On 15 and 16 September transform! europe held its members’ meeting in Barcelona. In the course of this annual gathering, programmes, projects and the network’s budget are decided upon. The evaluation of political developments in Greece, Europe and the EU which have taken place since last autumn’s gathering was at the centre of debates.
Syriza’s victory in the elections of January 2015, the formation of Alexis Tsipras’ first government, the negotiations between Greece and its creditors, the sigining of the 3rd Memorandum in July, the government crisis and new elections (the transform! europe members’ meeting had taken place only a few days before the new elections in Greece) have presented the Left in Europe with numerous challenges and new questions. The negotiation result from 13 July which was reached only after the Greek government was blackmailed by the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank has faced the Left and social movements with the necessity to critically assess the estimations and assumptions on which their previous strategy was based.
transform! sees it as its task to create a suitable framework for these considerations and explore the basic questions of European integration within a new research programme. This debate is related to the continuation of the programme on the Productive Transformation of the European economy. Both programmes are at the focus of the network’s activities for the coming period.
The political map of Europe was not redrawn only in Athens. The victory of progressive coalitions in the Spanish local elections, amongst others in Madrid, Barcelona and Zaragoza, shows that in the European south a new political momentum has been created. Also, Jeremy Corbyn’s election as the Leader of the British Labour Party provides new perspectives for the Left in Europe.
At the members’ meeting in Barcelona transform! europe’s work has received a lot of recognition. The network has established itself firmly, it has grown and intensified relations to trade unions, social movements and NGOs. Moreover, its cooperation with the Party of the European Left – at the members’ meeting represented by Maite Mola (vice-president of the EL, Spain), Natassa Theodorakopoulou (EL Secretariat, Greece) and Christine Mendelsohn (liaison group EL-transform!, France) – is stable and productive.
transform! europe has gained two new observing members: transform! hungary and the Claudio Sabattini foundation(which is linked to FIOM, the Italian trade union for metalworkers); therefore the network now consists of 28 organisations in 18 European countries. The Finnish Democratic Civic Association which has been an observing member for several years was now accepted unanimously as a full member.
The European north, particularly the UK, and Central / Eastern Europe are still underrepresented in the network. It was broadly agreed that particular attention should be paid to developing contacts in this region.
The Work Programme #2016 was agreed upon unanimously which constitutes the basis for next year’s budget. In the framework of a meeting in Paris at mid-October the Managing Board will conclude the programme’s fine-tuning.
To the right, please find the transform! cornerstones 2016 (pdf).