The Welfare State

Building Progressive Alliances

The social conflict in Europe has intensified strongly over the past couple of years, in the wake of the financial crisis. The labour and trade union movement has been on the defensive ever since the neoliberal offensive started around 1980. The balance of power in our societies has thus shifted enormously over the past 30 years – from labour to capital, from democracy to market forces. Time is ripe, therefore, to fight back, to build broad social alliances and to reassess our strategies and tactics.

The crisis and the future of the ESF

The processes which started with the first World Social Forum in Porto Alegre in Brazil in January 2001 injected new energy into the broad left. After twenty years of neo-liberal globalisation, set-backs, pessimism and demobilisation on the left in many countries and areas, the social forums created new enthusiasm, new working methods, new mobilisations and new inspiration for hundreds of thousands of people.

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