Intensive Transform! Europe Meeting in Brussels

From September 18th to 20th, 2009, the European Transform! Network had its annual general meeting at the recently opened office of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Brussels, which will also be the future official seat of the network.

The series of discussions was opened by a public event taking place at Espaces Marx in Brussels with prominent speakers such as Pedro Paez, advisor to the President of the Republic of Ecuador, member of the UN-Commission on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System and former finance minister of Ecuador; Francois Houtart, director of the Tri-Continental Centre and co-founding activist of the World Social Forum, Marcello Ossandon, former professor of the Free University of Brussels, Jean-Pierre Michiels, President of the Association Culturelle Josephe Jaquesmotte and Ruurik Holm and Walter Baier from the transform! europe network.

On Saturday, September 19th, the official programme of the general meeting started with the unanimous decision to accept as full members the organisations Association Jaquemotte (Belgium), the Society for a European Dialogue – SPED (Czech Republic) and transform! Luxemburg, all of whom had been observing members of the network until then.

26 persons altogether took part in the general meeting, representing the following organisations: ACFF (Belgium), CMS (Sweden), Cultra (Portugal), Espace Marx (France), Fondation Copernic (France), Lasalle Center (Poland), Left Forum (Finland), Manifest (Norway), Nicos Poulantzas Institut (Greek), RLS (Germany), Sozialismus (Germany), SPED (Czech Republic), transform Austria, Brussels, Italy, Luxembourg

Discussions focussed on the two major projects transform! europe wants to tackle next year:

a) a research project on the strategic perspectives of the Radical Left in Europe, which was conceived and presented by Haris Golemis (Nicos Poulantzas Institute, Greece). The decision-finding process also included a project proposed by the Centre for Socialist Studies about organisational and communicative strategies of the European Left.

b) the project on the global crisis which is co-ordinated by Elisabeth Gauthier (Espaces Marx, France).

Further details about the projects will be presented on the transform! europe website shortly.

As the next initiatives a workshop on the crisis and the role of the state within the project on the global crisis taking place in Vienna on November 6th and 7th, 2009 was adopted as was a seminar about the project on the strategy of the Radical Left in Europe taking place on Mallorca in December.

Among the events in which transform! europe will take part in the weeks to come, the “Free Culture Forum” (from October 29th to November 1st in Barcelona) and the conference on “Economic and Social Aspects of Transformation” (taking place in Warsaw as a joint venture between the Rosa Luxemburg-Foundation and the Ferdinand Lassalle-Foundation) shall be mentioned here. In addition to that we will take part in the conference about the systemic aspects of the crisis, taking place in Brussels from October 30th to November 1st and organised by the Rosa Luxemburg-Foundation.

Based on the activity report of the management board and the external financial audit which has by now been transmitted to and confirmed by the European Parliament, the general meeting granted a unanimous discharge concerning all financial matters to the Management Board (Ruurik Holm, Elisabeth Gauthier and Haris Golemis) and other liable persons.

The general meeting was also presented with a calendar of action for the network for the year 2010. Besides other initiatives and the continuation of its own projects, the network will participate in the following initiatives:

+ the European Social Forum in Istanbul

+ the preparation of events in the context of “Enlazando Alternativas III” at the occasion of the EU-Latin America-Summit in May, 2010

(The complete calendar of the initiatives and actions will be published separately).

On the basis of this plan, transform! europe decided on a budget for the year 2010. Further details of the budget can only be given after we have received a final frame for the subsidies we can expect from the European Union.

After the meeting, a transform!-delegation of six took part in the seminar “Instruments and Thematic Programmes of the EU in Democracy Promotion and Development Cooperation”, which was organised by ENoP, the European Network of Political Foundations and the Rosa Luxemburg-Foundation and lasted for one and a half days.