European Social Forum meets at time of austerity politics to strategise on how to build an effective pan-European response by Europe's social movements.
Four years into the Crisis in Europe and ten years after the first European Social Forum (ESF) - some thousands of participants gather in Florence from November 8-11.
TNI will be among the many different social actors and movements converging on Firenze: new movements born from the struggles of the past few years (including 15M in Spain, the Squares in Greece and Blockupy Frankfurt, European Water movement, and increasingly visible movements against evictions and against austerity); the coalitions of social movements, citizens campaigns and trade unions that have brought millions on the streets in several European countries; as well as the growing number of migrant, refugee and anti-racist movements who are also mobilising to respond to an increasingly neoliberal and authoritarian Europe.
Until now the main response to the Crisis from the European Council and European Commission and of governments around Europe has been a rushing through of a new authoritarian system of ‘economic governance’ – erected to impose austerity, push for privatization and attack social rights including the right to collective bargaining as well as pensions. The adopted raft of new legislations (from six-pack, two-pack and the Fiscal Treaty) with a Fiscal Union expected to be announced in December are deliberately sidelining democratic processes and constructing a Europe to be ruled by an unelected Troika of the EC, ECB and the International Monetary Fund.
In Firenze, the focus will be on What is to be Done, How can we build on the national resistance and develop an effective pan-European response that can overcome fragmentation, halt austerity, cancel the debt and give space to new creative democratic initiatives and strategies for a different Europe.