For a social, feminist, antiracist, ecological, peaceful and democratic Europe to face the rise of the far right we need to built inclusive societies

While we have a large number of thematic networks in Europe, we no longer have a common space for all the social and citizens’ movements that would enable us to share our experiences and challenges and develop joint initiatives and mobilisations. 

Today, throughout Europe, we have a flourishing of mobilisations and social experiments that are exciting and enriching. From Madrid to Warsaw, from Berlin to Zagreb, from Dublin to Athens individuals and collectives are taking to the street, establishing solidarity around specific issues, like the right to decent housing, the fight for climate justice, the defence of vulnerable populations and international solidarity.

At the same time, we are facing major and often dramatic challenges in Europe. The Mediterranean has become a graveyard for thousands of humans seeking asylum and a better life. In Ukraine, the Russian invasion has triggered one of the bloodiest wars this continent has seen since WW2.  As Israel/Palestine is concerned, we believe it is necessary to condemn Hamas’ murdering of civilians. Likewise we condemn the bombings of civilians and civil infrastructure by the state of Israel. We acknowledge the historical and ongoing oppression of the Palestinians and we stand united against the collective punishment of the people of Gaza. 

Global warming is already having catastrophic effects, with increasing numbers of forest fires, floods and heat waves affecting human populations and all ecosystems. The cost of living is rising rapidly and threatening the living conditions of the majority of the population, to mention just a few of these challenges. Democratic spaces of expression and organisation are closing, civil liberties are under attack. For all of these reasons, it is important to continue building solidarity ties at local, national and transnational level.

Over the last two years, numerous meetings and conferences have provided an opportunity to discuss this absence and to make a modest attempt to rebuild this common space. 

Following the history of international gatherings like the European Social Forum process (active 2002-2010), a number of organisations fighting for social and environmental justice are forming a coalition of groups & activists to bring together more people, from diverse origins and backgrounds, to the understanding of a caring society. 

We started this process last year, around the Florence+20 initiative in November 2022, or the Future Factory in June 2023, and, between the news developments and the electoral deadlines, it has become obvious that like-minded groups should meet, and do something, together.

Today, we want to propose this new step by organising a broad encounter, in the spring of next year, in the run-up to the European Union elections in June 2024. This event will have a main topic: “ To face the far right  and the neoliberal agenda imposed on the people, we need a social, feminist, antiracist, ecological, peaceful and democratic Europe” and would be called with the acronym ECSA  (European Common Space for Alternatives).

It will be organised in a bottom-up and open space approach, giving to all of us the possibility to express ourselves and organise discussions and actions. We’ll share our experiences, dreams, visions,  and transformative ideas and actions with empathy.

Tentatively, this event is due to take place in France (location tbc) in the spring of 2024.

Are you interested? If so, let us know if you have any questions, or how you would like to be involved (receive information).