1st Preparatory Assembly
Athens, 25-27 February 2005
FINAL STATEMENT ON METHODOLOGY
The fourth European Social Forum will be held in Athens in April 2006.
After the experiences held in Florence, Paris and London we feel the need to renew the preparatory methodology, the format and the territory of the Forum, with the following aim:
to involve as much as possible movements, networks, organizations, individuals which, all over Europe -at the international, regional, national, local level- can join the global movement for a different world.
to improve the strength of the European social movements of working and fighting together for another Europe, refusing war, neoliberism, racism, sexism and patriarchy, a Europe based on peace and rights.
to highlight and witness the variety of experiences of social struggles
to improve the capability of deepen the dialogue and the debate between different approaches and identities on order to make step forwards in the definition of alternative policies and practises.
to facilitate and improving communication between movements and organization, the process of networking, the building up of common agendas, campaigns, actions, mobilizazions.
The ESF will be prepared according to the following methodology and calendar:
First step: CONSULTATION ON THEMES AND PRIORITIES
on the 10th of March, a process of open consultation will be opened, using the website, the ESF mailing list, networks, consultative thematical meetings, and all the useful tools to involve as many subjects as possible.
the consultation will be done on the bases of two questions:
o which kind of themes do you want to be discussed in the next ESF?
o which are, according to you, the priorities for the other Europe we want?
the consultation will be introduced by a small text, explaining the methodology and remembering the axis of the ESF in London.
the consultation will go on until the 10th of May
all the answers will be collected and presented in an analytic way in the next EPA in May by a working group.
the result of consultation will be evaluated in the next EPA, which will be devoted to a political discussion to identify the axis and to a debate on priorities.
the already existing networks in the framework of EPA has to be consider as important actors of the consultation, and of the enlargement process.
EPA will promote the active participation in its meetings of all the organizations involved in the consultation.
Second step: PROPOSALS OF ACTIVITIES IN THE ESF
As soon as the axis will be identify -in June- the collection of proposals of activities to be held in the Athens ESF will start, using the web site.
Information about the possibility to propose activities will be spread everywhere in Europe, using all the useful tools.
Organizations will be asked to put their own activities inside the axis, if possible.
The deadline for the proposals -seminars, workshops, conferences, cultural events, table of controversies- will be the end of November.
Third step: HELPING MERGING AND EPA PROMOTED ACTIVITIES
The general responsibility of the ESF programme belongs to EPA, which will organize itself with the aim to guarantee efficiency, inclusivity and transparency of the process.
In the September EPA, for each axis a group of people will be identified as facilitators. They will be in charge of the proposals arrived, being in touch with the proponents and facilitating the merging.
This work will profit from the direct involvement of the already existing thematical networks.
The work of merging will end in February.
Nobody can be obliged to merge its on activities.
In the EPA in September, the debate about which kind of activities have to be promoted directly by EPA -such as plenaries, and “testimonies events” - has to arrive to a conclusion.
EPA can promote thematical, strategic, merging assemblies aimed to facilitate the process of networking, to define common agendas for social movements, to create interlinks between different themes and to develop trasversalities.
The proposals coming from the Forum will be collected and presented. EPA will discuss and decide how to present them.
Of course, nobody will be obliged to participate in this process aimed to produce the agenda of the social movements, but EPA will do its best to give everybody the possibility to take part in it.
Building up the ESF social territory
The social territory of ESF will embody the contents and the aim of the ESF.
The social territory will be built around collectively defined alternative “best practices”: free software and free knowledge, solidarity economy, environmental friendly behaviours and so on.
It will be one of the physical expression of the political decisions, of the ESF programme (not necessarily using thematic area) but also of the links to cultural practices, networks,informal meetings and so on.
It will be one of the expression of inclusiveness by sharing resources and a same global space.
The issue of languages and interpretation is the heart of the social territory and EPA call the Babel network to build together useful solutions for all the practises which are going to take place in the ESF.
The social territory is a political expression of the Forum and as such will be defined through a document discussed and accepted by the EPA.
this paper is aimed to produce a framework about ESF process methodology. During the process, EPA could decide some changes.
the deadlines has to be considered as flexible, according to the development of the process and the need to guarantee as much as possible involvement and participation.
the complete text for consultation will be prepared in few days and circulated in the mailing list.
the consultation is open to all forms of collective bodies (organizations, networks, social forum, informal groups...)
all the organizations commit themselves to spread as much as possible the text for consultation
the evaluation of consultation will be a political one, as well as the discussion on axis and priorities.
all the working groups established in the process will be open, transparent and democratic.