Preparatory meeting of the Central (and East European) Social and Environmental Forum (CESEF)

An extremely successful preparatory meeting of the CESEF was held in Kossuth Klub, Budapest/Hungary on 2nd February 2013 with the participation of 25 CEE people in an extremely productive atmosphere. On the agenda we had three main issues, namely:

1.) political situation in Hungary and the rise of the far right
2.) State of preparation of the CESEF (thematical proposals, mobilization, finance)
3.) World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunis and Alter Summit in Athens

Péter Bozsó (Member of the editorial staff of the Hunagarian Quarterly Eszmélet) made a short presentation of the current economic and political situation in Hungary.

Vilmos Hanti (Chairman of the Association of Hungarian Partisans and Anti-Fascists [MEASZ]) spoke about the rise of the far right and neo-fascists.

Hermann Dworczak (one of the organizers of the CESEF) informed us about the huge antifascist demonstration held in Vienna. He explained the history and the organisational basis of the CESEF, which is to be held in Vienna in the campus of Vienna University between the 2nd and 5th May 2013. The event is considered to be as a part of the WSF process and its importance lies in the fact that the common problems of the CEE region – which have been marginalized up to now in the European Social Forum (ESF) – will be highlighted. The consequences of the semi-peripheral (or peripheral) situation of CEE will be analyzed and as the main outcome a joint action programme hammered out. The proposed title of the Vienna Forum is “Revolts in the Periphery? Fight against capitalist globalization and destruction of the nature”.

In Budapest a first-decision for 4(5) thematical axes was made for the CESEF in Vienna:

1) Economic, social and ecological situation

2) The reflections of the negative economic, social and ecological developments in the political sphere: reduction of democracy; corruption; rise of the far right, etc.

3) Concrete alternatives (resistance) against austerity measures

4) How can we organize the international cooperation of the movements for another world in a better way?

The gender axis will be transversal, which means that it will play an important role in each of the above four axes.
The preparatory group of CESEF will meet again in Vienna on 2nd March 2013 (in the frame of the Austrian Social Forum [ASF] meeting) and at the WSF in Tunis.

During the discussions in Budapest it was agreed that we would mobilize for the WSF in Tunis, March 26th – 30th, where the “International network against right-wing extremism and populism – Prague Spring 2” (together with Norwegian and Arab comrades) will organize the seminar “International Rise of the Far Right and Religious Fundamentalism”. We also decided to mobilize for the ALTERNATIVE SUMMIT in Athens to be held between 7th and 9th of June 2013.

In order to make the CESEF in Vienna a real success we wish to invite minimum 200 CEE people to Vienna and badly needed financial support.

Another important request was also raised in the Budapest meeting, namely to apply for funding for a more massive CEE participation in WSF Tunis.

Budapest, 13th February 2013.

Matyas Benyik

Chairman of ATTAC Hungary,
Member of the Hungarian Social Forum Networks
Antifa demo Firenzében a Fortezza da Basso előtt

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