The current issue of transform! european journal for alternative thinking and political dialogue introduces some innovations. There are two changes: first, a change of organisation and of technical coordination behind the scenes. This was necessary, because with the publication of the first issues of the Portuguese and Italian editions, the journal is now being published in six languages.*
Distribution and marketing are now being handled by VSA Publishing House, Hamburg.
Starting in May, the print edition will be supplemented by a modified and technically improved website. At the same time, the first issue of a regularly published newsletter will appear. The editorial coordination of this expanded medial presence and the production management of the English issue of the magazine are from now on in the hands of Rosa Reitsamer, sociologist and journalist based in Vienna.
This expansion of the network’s public presence was agreed on at the last general meeting in January 2009. By now the network consists of 16 organisations, journals and educational institutions from 13 European countries. Due to its recognition as a political foundation linked to the Party of the European Left, transform! europe also receives funding from the European Union through which two research projects are being financed.
One of these, called “Strategic Prospects of the European Radical Left”, has as its focus a comparative survey of the political experiences of the left parties in Europe and the formulation of questions relevant to the development of each of them. The second focus of transform! this year is the global economic crisis and its political consequences and impact on people’s thinking. The current issue of the journal, with its thematic focus, offers an initial survey of this work. A working group headed by Elisabeth Gauthier provided the editorial coordination of this thematic area.
Within the economic crisis, tensions in Europe are rapidly increasing and aggravating the EU’s legitimation crisis.
The articles published in this issue indicate the multi-faceted forms assumed by the crisis, with its differing but also shared tendencies. Unfortunately, it is clear that the capacities of the left and progressive forces to carry out a change of politics in the individual countries and on the European scale are limited at the moment.
In the last weeks, sectoral, but also in part coordinated and unified, resistance movements have developed around the slogan “we won’t pay for your crisis”, which are to be combined into a series of Europe-wide demonstrations planned by ETUC for mid-May. The extent and direction of the deep global crisis’s impact on social and political conditions will be more broadly addressed in our Fall issue to appear after the June European elections.
Right before going to press we received Ruurik Holm’s interview with the Icelandic Finance Minister.
The illustration of the front page was provided by the Belgian Trade Union vvlbbdo - Campaign of the Belgian Coalition for Decent Work to which we want to express our heartfelt thanks. The illustrations inside the journal are taken from a photo report on the World Social Forum at Belém by Émanuelle Reungot.
*) Thus the journal appears in English, Greek, German, French, Portuguese and Italian editions. A Spanish edition is in preparation.