On Saturday we were at the Kino Wisła in the heart of Warsaw, as part of the annual congress of our Polish partners Razem. The goal? To launch European Spring — our common list for the 2019 European Parliament elections — in Poland. (Check out the draft European Spring programme!)
The day kicked off with a press conference. Standing alongside our partners Razem, led by Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk, Razem’s National Board member, our co-founder Yanis Varoufakis said: “The greatest threat to the people of Poland, Greece, Germany is the fragmentation of our common home because of policies from Brussels and the nationalist international that is tearing Europe apart.”
Then the event started, with a host of speakers from European Spring friends from all corners of Europe: Génération.s from France, Alternativet from Denmark, MeRA25 from Greece, Razem from Poland (naturally!), and others. On the agenda, as one participant observed: a seven-hour workday, a healthier environment, and the wholesale rejuvenation of Europe.
Isabelle Thomas of Génération.s said: „We want to offer a new vision of what Europe could be.” Expanding on this, she added that “European Spring will propose a standardisation of the 35 hour week. This should be the standard across Europe.”
Then our co-founder Srećko Horvat took the stage. “Fascism never died,” he said. “There is a civil war going on in Europe, with neoliberals on one side and right wing populists on the other. They are two sides of the same coin, and they’re against us: people fighting for open borders and democracy”.
A strong theme of the day was women’s rights. Agnieszka Dziemianowicz-Bąk said that “Women rights are at the core of European Spring and Razem, while her colleague Florentyna Gust added: “There can be no democracy without equal rights for women. This is exactly what our European Spring common policy programme offers: a progressive vision for Europe that puts women rights at the centre of our struggle for a better world.”
Then Rasmus Nordqvist of the Danish party Alternativet took the stage, and spoke passionately about environmental issues. “I’m proud to be a part of European Spring,” he said. “We have a new Green New Deal for Europe that answers the planet’s call. Let’s create the best Europe for the world and for the transition we need to make together.”
Maciej Konieczny, Razem’s National Board member, took the floor, and discussed inequality. He said: “The Europe that we have now is one where millionaires thrive, not the majority of citizens. The Europe of the Establishment is not delivering. We must change it or democracy will continue to be in danger.”
Yanis Varoufakis spoke about the rise of the far right. He said: “Fascists don’t come to us wearing brown shirts, terror and violence, they come to us with promises.” He added: “No one in Europe can flourish if others in the European community are subject to oppression.”
Lastly, an open debate was held about ‘open cities of Europe’, and the event wrapped.
As before, the conclusions of this meeting will soon be made available online by all participating organisations.
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