The Wind of Change - For a new European Policy towards North Africa
Seminar, Cecina/Italy, 27-29 June 2011
Promoted by: ARCI, Migreurop, Euro-Mediterranean Network for human rights. Fmas – Forum for Alternatives
With the support of: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Anna Lindh Foundation, European United Left/Nordic Green Left.
27 June – 10.00-13.00
The state of democracy in Maghreb and the role of civil society
Co-ordinators: Ahmed AlJardat (Alternative Information Center - Jerusalem) and Filippo Miraglia (ARCI – Italy/Migreurop)
Introduction: Saida Garrach (ATFD – Tunisia) and Medhat Elzahet (Devolopment Support Center – Egypt)
27 June – 15.30-18.00
Migrants, refugees and frontiers
Co-ordiators: Olivier Clochard (Migreurop) and Marc Schade-Poulsen (REMDH)
Introduction: Claire Rodier (Gisti - France/Migreurop), Nejla Sammakia (ricercatrice – Ireland/REMDH), Filippo Miraglia (ARCI – Italy/Migreurop), Nicola Grigion (MeltingPot - Italy/Migreurop), Father Moses Zerai (Ag. Habeisha - Italy)
Interventions: Hélène Flautre, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Cornelia Ernst (European Parliament)
28 June – 10.00-13.00
Freedom of movemen racism and islamophobia
Co-ordinator: Daiber Birgit (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
Introduction: Alexandre LeCleve (Cimade - France/Migreurop), Mouhiedinne Cherbib (FTCR – Tunisia, France/Migreurop), Brigitte Espuche (Anafé - France/Migreurop), Ali El Baz (ATMF - France/Migreurop), Amor Boubakri (REMDH)
28 June – 15.30-18.00
Economic relations between Europe and North Africa
Co-ordinators: Idir Achour (CLA – Algeria) and Conny Reuter (Solidar)
Introduction: Abdelkader Azaih (RMEOs - Morocco) and Amelie Cannon (Attac - France)
29 June – 10.00-13.00
Sustaining the democracy, democratising the relations
Co-ordinators: Fatna Afid (ODT – Morocco) and Anna Bucca (Arci - Italy)
Introduction: Abdellah Zniber (IDD - France) and Marc Schade-Poulsen (REMDH)
29 June – 15.30-18.00
The next steps in civil society
Co-ordinator: Amor Boubakri (REMDH)
Introduction: Hamouda Soubhi (Forum des Alternatives - Morocco) and Raffaella Bolini (Arci - Italy)
Relations between the civil societies of Euro-Maghreb-Mashrek
The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, followed by democratic revolts in many Maghreb and Mashrek countries, has caused an acceleration and a change in relations in Euro-Mashreb-Mashrek civil societies.
The Euro-Mediterranean dialogue space of civil societies has always existed, with characteristics differing from period to period. During the last decade it has been characterised by three main types:
1. The places of debate constructed around the Euromed process in Barcelona to allow civil societies to express themselves Euro-Mediterranean institutional relations
2. The campaigns connected with solidarity and statements of democracy or rights denied in the south or for the resolution of conflicts which affect the region
3. Continually stronger collaborations between organisations of the two sides involved in the acceptance and protection of refugees and asylum seekers.
These types of relations, often entwined between them, have always carried with them elements connected with characteristics of Euro-Mediterranean relations:
1. An objective geographic confusion, beyond political and institutional choice, in the same relations, continually oscillating between dialogues between the two sides (and therefore the countries which border most closely onto, and connected with, the Mediterranean), and those between the European Union and Mediterranean countries (mainly connected with institutional relations)
2. A disequilibrium equally objective, beyond declarations of principle and will, connected with the relations of power between the north and south, to the lack of political usability (freedom of movement, expression, formal recognition and funds) of civil society in the south.
In fact, in each case the Mediterranean and Euro-Mediterranean dialogue has been for a long time, beyond the positions of principle and good intention, in fact a dialogue between inequals, realised in conditions of in-equal opportunities, greatly characterized by solidarity and the one-way co-operation north to south.
The worldwide Social Forum: A laboratory of Mediterranean re-equilibrium
A significant change in this area has started to be realised within the Worldwide Social Forum process.
The biggest and most unitary global network of altermondialist organisations, networks, social actors born in 2001, has in its first years of life seen scarce and marginal participation in the civil societies of Maghreb and Mashrek at the FSM, which at the beginning was characterised above all by European and Latin-American culture.
