THE MYTH OF EUROPA
ABOUT EUROPEAN ALTERNATIVES
his magazine is printed by European Alternatives, a trans-national organisation devoted to exploring the potential for a post-national or transnational politics and culture, and promoting intellectual and artistic engagement with the idea and future of Europe. Aside from publishing this magazine, we run several projects and events on cultural and political themes internationally, as well as organising the Transeuropa Festival. European Alternatives believes that in a globalised world progressive politics must be articulated and fought for beyond the nation state. The European construction has an unrealised potential as a transformative power for social and cultural progress both inside and outside of the European Union, a potential that transcends the mere confines of Europe and contributes to the definition of a transnationally engaged political practice that speaks to the age of globalisation. We see as our task to articulate and promote that potential, and to do so by focussing on specific areas of social contestation, exploring the responses offered by a transnational approach to some of the key issues of our time. The project of European Alternatives and of this magazine is participative and multidisciplinary, aiming to stimulate a large public debate and contribute to the construction of transnational networks of activism and research allowing citizens and social movements to take a stand and influence all those political processes that transcend national communities. Amongst our interests • Transnational Democracy: Rather than pretending that the politics of the European Union are a-political and ‘merely’ regulatory, what is called for is a powerful repoliticisation of the continent. Important areas we investigate are European institutions and democracy in Europe, relations between social movements and European or transnational institutions, the role of the European parliament and the construction of transnational political parties. The meaning of transnational citizenship is particularly dear to us, and is approached in this issue by a long interview with Seyla Benhabib on pages 12 and 13. • Equality: Europe will be an inclusive Europe or it will not be. We are interested in exploring what potential exists in transnational institutions for promoting fairer and more equal societies. We feel areas of particular urgency today are those of labour rights and trade unions in Europe, the social dimension of transnational institutions – something addressed on pages 4 and 5 of this issue – and questions of gender equality and women’s rights, discussed on the next page.
European Alternatives believes that in a globalised world progressive politics must be articulated and fought for beyond the nation state.
• Migration: Developing a just approach to migration is one of the most pressing questions for contemporary societies. We are interested in looking at European migration policies, the status of the migrant and the risk of xenophobic responses, and the relation between migration and transnational citizenship. A trans-disciplinary topic by definition, we are increasingly focussed on exploring the relation between political and economic actions of transnational bodies, and the European Union in particular, and the phenomenon of migration, something approached on page 6. • Cosmopolitics: This section looks at the relation between Europe and the rest of the world, with a particular focus on promoting global justice and a fairer division of wealth between countries of the north and of the south. We are interested in looking at the effects of European trade policy and European environmental policy on developing countries, the ‘foreign policy’ actions of the European Union, and more generally the overcome of nationalism and the development of global channels of collaborations, such as the experience of the World Social Forum. Articles on pages 7, 8, and 9 discuss this. • Art Practice: We find it impossible to divide a critical approach to some of today’s most pressing social and political issue from an investigation into the role of the artist and the creator in contemporary society. Not only do we discuss these issues theoretically or through interviews with artists, but also through the organisation of artistic projects and initiatives such as the recent Polis21, presented on pages 16 and 17.
Editors Lorenzo Marsili Niccoló Milanese Paris Office: Ségolène Pruvot
Editorial board: Elena Borghi Angela Daly Veronique Foulon Federico Guerrieri Emanuele Guidi
Bologna Office: Sara Saleri
Online editor: Alberto Stella
London Office: Adam Harrison
Advisory Board Gilbert Achcar
Daniele Archibugi Boyan Manchev Sandro Mezzadra B. Mukhopadhyay Kalypso Nicolaidis Stephen Wright Richard Zenith Art Direction & Design Rasha Kahil www.rashadesign.net
TRANSEUROPA festival is an innovative kind of public event which is simultaneously an artistic, cultural and political engagement taking place across national borders. It is at once a unitary festival and a transnational network of diverse cultural and civil society organizations and individuals working together to embrace wider audiences with their work. Transeuropa develops from the successful London Festival of Europe, which was started by a young team of Europeans in 2007 and has run each spring since. Spring 2010 will see the transnationalisation of the festival in 4 cities: Bologna, Cluj, London and Paris.
European Alternatives runs campaigns promoting our core commitments at a transnational level in Europe. Our current campaigns are: • For a democratic president: the President of the European Council should undergo regular question and answer sessions in the European parliament, and the point of view of the parliament should be taken increasingly into account in the Council. • For a Gender Equal Europe: Gender equalities issues must be tackled as a priority by the newly elected European Commission. • For European Trade Justice: Combating poverty and promoting development must be taken as objectives of trade deals conducted by the European commission, and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs must play a role in promoting the coherence of the Union’s policies with regards to combating poverty. ---- Full details of all campaigns, and ways of supporting them, are online at www.euroalter.com
Euroalter.com features a web-magazine of commentary on recent events, and further information, research, videos and resources relating to all crucial areas of our work. It is updated daily in three languages: English, French and Italian. The website features a participative ‘community’ section where members can upload their own articles, and also all details of our forthcoming events, and the activities of the local groups of European Alternatives.
And events around Europe, research, members’ meetings and much more on...
the January issue of bimonthly cultural and political printed magazine The Myth of Europa