The summer school “Beyond the Refugee Crisis – Studying in Europe” was held in Olympia on 18-28 August and saw Greek university students and young refugees come together. The initiative was supported by Sia Anagnostopoulou, Greek deputy minister for education, in partnership with the European Council and with the support of the Faculty of Philosophy of Athens University.
The current European situation dominated by issues such as Brexit, migration and EU crisis poses a set of questions for which we have to seek answers. Does the current European state of affairs have a specific influence on the CEE region in certain matters? How shall the radical Left act in this sphere and what kind of goals will they target?
On 23rd June 2016, Britain voted to leave the European Union – the so-called Brexit vote. On a turn out of 72.2%, 51.9% voted to Leave and 48.1% to Remain, thereby defeating the position of both Cameron’s Conservative government and the Labour Party under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn. This was a hard fought campaign, with its fair share of lies and dirty tricks.
This year, the European Left’s Summer University was held in Chianciano, in Italy, on July 20-24th. During the three days, the participants discussed three key issues: Europe, Work and Peace. Over 260 people from 31 countries signed up for this year’s particularly productive EL Summer University, with participants coming from across Europe and as far afield as the Middle East, North Africa and South America.
Left-wing forces at the European level are addressing the growing problem of energy poverty. That is one of the key findings of the strategic workshop titled “The Future of Renewables and the Electricity Market Design in the European Union”, which was held at the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 June 2016.
The radical left is not only witnessing the global strengthening of the free market imperative at the expense of human rights – it is also suffering from it. This is most evident in the countries of the Central and Eastern Europe region in which traditional political subjects professing the ideals of socialism keep failing, owing to a whole range of specific factors that are both external and internal.
Left Unity deplores the Leave outcome of the EU Referendum. This referendum came from pressure from the far right – driven by anti-immigration sentiment, fuelled by racism. This has been the most reactionary national campaign in British political history, resulting in an open emergence of the extreme right.
As the British referendum campaign on EU membership enters its final days, the tension and anger is palpable. Traditional fault lines in politics are breaking down as the divisions over Remain or Leave cross and re-cross through parties and movements where typically in a general election period sympathies would be predictable and tolerated.
Under the auspices of MEP Cornelia Ernst (GUE/NGL), the transform! Working Group on Energy presented its latest publication to representatives of European progressive civil society and members of the European Parliament Committee on Industry, research and Energy (ITRE). Deployment of the energy transition towards a new model of development, energy democracy and citizens’ initiatives, the crucial role of public research – these issues were at the heart of the discussions held on June 14.
On 3 and 4 June, around 1000 people came together in Vienna for the “Aufbruch” (“departure”) conference, hoping to create a movement, that, however defined, could serve as a new umbrella of the Austrian left and as a challenge and alternative to the anti-social and right-leaning state of Austrian politics right now.
The International Sabir Festival of Mediterranean Culture took place for the first time in Lampedusa in October 2014. The idea was to create a space that explores the potential social, economic and cultural dynamics around the Mediterranean, promotes a new identity for the region by combining local culture, innovative practices of hospitality and development and shifts the focus of discussion to the periphery.
Geoff Eley, Professor for Contemporary History at the University of Michigan, speaks of the crisis of hegemony and the crisis of representation, produced by the dislocations and de-legitimisations of the processes of capitalist restructuring and class recomposition. He also analyses the Left's challenges and the right's responses in addressing this dual crisis.
The City Plaza is a hotel located in the heart of Athens. It was a symbol of the Greek crisis. For years it was closed because the owner could no longer pay out wages. Today, City Plaza is open again and fully occupied. The new guests come from around the world: from Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan.
Faced with a democracy that has been denied, an authoritarian government and repressed social movements, the seven trade unions that have spent almost three months fighting against the El Khomri bill (CGT, FO, FSU, Solidaires, Unef, UNL and FIDL) and in favour of a labour law commensurate with the 21st century are organising a referendum in companies, administrative bodies and research centres.
The United Kingdom's EU referendum, which takes place on 23 June, provides a challenge to the Left. It should be answered by a “remain” vote, together with the rallying cry for #AnotherEurope, a better Europe.
In 2015, about fifty people from eleven European countries assembled in Prague to analyze, with an interdisciplinary approach from a class and gender point of view, the condition and formation of women in the educational systems in Europe. We can now present the outcome of the event, the online publication “Education seen through women’s eyes” (pdf, 29 MB) – released in May 2016 – on the right.