In mid-September, representatives of member organisations, employees and guests met at our coordination office for our annual Members‘ Meeting. Almost 50 participants engaged in general political discussions and the Members adopted the organisation’s budget and working schedule for 2020.
The main focus of the debates encompassed the following:
· The political consequences of the EP election’s result
· Reports on national and regional elections in various countries
· The state of European integration on the eve of Brexit
· The upcoming elections in Austria, Portugal and Spain
· The tasks of a left think-tank in the context of the ecological crisis
· The preparation for the European Forum of Progressive Forces
Besides recognising transform! UK as a Full Member, transform! welcomes four new Observing Members in our network: the DEMOS institute – a non-partisan group of intellectuals, academics and activists in Lithuania, the Institute of Intercultural Research and Cooperation (IIRC) in Austria, The World Transformed – an organisation in the UK which prepares a number of discussion and educational events surrounding the annual Labour party conference, and the foundation of La France Insoumise – Institut de Transition Citoyenne – with its research department Intéret Général.
A new project consists in the cooperation with the Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) regarding the topic of AirBnB: together, CEO and transform! brought this project to the attention of MEPs of the GUE/NGL group before the critical interrogation of the proposed Commissioners. Further and deepened cooperation projects with the new GUE/NGL and its members are planned. We are also paving the way for new media cooperation projects with online media in Central and Eastern Europe. Apart from that, we would like to further Europeanise and combine a large number of projects (at the coordination office, we received more than 50 proposals) and use their generated synergy effects. Generally speaking, topics can be divided in left-wing strategies and political education, the development of political theories and questions of contemporary capitalism and its alternatives.
Apart from the contributions our transform! Members make, a large part of our budget is provided by a subsidy from the European Parliament: it is made up by a small basic amount and another subsidy which directly corresponds to the number of MEPs providing their signature for the Party of the European Left.
A strategic decision taken at the last Members’ Meeting led transform! to apply – for the first time – for further funding in the framework of EU project funds; in the areas of the Christian-Marxist dialogue and strategies against right-wing extremism to be specific. The competent juries have not yet communicated their decisions.
transform! europe is introducing the role of “Senior Fellows”: Senior Fellows will be proposed by Members and elected by the Board and have an advisory function.
Furthermore, Roland Kulke, coordinator of the Productive Transformation working group was elected the official representative of transform! in Brussels.
The importance of the climate and ecology issue and the fact that this will require changes in our way of working has now been recognised in our entire political family.