Process of the Charter :
where are we now and topics still disccussed
1 – The way already gone
First of all we want to explain to our readers that the draft of this charter is the work of more than 2 years of many networks of the European Social Forum (ESF). It counted also on the participation of political actors who have participated in a conference in Paris, in June 2005, right after the French" no" to the so called Constitutional Treaty on may, 28th, 2005.
Although during the elaboration of the draft many contradictions which cannot be overcome now within the European social movement could be overcome, it remains still a “work in progress” which reflects a stage in a discussion process where a consensus has been reached among those who participated in elaborating the draft.
In this sense this document represents for all of us an important step, but as the Italian constitutionalist, Franco Russo said: "it is not a bible, but a political tool".
2 – Next step: the popularisation – press conference
The next task is going to be to pass beyond the framework of the implied organizations in the social forums and to popularize the Charter the most widely possible, as they have already done in Italy.
This Charter must ferment the debates, the struggles and give to the progressive movement the means to express the proposals by which we can oppose the neoliberal Europe that they try to impose on us.
That is why a press conference has taken place in Brussels on june, 26th 2007 at the moment of the the intergovernmental conference of the European Union under the German presidency. After that there will be an all European meeting which is going to take place in Brussels on September 20th.
3 – following the work
During this meeting we will debate all the points that did not reach a consensus, or which have not been sufficiently deepened like the following subjects:
-The secularity of the State and the school:
Is secularity is this a principle or a means to assure a freedom of thought? It is a principle not recognized in certain countries like Germany, but it is also the object of political battles in some others like Turkey. Should we remain with the present version of the text or put other words which are comprehensible to everybody and able to cover the complexity of the situation? Is this an essential principle to exercise the freedom of consciousness?
For a democratic Europe: shall we remain with general principles or deepen the debate about the institutions which are necessary for the democratization of Europe, opt for a federal Europe, a Europe of the States, a Europe of the peoples or for new institutions which may guarantee a democratic society with an important place given to the direct democracy?
-The minorities: There is consensus on freedom of expression for the minorities, but there is a discussion, if the self-determination of the minorities should go so far as to guarantee a political, totally autonomous organization inside a given State. The example of Yugoslavia, torn into pieces has shown that this can go in the opposite direction of freedom and emancipation.
In order to achieve all these objectives we invite the readers of the project of the Charter for another Europe to subscribe themselves and to communicate their commentaries in th espaces reserved. In order to avoid abuses these commentaries will be put online within 48 hours.
The drafting Committee