• 17 August 2022 - 21 August 2022
  • Mönchengladbach
  • Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences
    Mönchengladbach Campus

    Webschulstraße 41-43
    41065 Mönchengladbach

  • ESU22
  • European Summer University of Social Movements 2022

  • ESU22 will be about the future of Europe. We will draw lessons from the deficits that the pandemic has so brutally shown us in many aspects of life. After the last European Summer University of Social Movements — in Paris and Toulouse — we will meet this year in Germany! transform! europe is participating as a cooperation partner.

    More than a thousand attendees are expected this August, including activists and friends of Attac and from social movements in Europe and other parts of the world.

    After many months of massive COVID-19 restrictions, the 2022 European Summer University will make lively encounters and embraces possible again! ESU22 will offer participants a forum to understand crises, develop alternatives, develop solidarity and plan demonstrations. We want to gather the diverse and colourful range of social movements on this continent together. We see ESU as a place of discussion and action in the midst of climate destruction and active resistance in the Rhenish lignite mining area. The activists of this movement will be joining us.

    ESU22 will be about the future of Europe, which for us is more than just the EU. We will draw lessons from the deficits that the pandemic has so brutally shown us in many aspects of life. The social and environmental dimensions of this crisis demand our response. And we want to build bridges instead of fortifying borders - migrants are welcome. The vision of another Europe emerges from the critique of the existing one. Environment and climate demand system change. What role does Europe play in the face of global power shifts?

    This year’s ESU will be participatory. ESU lives from the diverse, collaborative contributions of the participants! We are looking forward to exciting encounters, space for experiments and actions, and days of intensive learning and exchange at eye level.
    The summer university is unthinkable without an exciting cultural program. Together we will also enrich the cultural life of the city with our creative contributions.

    Organisers: BiKoop. e.V. (Bildungskooperation für eine gerechte Globaliseierung e.V.)  in cooperation with transform! europe, European Attac Network (transform! europe´s friend organisation), Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, Asta der Hochschule Niederrhein, and many others.

    Languages: English, German, French

    Local translation of the debates is planned and should be provided in German, French, and English.


There will be different, very creative formats, over 100 workshops, larger and smaller forums, open space as well as areas to socialize.

There will also be a extensive accompanying programme with music, theatre, possibly readings, exhibitions, films and excursions. Also, you will get numerous opportunities to network, hang out and have fun, e.g. at evening parties.

The entire programme can be found on the ESU22 website.

transform! europe at ESU22

Friday, 19 August

16:30—18:30 (CET): Cost of living crisis

Since 2021, the cost of energy has been rising ever more sharply. Experts speak of a spreading energy and mobility poverty. People no longer heat their homes when the children are away, and workers sleep in their cars outside the factory gates so they can save on petrol. But food prices are also exploding! Parents go hungry so that at least their children can eat. All this in the EU and the continent that invented the welfare state.

We want to discuss how this escalating crisis came about. Who is to blame? Putin with his invasion of Ukraine? China's economic policy? What is often overlooked is what is wrong with our societies and economic systems.

The aim should be to find answers to what we can do as people in Europe to secure our right to a good life. The end of the month must no longer be a horror.


  • Roland Kulke, facilitator, transform! europe 
  • Trevor Evans, member of of the coordinating committee of the "European Economists for an Alternative Economic Policy in Europe" 

20:00—21:00 (CET): Plenary Strategy

The strategy debate aims to examine the possibilities of political influence of social movements in a plenary session and to find the most effective form of organisation for this. Starting from the social contradictions and the common political answers, the current situation and the development perspective of the left will be discussed. The possibilities of cooperation between NGOs, trade unions and left parties will be examined. The narrative of the left will be questioned: Capitalism and ecology or exploitation? Or something quite different from self-determined life?

And how do we organise the struggles? March separately - strike united; organisational unity and leadership? Or loose network structures and open spaces? The answers are essential for the social movements.


  • Andreas Fisahn, Professor of Public Law at the Faculty of Law at Bielefeld University
  • Marga Ferré, Co-President of transform! europe
  • Alexandra Strickner, Co-founder of Attac Austria 
  • Ulrich Brand, political scientist and university professor for international politics at the University of Vienna 


Related articles