Over time two factors have changed this situation:
1. The choice of reality of democratic civil Maghreb societies to invest their energies in this process, perceived as a primarily horizontal space and tending towards equality of international relations, with the awareness that the specific problems of their own region are strictly connected with the worldwide dimensions of free globalisation.
2. The choice of the International Board of the World Social Forum to invest in the widening of the process to regions of the world with major difficulty in developing social movements, and in particular the involvement of Maghreb-Mashrek, a crucial area for the whole world and central to political, strategic and military interests of the big world powers.
The birth of the Social Forum of Maghreb, sustained in particular by Moroccan civil society (which has taken advantage of the democratic spaces open in their country with much intelligence and wisdom), has been an important element in the change.
With an independent, self-determined, horizontal dynamic, Maghreb society has constituted a network of ample and united subjects and has helped the creation of much more equal relations with civil societies in other continents, in particular with European civil societies.
This process has been accentuated and reinforced by the decision of the Social Forum of Maghreb to give life to the process of constructing the Maghreb-Mashrek Social Forum, accentuating the horizontal dimension south-south of the work of the network.
The revolutions and revolts in Maghreb: The turning over of the map
The revolutions and revolts in 2011 have in few weeks turned over the geographical map of social movements.
For the first time, progressive European civil society has looked on Maghreb-Mashrek as a region to learn from. Attention has grown like never before, despite the vicinity and difficulty the repressions of past years, and many processes have been initiated aimed at favouring knowledge and collaboration.
On the other hand, the democratic civil societies of the south Mediterranean committed itself immediately to avoid a rhetorical and a simplified approach to the change process, highlighting the problems and challenges together with the great positive elements, in particular:
1. The capacity of old regimes to survive the fall of dictators
2. The possibility of Islamic integralists to take advantage of the freedom to acquire power
3. The difficulty of social organisations to collect the spontaneous popular instances
4. Severe international limitations which make true economic and social alternatives difficult
5. The effect of war, occupation and repression on a region
6. The necessity to construct quickly, together with new institutions, also active citizenship
7. The lingering and in some cases worsening of the conditions of migrants, refugees and camps
8. The lingering of an unequal approach by the European Union and member states
It was immediately evident to many that the new relations between social actors of the north and south Mediterranean needs to be developed in parallel channels, integrated but also separate:
1. The support of revolutions and revolts, in particular for the democratic and progressive social organisations committed to democracy and rights: in 2011 this objective caused an increase in relations and collaboration with Tunisian and Egyptian subjects, whilst unfortunately far fewer have been created against repression in Syria.
2. The denouncement of European and International policies in a way that democratic pressures are not stopped, are consolidated, find support and not obstacles by the European Union: in spring 2011, this has been realised with great commitment and facilitation of rights of migrants and asylum seekers, unfortunately with less participation even theoretically with similar conviction against the intervention of Nato in Libya.
3. The construction of a common Mediterranean “altermondialist” thought, since the north and south sides face, in differing conditions, the same problems: the necessity to imagine another economy, another society, and real and profound democracy capable of facing crises of system and civilisation produced by neoliberalism and financial capitalism which are in common also with more stable and consolidated democratic experiences.
With these objectives, the dynamic towards the Maghreb-Mashrek Social Forum, has created a Euro-Maghreb-Mashrek table to favour collaboration between civil societies and the movements of the two banks.
At the same time, the International Board of the Worldwide Social Forum, in its meeting in Paris in May 2011 decided to hold the next worldwide event il of FSM at the start of 2013 in the region of Maghreb. In November it will be decided if the hosting country will be Tunisia or Egypt.
“The wind of change"-meeting at the MIA
The meeting in Cecina falls within this course of action, as the first table event of the Social Forum of Euro-Maghreb-Mashrek.
In Cecina every year the MIA (International Anti-racism Meeting) is held, promoted by ARCI, which also hosts many other organisations and associations.
Other than ARCI, promoter of the event, the Forum of Alternatives for Marocco, the network which undertakes the coordination function of the Social Forum of Maghreb and with which ARCI has collaborated for a long time in the in the Expansion Committee of the FSM and also bilaterally on many other cultural, youth and social questions.
ARCI and the Forum of Alternatives have deemed useful, other than inviting Italian and Maghrebi social organisations committed to this matter to the meeting, but also involving as promoters the two international networks who both adhere or collaborate: Migreurop and Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, one being committed for years to the rights of migrants and against the externalisation of the frontiers, and the other strongly active on matters of human rights and support for civil societies.
Participation has been sought, other than support, of cultural foundations and European political foundations of progressionist, left-wing and parliamentary families, in such a way to ensure a relationship of political debate of the European Union.
