European social forum

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The European Social Forum (ESF) is an open meeting place for trade unions , social movements and civil society organizations from all over Europe , with the aim of working together to find solutions to the problems of war and racism, social discrimination against people and the destruction of the environment. The forum explicitly turns against neoliberalism , as well as against a capitalist, imperialist dominated world .

Inspired by the World Social Forum in 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, the first European Social Forum took place in Florence in 2002 as a continental meeting of the World Social Forum movement. The content of the European Social Forum is based on the requirements of the Charter of Principles of the World Social Forum.


The individual topics that are discussed in the respective conferences, seminars and workshops are diverse and are usually based on the political events at the time of the forum, with basic topics, weighted differently, always being an integral part of the respective working groups and the subject of the discussions . On the one hand, criticism of the existing economic system and specific points relating to the social order is made, and possible alternatives are discussed; on the other hand, environmental and educational issues are on the discussion agenda, supplemented by the topics of war, economy and the media.

Event chronology

  • ESF 2002, Florence
The first European Social Forum took place in Florence from November 6th to 10th, 2002 with the motto, Another Europe is possible with 50,000 registered participants . The final demonstration, with more than 500,000 demonstrators, was dominated by the looming US war against Iraq .
  • ESF 2003, Paris
In Paris , the venue for the second European Social Forum, from November 12th to 16th, 2003, with 50,000 participants, the most diverse topics and subject areas were dealt with under the motto For another Europe - in another world . According to the organizers and the official bodies, between 100,000 and 250,000 demonstrators took part in the final rally.
  • ESF 2004, London
During the third European Social Forum in London from October 15 to 17, which was attended by 20,000 people, problems arose for the first time with regard to the organization and structure of the forum. Furthermore, it was decided to change the rhythm of the events so that from now on the forum should be held in different locations every two years. Thematically, the forum was increasingly geared towards environmental issues. At the closing rally under the motto Stop the War. No to racism , according to the organizers, up to 100,000 people took part.
  • ESF 2006, Athens
The motto of the fourth European Social Forum from May 4th to 7th, in Athens , was Let's change Europe, let's change the world . According to the organizing committee, the number of participants was 30,000. According to the organizers and the local, official bodies, between 20,000 and 35,000 people took part in the demonstration that closed the forum. The response to the forum with regard to the offers made there was mixed, with many participants criticizing the forum's supposed commercial orientation .
  • ESF 2008, Malmö
In Malmö , was from 17 to 21 September, the fifth European Social Forum with 15,000 participants instead, the adoption of in the preparatory phase Lisbon Declaration for a democratic Europe fell, as opinion on the Berlin Declaration of the European Union was conceived.
  • ESF 2010, Istanbul
The sixth European Social Forum took place from July 1st to 4th with 5000 participants under the motto Another Europe is necessary in Istanbul .


On various occasions, the European Social Forum has been accused of being close to Islamism and anti-Semitism , as it propagated unconditional support for Palestine and Islamist organizations and people. For example , Tariq Ramadan, the chief ideologist of “ Euro-Islam ” from Geneva, accused “Jewish intellectuals” such as Bernard-Henri Lévy , Alain Finkielkraut and André Glucksmann in 2003 on the website of the Social Forum for “reflexively targeting“ Zionist politics ”in the USA and Israel To defend oppression of the Palestinians ”. The French Parti socialiste then demanded the exclusion of the “Muslim Le Pen” from the ATTAC movement as its central organization. The organizers of the social forum rejected this. On the occasion of the second ESF in Paris in 2003, the movement was criticized by Finkielkraut with the words: “The opponents of globalization do not preach primitive hatred of Jews. But the ritual diabolism of the United States and Israel shows that the idea of ​​an international conspiracy prevails in their minds - as if the process of globalization had been started by a conspiracy. That is ideological thinking ”.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ The German-language information portal on the global social forum movement: World Social Forum 2001 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Retrieved December 9, 2015 .
  2. ^ A b Erhard Crome, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation: European Social Forum in Florence. 6-10 November 2002. November 2002, accessed December 9, 2015 .
  3. ^ The German-language information portal for the worldwide social forum movement: Charter of Principles. (No longer available online.) Archived from the original on August 30, 2017 ; Retrieved December 9, 2015 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. ^ A b Silke Veth, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation: The European social forums from Florence to Istanbul. Retrieved December 10, 2015 .
  5. ^ Angela Klein, Socialist Newspaper: Ten years after the 1st European Social Forum in Florence, A new attempt with obstacles. December 12, 2012, accessed December 10, 2015 .
  6. Klaus Feldkeller, DW - Deutsche Welle: European social forum seeks a better world. November 11, 2003, accessed December 10, 2015 .
  7. ^ The Guardian, politics Special reports: The European Social Forum, Paris 2003. Retrieved December 10, 2015 .
  8. ^ The Guardian, politics Special reports: ESF 2004 in London. Retrieved December 10, 2015 .
  9. ^ Official website ESF 2006 Athens, Internet Archive: 4th European Social Forum, Athens - Greece, May 2006. May 2006, archived from the original on February 5, 2012 ; Retrieved December 10, 2015 .
  10. ^ European Social Forum: Lisbon Declaration for a Democratic Europe. March 31, 2007, archived from the original on September 27, 2007 ; Retrieved December 10, 2015 .
  11. ^ Rosa Luxemburg Foundation: Videos, pictures and reports from the European Social Forum on July 1st to 4th 2010. 2010, accessed on December 10th, 2015 .
  12. For example Steffen Schülein in an article for the magazine “Sozialistische positions” under the title “Free Palestine, boycott Israel” Archived copy ( Memento of the original from August 24, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  13. See "War in the Camp of Peace-Lovers" , Süddeutsche Zeitung of November 7, 2003
  14. ^ "Enemy with the best of intentions". Anti-Semitism in Transition / A conversation with Alain Finkielkraut, FAZ, Nov. 13, 2003 Archive link ( Memento of the original from April 15, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /