Confronting the EU “Oligarchy of Governments”. Joining Forces for Another Europe
2012-10-11 0:00

By Tommaso Fattori |

In Europe we are living in particularly dramatic times. Democracy is in death-agony and we are witnessing post-democratic processes taking over at the national and supranational level. EU leaders have further concentrated decision-making power on public and fiscal policies in the hands of an oligarchy of governments, technocrats and the European Central Bank (ECB), which are subject to the dictates of the financial markets. Neoliberalism, the real cause of the crisis, not only is not dead, but it appears to be in perfect health: it uses the crisis to destroy social rights and workers’ rights and to privatize commons, public goods and public services.

Finally, the most incredible propaganda operation of our times is in full swing, in which states and ‘markets’ try to make people believe that public debt was caused by excessive social spending and high salaries. In fact the financial sector caused the crisis and the fiscal deficit in the EU is the result of the crisis, not its cause.

A moment like this needs a strong social answer: it is urgent to act now, uniting our forces, creating the conditions for a common social response, for a pan-European mobilization. There is an objective need to build a European space of ‘strategic alliances’: in order to elaborate common strategies and initiatives and to rebuild solidarity. When the attack on Greece by the great economic powers and the ‘troika’ [the International Monetary Fund, the European commission and the ECB] began, we, in Europe, were unable to organize a social response. Rather, each stayed wrapped up in their own crisis and their own national dimension, leaving the Greeks alone. It must never happen again.

Beyond Fragmentation

We must go beyond the current fragmentation of our forces. Most of the time, we agree on analysis and proposals – now in Europe we have hundreds of similar documents, calls, statements which are a good basis for a common platform – but we need to join forces.

Firenze 10+10 is only a contribution to a more general process [November 8-11, 2012]. The European space today is the minimum space necessary if we are to build a credible social and economic alternative. To underestimate the global dimension of the clash between capital and labour, capital and nature, capital and the commons is a mistake. In Firenze we want to provide to the real social actors with a useful space for alliances and strategy at the European level, linking up the local resistance and struggles.

We must also break down the wall between eastern and western Europe by getting the east and the Balkans fully involved. And of course we must build bridges toward the southern Mediterranean, where the next WSF will be held in 2013.

Finally, it is necessary to have a long-term vision. That’s why the name is 10+10: Ten years after the 2002 European Social Forum (ESF), but above all ‘plus ten’: which shows the need to build a common strategy and vision for the next ten years and not limit our horizons to tomorrow, to the next political elections. It is a question of understanding which way we want to go.


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