5 okt 2018
Dit is een eerste kennisgeving. We geven meer details wanneer die bekend zijn
Another Europe is possible:
Democratic – Peaceful – Ecological – Feminist – Solidarity Based
Congress: 5th – 7th October 2018,
University of Kassel
1. Why a congress on Europe?
In the official Brussels language usage, but also in the German discussion Europe tends to
be reduced to only the European Union (EU). Europe is, however, more than just the EU.
The continent of Europe is comprised of approximately 750 million inhabitants in almost 50
states. In the EU excluding Great Britain there are about 420 million people in 27 states. But
Europe is, in fact, more than just a geographic entity. Europe is a communicative, cultural,
economic and political agglomeration, which has established itself from the Atlantic to the
Urals since the Middle Ages. Part of the European bitter past has been of conflict and wars,
which found its catastrophic climax in the twentieth century. Verdun and Stalingrad are representative
symbols of Europe’s catastrophes. Europe has been playing a major role in shaping
world history for hundreds of years. Capitalism and the modern nation state emerged in
Europe. It is in Europe that the modern concepts of democracy and human rights, the Enlightenment,
critical social theory and socialism originated. Europe’s history also brings with it
a trail of blood involving genocide, plunder and subjugation across the planet, which spans
from the time of the crusades to colonialism and further to imperialism.
When we talk about a different Europe then we mean Europe in its entirety. In doing so, we
give special consideration to the EU and the Eurozone in which Germany plays a dominant
role. When we discuss Europe then we do so with regard to the charged relationship between
the whole of Europe, the EU and the Eurozone. Due to the era of globalization Eurocentrism
is even less compatible than ever before with emancipatory internationalism. We,
as a globalization critical organization, think about Europe always in the context of its role in
the world and with regard to globalization. The nation state is still the dominant form of socialization.
For that reason, the relationship to forms of international, transnational or supranational
integration must be an important and central aspect in our discussions.
The nation state and capitalism are historically inter-related. Within the framework of the nation
state essential prerequisites for the economy but also for the social cohesion of societies
were brokered and regulated. In the EU national regulations in the participating countries
have been partially eradicated and instead elevated to the supranational EU level. These
processes are being carried out under the hegemony of neoliberal forces. In the course of
this, for the most part, the interests of the wealthy, the banks and corporations prevail,
whereas, wage earners suffer the consequences of these neoliberal measures. Moreover,
the transfer of powers from the national parliaments to the EU institutions has led to a partial
dismantling of democracy. A good example of this is the implementation of austerity policies
in countries, which did not already have these policies. In this regard, a spearheading role is
played time and time again by the German Government.
After the Second World War it seemed that Europe could have become a more peaceful
place. But the Cold War led to new divisions. The confrontation between NATO and the Warsaw
Pact brought the world periodically to the brink of a nuclear war. Also at the end of the
Cold War armed confrontation did not cease. With the collapse of Yugoslavia and the conflict
in Ukraine armed hostilities have returned to Europe. The relationship between the EU and
Russia has taken on confrontational dimensions. Furthermore, aspirations from within the EU
to develop it into a military and geopolitically operating major power have intensified. Peace
policies look quite different.
At many levels there is, however, opposition and different approaches concerning another
Europe. The successful campaigns against water privatization, the EU-wide citizens’ iniative
against TTIP and CETA, the movement in opposing the EU’s austerity policies, the Right to
the City movement, the solidarity with refugees and the climate movement are just some of
the various forms of resistance.
With the congress we not only want to express our criticism of the prevailing politics in Europa
and particularly in the EU, but also to discuss our vision for a democratic, socially just,
ecological and peaceful Europe. However, we do not want to just leave it at that. Criticism
remains blunt and visions are not of much use in the absence of a strategy for the transformation
of the political institutions and when there are no concrete political projects for their
implementation. Therefore, at the congress, on the one hand, we will discuss the various
ideas for a solidary, socio-ecological Europe, as well as, the relevant transformation approaches
concerning, among other things, a solidary agricultural sector and economy. On
the other hand, we will examine already existing proposals and ideas with regard to the
Council of Europe, the OSCE, the “Common House of Europe” and further suggestions and
ideas with regard to their emancipatory potential. It is important to us that during the congress
controversial positions are clearly articulated.
