties, the trade unions and the social movements to the European construction will be held June 26/27
A Discussion Paper gathering the key elements of the discussions will be published
1.4 Science, Society and Democracy; Universities
On the one hand, the Core Project on science will tackle the issue of energy. This issue is at the heart of numerous debates, from industrial policy to climate change (see International Conference on climate change in Paris). The work aims at enriching and strengthening the overall knowledge on energy transition from the following angles: challenges, research and democracy.
On the other hand, it will address the particular issue of fracking and join a European anti-fracking network in the making.
Leaving the field of energy, the Core Project on science will also provide a thorough analysis of the European university model (Bologna process) – as well as alternatives towards a fairer model, in the aftermath of the successful conference held in Madrid in early 2014 together with members of transform!, the EL, and the GUE/NGL.
European Seminar on energy transition scheduled for February 2015
E-book on a Left European energy model
European conference on the dangers of fracking and its alternatives (date tbc)
European workshop on the European university system (Barcelona, date tbc)
Issuing of a Discussion Paper on university by the end of 2015
1.5 New World Order and the Challenges of the Left
Based on qualified information about different areas (both geographic and thematic), the new Core Project aims at finding out whether and to which degree a common interpretation scheme of the international security problems within movements and left parties exists or is developing.
Moreover, another research question refers to a possible common political agenda on international affairs uniting the different left actors; of which elements such a common agenda could exist and which issues remain controversial or subject of further research and discussion.
Conference with ISW Forum “BRICS and a New World Order”, on May 15 in Munich
A first comprehensive paper by the end of the year
1.6 Left Strategy
The objective of the Core Project is to explore the potential of moving beyond this form of governance – post-democracy – to a situation that could be called post-national democracy. This does not refer to a situation where the state would be occulted, but rather to a process of both bottom-up and top-down transformations which aims at increasing the real democracy. For the Left in Europe, the enhancing of a real democracy could be implemented only through the accomplishment of all levels of European integration.
Another research question will be the functioning and administration of public enterprises and organizations, with a focus on those operating with advanced levels of workers’ and social participation and control as a tool towards sustainable development.
The Core Project will also address the issue of mass media. Media are here seen as a principal legitimation structure of the state operating in a composite level – on the one hand they are driven by profit seeking and on the other they function as a tool for the reproduction of class hegemony. In spite of the positive effects of the development of new technologies (social media, etc.), the crucial part of information remains in the hands of traditional media. Our goal is to find ways to ensure transparency, pluralism and the expression of various social interests.
International Workshop on “European Integration, Democracy in a Fractured Society – Post Democracy vs. Post National Democracy”, scheduled for May 2015 in Athens
International Workshop on “Public Authorities and the System of Production”, scheduled for Spring 2015 in Finland
Paper on “Public Administration, Local Governance”, scheduled for the end of 2015
Paper on “Media”, scheduled for the end of 2015
1.7 Radical, Far and Populist Right
The results of the previous European elections made very clear that radical, far and populist right political forces were not a marginal phenomenon. Given the severity of the situation everywhere in Europe, the issue must be tackled as a long-lasting European phenomenon. The Core Project aims at analyzing in-depth the (political, ideological and social) causes of the eruption of far and populist right parties, their function in fractured society, the adjustment/transformation of their political discourse, as well as the left strategies to counter them by developing an alternative dynamics.
A booklet will be published before the end of 2014 and a shorter version will be entailed in the transform! Yearbook 2015 (to be published in English in December 2014)
A joint initiative with the Alter Summit: Conference on “Right Extremism”, scheduled for Spring 2015
Conference on “Extreme Right and Strategies for a New Hegemony” (with a focus on Scandinavian realities), scheduled for the end of 2015 in Stockholm with CMS
Participation in different forums, initiatives, etc.
The new project on Feminism aims at studying further the Marxist approach. A cooperation with the network “Feminists for Another Europe” will result in a conference on Feminism and Marxism, gathering specialists and activists from across Europe.
Participation in a Conference on “Marxism-Feminism”, by Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, in March 2015 in Germany
1.9 Political Landscape in Europe
Following the successful workshop held in Berlin in cooperation with the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in the aftermath of the European elections, the workshop gathering political actors and academics will be made a yearly event. While focusing principally on the situation and challenges of left parties throughout Europe, the workshop will also be the occasion to assess the evolution of the political balance of power in Europe.
European Workshop, Spring 2015 in Berlin
1.10 Central and Eastern Europe
Workshop co-organized with the Eastern European members of transform! on “Real Socialism”, the transition period and the current crisis
A transform! Working Group will be set up in order to build a contact network in Eastern Europe
2. AKADEMIA Working Groups
Ongoing Projects (see above)
2.1 Critical History
2.2 Science, Society and Democracy
2.3 University and Research
2.4 European Observatory of Social Rights
2.5 Development (potentialities, obstacles, challenges for EU-wide activities) of Unions in Europe
2.6 Strengths and Weaknesses of a European Social Movement in the Making
3. Joint Activities of transform! Members and Observers
3.1 transform!Danmark organizes its annual conference in Copenhagen, on 14 March: “Alternatives to Global Capitalism? Exploring Possibilities for a No-Growth Agenda”
3.2 transform! Austria produces a documentary on “The Neoliberalization of the Media: Challenges for the Left and Strategies for Resistance”, as well as a series of lectures “Kreisky talks”
3.3 The Europe of Citizens Foundation (FEC) in Spain starts from the end of 2014 a series of training seminar to be continued in the course of 2015-2016: “Developing Social Rights and Political Participation in Local and Regional Government”. The constitution of a network on Local Governance and Democracy is also planned.
3.4 Espaces Marx, Copernic Foundation a.o. French organizations, and transform! italia will hold a European workshop on “Socialization and Commons in Europe, how to build an Alternative Project”, Paris, June 2015
3.5 CULTRA will hold a workshop on “Debt Restructuring: examples, models and operationalization” – in commemoration of the Carnation Revolution. As well as a film festival in Porto “Desobedoc: documentaries and disobedience”
3.6 The Institute for Labour Studies (Slovenia) organizes a cycle of lectures in Ljubljana: “Connecting the Economic and the Extra-Economic”
3.7 Representation at various Press festivals in autumn
4. Participation in Initiatives with the EL
4.1 Forum of Alternatives, end of May
4.2 EL-transform! Summer University
4.3 Seminar with the Sao Paolo Forum
4.4 Conference on the Mediterranean Politics
4.5 Campaigning against the TTIP
5. Other Activities and Participations of the Network
5.1 Alter Summit Process
5.2 International Conference on Climate Change (COP21), December in Paris
5.3 Cooperation with EuroPEN and EuroMemo: Conference at the European Parliament
5.4 New Left Forum, New York
5.5 World Social Forum in Tunis, March 2015
6.1 The biannual journal has been dropped in favour of a Yearbook, in cooperation with different national publishing houses (in UK, France, Germany, Greece, etc.) The 2015 edition in English will be released end of December 2014 – publication in English, Greek, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, and partially electronically in Czech.
6.2 The multilingual website (at least in English, German, French and Greek, selected articles in Czech and Spanish) has now responsive design
6.3 Newsletter (in English, German, French, Greek and Spanish) at least 10 times a year
6.4 Economic and Social Quarterly
6.5 Discussion Papers: 5 editions per year (print on demand, different languages)
6.6 Reports on Conferences and Workshops (print on demand, different languages)
6.7 Printed EuroMemo (in English, German and French)