Marga Ferré, Co-President of transform! europe, in her speech at the 7th Party Congress of the European Left (EL), outlined the importance of interplay between science and political activism in the struggle for social justice and peace and a feminist and ecological Europe.
Dear comrades and friends, it is evident that transform! europe has come up with the good idea of appointing two women as Co-Presidents. I, Marga Ferré, am one of them, together with my friend Conny Hildebrandt.
As you all know, transform! europe is a foundation of the Party of the European Left, but it also includes political foundations and study centres of parties that are not members of the EL, as well as trade union foundations or left-wing analysis centres from 23 European countries. In total, our network gathers 40 member organisations. Since this year, we are also a member of the large network of CLACSO, the Latin American Council of Social Sciences.
In times like the present, when neoliberal dogmas are the dominant narrative and the demagogy of the far right forces irrational debates based mostly on emotion, the defence of rationality and knowledge becomes revolutionary. We defend a radical realism based on the common knowledge and experience of class struggles, including those of the past, and on the conviction that a different way of organising life, the economy and society is not only necessary but entirely possible.
As the evaluation document of the EL shows, all parties have rated the cooperation with transform! europe as extremely positive. This motivates us to keep working. I would say that we will take this relationship between the EL and transform! to a higher level and strengthen it even more.
Walter Baier will make it easier in his new position. All members of the transform! network have come to appreciate and love Walter and have been supported by him in all the years he has been Political Coordinator of transform! europe. On a personal note, I would like to add that Walter is one of the most dedicated, intelligent, brilliant and kind comrades I have ever met in my life. On behalf of the transform! network I thank you, Walter, and wish you all the best in your new role as President of the European Left.
Our task is to develop critical thinking on the most important issues for the left in Europe: debates, seminars, research, publications and conferences, and also networking with social movements. Of all the activities this year, I would like to share with you just the 4 conferences we are organising, as well as some projects that we think are relevant to you:
In June, we are organising Future Factory, a common space to discuss peace and security with the European peace movement from a pacifist and progressive perspective and to propose alternatives to the new logic of arms race and bloc confrontation. We want to do this in Rome, taking advantage of the great and wonderful peace movement in Italy, which gives us hope and strength to continue fighting for peace.
Our cooperation with Jacobin Magazin has been excellent and will continue in 2023 with another joint conference in Berlin.
Our transform! yearbook team will also organise a conference in Athens this year on the important topic of "The Left and the State", to which you are cordially invited.
And finally, we want you to embrace one of our most popular projects, the 5th International Marxist-Feminist Conference, which is essential and important in the times we live in, even more so as it will take place in Poland in November.
War, economic crisis, digital capitalism, and climate change are also the main issues for our work next year. Please use transform! as a left think tank and alternative knowledge production centre and, of course, as part of the international climate movement campaigning for a People's COP next year – and as part of the peace movement. As an active member of Europe for Peace and as an initiative with trade unions, social and peace movements, we call for a peace process to end the barbarity of war on our continent and to maintain our commitment to a Europe of peace.
Please participate in these activities as they are your activities too. There is no separation between science and political activism, so our challenge and mission over the coming years is to create and share alternative knowledge to make us stronger.
Finally, I would like to ask you for something: please support the motion we are presenting to this Congress to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the European Left Party in 2024. We have been working together for 20 years and have made history with our strengths and weaknesses. Let us celebrate these 20 years together!
We are convinced that debating, studying and creating shared knowledge is an essential part of the struggle for social justice and peace, for a feminist and ecological Europe for all, for a Europe full of peace, bread and roses.