transform!europe is a European network which consists of research and educational institutions and magazines in 13 European countries. Since its foundation transform!europe has participated in all European Social Forums. In Malmö, the network and its members will take part in more than 30 seminars and workshops.
The spectrum of the seminars and workshops is broad and varied. It covers the topics of international solidarity, the reflection of experiences of the Latin American Left, the analysis of right-wing populism in Europe as embodied by Sarkozy and Berlusconi, the problems of constructing a new Europe after the Irish “No”, the reflection of the history and experiences of the social movements as well as the discussion of the challenges in front of the political Left in Europe.
In the debates initiated by transform! europe a particular focus lies on the European social model. Due to neoliberal labour market policies, which are an outcome of the Lisbon Strategy of the European Union, the living situation of many millions of Europeans has worsened. For many people, in particular for women, members of the younger generation and migrants, work and life are characterised by precariousness. transform!europe suggests an advance of the debate away from the critical analysis of the neo-liberal reality in Europe towards the debate of alternatives in which the values of democracy, of social justice, of feminism and ecology play an important part.
Europe will be a social Europe or there won’t be any Europe. At the same time, it becomes obvious that each and every alternative to neo-liberalism must be placed within a European framework.
At the same time the preconditions of the struggle are very different in the different regions of Europe, in the North, the South, the West and the East. Each commonality must therefore start out from the differences. This requires a political culture of dialogue and an exchange of experiences. This is the major field in which transform!europe is working. The European social model also is the topic of a research project initiated by transform!europe.
The next issue of the transform! magazine, the English edition of which will be published in November, will have its focus on the documentation of the first results of this project.
In the meantime, the debate of sociopolitical alternatives to neo-liberalism takes place under changed economic and political preconditions on a global level. The crisis of capitalist finance markets, which coincides with the global food crisis, threatens to seize ever broader sectors of the economy. These new facts must be included into the consideration of the strategies of the Left. transform!europe will contribute to the necessary debate by organising a series of workshops and conferences on the political aspects and consequences of the crisis of the finance markets.
On an organisational level, transform! europe has a long-term cooperation with the Party of the European Left. At the same time it understands itself as a factor of the radical European Left in the broadest sense. It develops its topics and activities in a dialogue with all its members and partners.
As with all the World Social Forums so far, transform!europe will also participate in the WSF in Belém (Brazil) next February. Among others, a spezial edition of its magazine is planned in Portuguese.
We wish all the participants of the ESF in Malmö an inspiring and productive meeting.