One week before the official Asia-Europe government meeting (ASEM) gathers in Milan, over 400 people from 42 countries in Europe and Asia gathered at the 10th Asia-Europe Peoples forum (AEPF) to present their demands and recommendations.
As the Social Movements Assembly of the World Social Forum of Tunisia, 2013, we are gathered here to affirm the fundamental contribution of peoples of Maghreb-Mashrek (from North Africa to the Middle East), in the construction of human civilization.
In the long term we have to transcend capitalism as it cannot ensure a decent livelihood for all nor is it compatible with preserving necessary ecological balances. In the short-term we must start out with basic social democratic demands.
The flawed neoliberal notion behind India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games, that 'development' starts with attracting foreign capital investment - has brought only corruption and the destruction of communities to Dehli.
Alternatives to neo-liberal globalisation are needed that not only change people-to-people and South-South relations and situations, but also South-North relations and inter-actions to the benefit of all of humanity and our common planetary home.
The massive concentration and growth of corporate power poses a major threat to what remains of public services, highlighting the ever-deepening crisis of democracy, and the urgent need for people to reclaim the state.
Mining in India has been significant in contributing to the 45 million people displaced thanks to "development" projects, yet the industry is still not being made to compensate communities for the loss of livelihoods, homes and environmental health.
The AEPF this year in Brussels brought together citizens for dialogue, solidarity and action, as a platform from which to oppose corporate-dominated, undemocratic and neoliberal responses to ongoing crises.
The term crisis implies a short lived period of uncertainty - suggesting there is something temporary or anomalous about the current state of the global economy. On the contrary, our global economy, from the financial clouds (or bubbles) to the real roots - where men and women work, live and survive - is suffering from systemic flaws based on an ever expanding void between rich and poor.
The current paradigmatic crisis needs to be dealt with at the regional level. In this respect, Latin American movements have already mobilised and placed different models of development and integration at the centre of their struggle. However, the European Union model, whereby integration is geared towards the interests of transnational corporations, should be avoided.
The WSF must work to strengthen and deepen the alliance of social movements with environmental campaigners, that was forged in Copenhagen, and broaden the alliance to include peace and conflict organisations as well.
In the context of the current state of European-Chinese relations and the limited influence of European NGOs on EU policies, this book discusses the challenges and dilemmas of co-operation between European and Chinese civil society organisations.