Overall conclusions of the deliberations
This is a summary which focuses on the decisions taken, together with number of appendices : a rapid summary of the debates and presentations, summaries of the working groups, list of those present and their e-mail addresses.
Present in Vienna
The complete list of the 242 registered participants is attached as an appendix. NB : some may have registered in advance and then been absent while others may have been present without having registered, but the list is generally accurate.
Here is the number of registered participants per country : Austria 47, Italy 36, France 31, Greece 20, Germany 18, Great Britain 16 (including 1 for Scotland), Czech Republic 5, Spain 5, the Basque Country 4, Switzerland 4, Portugal 4, Lithuania 4, Croatia 4, Belgium 4, Holland 2, Norway 2, Macedonia 2, Montenegro 2, Slovenia 2, Serbia 1, Yugoslavia 1, Cyprus 1, Russia 1, Rumania 1, Luxembourg 1, Latvia 1. Plus 4 representatives of European networks.
Florence Forum : when and where
The European Social Forum will take place from Thursday 7th to Sunday 10th November in Florence.
The chosen venue, which determined the dates, is the city ’citadel’, situated a few hundred metres from the railway station, in the middle of town. This venue will allow us to hold everything in the same place, its capacity being enormous : 4 main halls with 2,000-2,500 seats, 36 halls seating 200-500 and 50 small halls seating 50.
Accommodation will be in hotels, at participants’ expense (5,000 places have been reserved), or very moderated priced collective accommodation (5,000 places) in community centres, schools and other places provided by the city council, or rooms in private homes.
Unlike Porto Alegre, where only the representatives of unions, associations or NGOs can be delegates to the World Social Forum, in Florence individuals too can register, to ensure large-scale participation by new campaigners.
The dates decided on are :
1st June 2002 : registration opens on Internet website.
15th September : deadline for workshop suggestions.
15th October 2002 : registration closes. Those who miss this deadline must organise their own accommodation.
Registration costs 50 Euros for organisations, 25 Euros for individuals and between 5 and 10 Euros for the young, the unemployed and those on low incomes.
In order to encourage a massive presence of campaigners from all backgrounds, there must be no linguistic barriers. So it has been decided that everything will be translated into Italian, Spanish, English, French, German, Portuguese, Greek and Russian.
So many languages, in the numerous workshops, will require the presence of a large number of activist translators. The various national delegations should start organising this straight away.
The Italian suggestion (which was sent as a preparatory document for Vienna and which can be found attached as an appendix) has been adopted as the starting point, along with other additions (again, see appendices). In Brussels it was agreed to add the war and military hegemony issue to the one of corporate globalisation ; in Vienna, following the Italian delegation proposal, it was agreed to add also racism and xenophobia issue.
A series of working groups are planned : on the Charter of Rights ; on the far Right ; on Eastern Europe ; on the EU ; on work ; on the patriarchy ; on education ; on war ; on racism and the ’minorities’ ; on the place of Europe in the world. These workshops and others should be put in place at the Rome meeting, or, at the latest, at the Thessalonica meeting.
Expanding the network
A number of practical decisions were taken to increase the numbers present. A letter will be sent (by the Italians) to the World Social Forum in Sao Paulo asking for the list of all Europeans present at the two forums in Porto Alegre in order to send out invitations for Florence.
A standard letter will be written (again by the Italians) so that all organisations can invite their correspondents or anyone else they consider would be interested in the ESF in Florence.
A list of networks and organisations considered important to contact was drawn up, and can be found attached as an appendix.
Relationship with political parties
The Brussels meeting considered the question, but without fixing any precise options.
Three points were made in Vienna, and one was left unresolved.
1/ The participation of political parties is controlled by the registration procedures : as individuals can register, they can be members of social organisations, political parties, or nothing at all. This solves one difficulty encountered in Porto Alegre where representatives of political parties were only there as observers.
2/ It is up to each nation to decide on the make-up of the national delegations : for certain countries only social organisations will be officially included, for others political parties will be accepted. In the second case, this possibility must be introduced by the unions and associations, as only they can decide on openings made for political parties.
3/ Whatever the case, the "visible moments" in Florence (opening and closing sessions, conferences, etc.) will be reserved for the social movements, those representatives of national delegations who are also members of political parties being allowed to speak only in the name of their national delegations and not in the name of their political parties.
4/ The question left unresolved concerns the moments of debate and confrontation between campaigners for social movements and political parties. This question is to be sent to the Thessalonica meeting.
Upcoming meetings and organisation in the run-up to the ESF in Florence
The decision was taken to organise 2 other large meetings, like those of Brussels and Vienna, between which an ’organisational team’ will prepare the meetings and get ahead with practical matters.
The first meeting will take place on 13th and 14th July in Thessalonica, in Greece, to strengthen the ties already made with the campaigners from the Balkans and Eastern Europe and to establish contacts in Turkey. A meeting of Greek campaigners, tying in with a delegation from the ESF, will take place on 20th May to make sure that a unified preparation for the Thessalonica meeting is possible, which is a condition for its taking place.
The second meeting will take place in September in a location not yet fixed, though Barcelona has been suggested (this city could host the meeting of 13th and 14th July if it turned out not to be possible in Greece).
In order to lay the groundwork, it was decided to perpetuate the working groups (organisation, expanding the network and programme) and for them to meet 3 times between now and the ESF : 10th June in Rome, in August (time and place not yet fixed) and in October (idem).
These meetings, which are open to all who are interested and must be attended by at least one representative per major country, will take place over the morning, with a coordination meeting of the working groups taking place in the afternoon to harmonise decisions to be taken. The Italian delegation proposed this method, which was agreed on, being known that the political decisions are made by the general assembly.
Coordination of the Continental forums with the World Social Forum
The international committee of Barcelona has fixed 3rd and 4th June for a coordination meeting of the different continental forums to look at possible synergies and to see how links could be formed between these forums and the WSF in Porto Alegre in 2003.
To represent the ESF, representatives were appointed from the Italian social forum and from the Belgian or Austrian campaigners, these being the host countries of the first coordination meetings. It looked like one person from Austria could make the journey.