380 delegates from 27 member parties and from nine observation parties arrived in Berlin for the 5th Congress of the European Left. The concerns about Europe were connected: austerity politics, growing precariousness, rise of the populous right, higher military budget for geopolitical power games, just to name a few of these concerns. Europe is standing knee deep in crises and that’s not just from the Left‘s viewpoint. The question, however, “what to do?”, brings an end to the unification.
Gregor Gysi, still chairman in the German Bundestag, was elected as the new chairman of the European Left. Without opponents, Gysi can only have a short majority of the delegates behind him, with only 68% of the votes, and the EL made a rather split impression.
Naturally, DiEM25 wasn‘t officially invited to the Congress. Through “Die Linke”, however, the possibility was offered to set up a stand and present the proposal of our Pan-European democratic movement to the interested delegates and representatives.
Despite the not very original red color in this environment, the DiEM stand stood out clearly. During the three-day congress, 8 DSC members alternated regularly at the stand and radiated a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere.
DiEM25’s Sunlight-Project as an Initial Ignition
Last Saturday the young DiEM25 Movement walked a thin line in Berlin. It should have been the first countrywide meeting of the movement in Germany. Due to time bottlenecks the project is threatened with failure. The meeting was announced only a few days ago and the lack of time is making finding a venue, planning the schedule, integrating speakers, and not least finding a content position a real challenge. Conclusion: we have to think out of the box!
DiEM25 from the Rooftops
It wasn’t just the amazing space: a glass Penthouse is already a rarity in the middle of red Wedding.
Warmed with sun light and inspired by the participants from every part of Germany, the project quickly picked up the pace. And it could have just as quickly lost tempo, if the initiative and ideas of the participants hadn‘t continued to fire the discussion, the united group effort hadn‘t continued to inspire. And all with a large symbolism.
Thus DiEM doesn’t need a Reichstag copula in order to cater to alleged transparency. Here questions were answered either directly by Yanis Varoufakis over Skype, or by representatives of the Coordination Collective. The personal proximity among the participants as well as the coziness of the sun drenched room provided a familiar atmosphere. The content was correspondingly hotter.
The Fart has no Nose
In order to turn numerous ideas into concrete propositions the brainstorming had to be channeled into concrete work. The themes read: best practices in DSC’s, new thinking on economy, gender equality, public works, rebellious cities and the inclusion of new DSC’s. None of the almost fifty participants wanted to hold back. The mobility between the groups was correspondingly high.
Thus the participants constantly changed theme areas to obtain a higher amount of information exchange. Each person had something to contribute everywhere, but never too much. All too familiar are the kind of political speaker who likes to overshoot the target. We wanted to avoid that because this day was about quality and not quantity. No one took too much pleasure in smelling themselves.
Green light in the Sunlight
The representatives of the DSC’s, as they found themselves in Berlin on December 3rd, had brought with them a lot of questions, motivation, and will. They were not disappointed. The conclusion of the closing counsel was thoroughly positive. Further meetings were wished for, further ideas solidified, further nets were spun. Above all, however, new acquaintances were forged.
And this is what every movement at the base shows: people want to work together with one another and improve something. Dissatisfied, rejecting the status quo, putting hope in their togetherness, and thus the capacity of changing something, but absolutely having already changed something. The exchange alone had brought at least some light for the participants over the thick, nebulous net of political complexity and recommended itself for further interaction.
Photograpy by : Atelier ‘et Lux’
On Wednesday, November 23rd DiEM25 Berlin, Die Linke International and Berlin’s Comitato per il No held a public meeting to discuss the upcoming referendum on the constitutional reform in Italy. Around 25 participants attended the meeting, which included interventions by Andrej Hunko (member of Parliament for Die Linke), Anna Ballarin-Denti (Comitato per il No), and Paola Giaculli (Die Linke).
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and his government promise that the reform of the second part of the Italian Constitution will cut the costs of politics and simplify the legislative process. The reform, however, has been widely criticised by the country’s political opposition, by civil society movements as well as by the left fringe of Renzi’s party. Eminent constitutionalists also warn against a reform that, without noticeably cutting bureaucratic costs, would concentrate decision-making power in the hands of the country’s executive, strengthen the power of the central state vis à vis the regions, and hinder the direct democratic processes allowed by the current Constitution.
DiEM25 joins Italy’s progressive forces in supporting the NO vote to a constitutional reform that would weaken democratic decision-making within parliament and society. These constitutional amendments, if passed, would favour the interests of international financial capital and of the political elites that have promoted EU’s disastrous austerity policies.
Vote in Italy: 4th December 2016
Members of AIRE can vote by post. The ballot should reach the embassy by December 1st, 2016.