Our subject matter is very contentious not only among the left in Germany but also among
the left in Europe as a whole. In the context of a pluralistic mosaic left all the European currents
will be debated. In that regard, the congress takes on an important function beyond the
confines of Attac as a place for debate in handling controversies in the spirit of solidarity. In
doing this, the focus must always be directed towards where the differences can be bridged
and also, where the different currents of opinion can be unified and therewith yield common
demands and campaigns. Resulting from the congress we hope not just for a better understanding
of the various standpoints, but also for awareness of the positions that unite and of
the potentiality for joint political projects.
2. Thematic focus
We want to discuss Europe and the EU from the angle of five topic areas, which are in close
conjunction with one another and, in doing so, work on the following questions:
a. How can we achieve more democracy in the EU and in Europe?
How can the democracy deficit in the EU be overcome?
What sort of architecture is required for the EU and throughout Europe as a whole?
Which structures and institutional arrangements would be necessary in order to make the
continent more democratic?
What is the situation with regard to democracy in the relationship of the nation state to the
supranational level and to the local and regional levels?
How can the dominance of the economy over politics be driven back and the democracyfree
zone of the economy be democratized.
Can the EU be democratized at all and, if so, what would be the prerequisites for achieving
this? If not, what could the consequences be?
Is reorganization or something completely different needed?
How can we confront the rightwing developments?
What does an emancipatory asylum and migration policy look like?
b. How can we set to rights the economy in the EU and in Europe?
What role does the EU play with regard to the hegemony of neoliberalism and in our destructive
How can we ensure a good life for everyone by reducing resources consumption? What sort of impediments stand in the way and how can they be overcome?
How can the financial markets, transnational production, global trading and data traffic be
democratically regulated and channeled in a meaningful way?
Which progressive alternatives and flexible approaches are there to monetary integration
which goes beyond the tight constraints of the euro and which allows essential scope for
preserving sovereignty with regard to economic and social policies in the periphery regions
of the EU?
c. What will the new approach to social security in the EU and Europe look like?
Can a stabile welfare net extending beyond national borders be accomplished? If yes,
what could it look like?
Is a welfare state in the globalized world still possible at individual state level?
How can the fruits of digitalization be made available to benefit everyone?
How can the tendency towards more inequality be overcome?
What significance does the tax system play in this regard?
d. How can we end the destruction of the environment in Europe?
What has happened to the leading role of the EU on the issues of climate and environmental
What institutional and supranational regulations are needed in order to carry through a
genuine energy transformation?
Where are the opportunities and limits for EU or European environmental policies?
Which contribution can an alternative agricultural policy make?
What contribution can Europe make to climate justice?
e. How will peace be secured in Europe and what place do we envisage for our Continent
in the world?
How can we halt the militarization of the EU and its attachment to NATO?
How can we bring to an end the tensions between the EU and Russia and avert a new
Cold War and arms race?
How should a Europe-wide system for peace and collective security look like?
How can the cooperation of the EU to neighboring regions such as North Africa and the
Near East be constructed?
How can Europe develop a solidarity based relationship to the Global South?
How can we create a Europe supportive of people fleeing and that takes them in rather
than erecting barriers to them?
Gender equality shall be an across the board issue in all subject areas.
The congress works with different formats:
Three central podiums in plenary, taking place at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of
Nine Forums, which concentrate and sharpen the discussions on a specific thematic block.
Workshops, which focus on particular aspects of a topic. Invitations will be made for the organization
of the workshops. Supporters of the congress may also carry out their own independent