The objective of the meeting, defined together with promoters, have been defined as:
1. Enforcing awareness
2. Deepening the debate
3. Identifying common ground of work
Italian and European participants were invited by promoters from the north side, while the delegation of the south side was organised by the Forum of Alternatives and the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Human Rights. The delegations were in both cases composed of social association or union organisations, (see presentee list on page 3).
The discussion in Cecina
The discussion in Cecina was sub-divided into six sessions of thematic work which found rich and enthusiastic dialogue (see programme on page 2). Three principal blocks of questions were faced in the seminar:
1. The process of democracy and the role of civil societies
2. migrants, refugees, frontiers, policies of subject and racism
3. economic relations in the Mediterranean area
4. new relations between civil societies of the north and south sides
Since a unanimous consensus was recorded surrounding the idea that democracy within a country (such as democracy within international relations) can only be founded on equal rights it is useful to start from the elements of summary related to the discussion of economic relations in the Mediterranean.
An economy of justice for a true Mediterranean community
The relations between Maghreb and Europe come from a long story of dependence, which still continues and added to which has been aggravated in recent decades by wild neo-liberalism.
1. Agriculture and fishing in Maghreb, to talk of only two key sectors, are at the service of the European market and not of the local population.
2. The economy of sustenance on relations between producers and local consumers has been destroyed by production for wide-scale distribution, and this phenomenon heavily hits both the south side and the north side of the Mediterranean.
3. Urbanisation of metropolis and megalopolis has increased everywhere.
4. The corruption of regimes has dissipated richness and resources, privatised and sold-off communal goods and natural resources.
5. Much of the workforce in Maghreb is employed in paltry conditions of work for northern companies and multinationals.
6. The conditions of support in southern countries has been a condemnation, and help promised by the European Union to support the processes of democracy in progress risks to continue in the same way. Also in Maghreb there exists a question of bad and illegal debt.
The devastating consequences of policies of privatisation (poverty, unemployment, increases in prices and decreases in purchasing power, lack OF and impossibility of access to essential social services), adding up to a lack of democracy and the corruption produced by regimes, have been the catalyst of revolutions in Maghreb.
The populations who have rebelled against dictators in the name of dignity now expect change, but without deep changes in international economic relations the hope of national policies capable of answering to the needs of the population are destined to failure.
The common commitment to change in the sense of justice in economic relations between Maghreb and the European Union are therefore the essential components of solidarity between the movements of the north and the south, and the main factors of solidarity to put into play. However it is not enough simple monitoring and the necessary denouncement of unfair policies. It is not enough to have a defensive agenda.
Other than the request for renegotiation of unfair economic agreements with the European Union and by new democracies, other than refusing to pay bad and illegal debt, there is a need to build together an agenda of alternative proposals: to render believable the refusal of neo-liberalism there is a need to be capable of configuring a different vision for the future of the area.
This prospect could in theory find more strength in the light of the European crisis and the dramatic situations in the PIGS countries (with the exception of Ireland, and all countries of southern Europe): Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal could find an alternative to the conditions of weak and peripheral economies of the European Union in a new model of development centred on the Mediterranean.
An inedited Mediterranean community should be designed, which defines a new model of development, ecologically and socially sustainable, realisable as of today as an answer to the global crisis, and composed of the following elements:
1. A grand plan for renewable energies, founded on the network participated in by producer-consumers and on a small scale.
2. The evaluation of sea and coast, of territorial resources and rural resources
3. The reclamation, care and community enjoyment of communal goods and cultural goods coming from healthy work and economies
4. The re-localisation of economies, and the reconstruction of community relations between producers and consumers
5. Salary guarantees shared in the Mediterranean which, connected with the free movement of people, would dismantle the roots of abuse of migrant workers.
6. The diffusion of alternative economies on a family and community scale, to start to rescue land from large-scale distribution and multinationals.
A deep and participative democracy
The revolutions and revolts in Maghreb-Mashrek, and also phenomena like the referendum victory in Italy and the movement of indignados in Europe and even in Israel, demonstrate that the neo-liberal strategies aimed at transforming citizens into passive consumers is not necessarily destined for victory. This tendency could be inverted, despite decades of cultural hegemony of markets and despite the subjection of dictatorial regimes and also of free democracy.
There is a push for participation and to the active citizens who must be helped to emerge, to express themselves and to organise themselves, to have instruments to obtain results, to build the basis and foundation of a true democracy.
The difficulties in daily life, aggravated by global crisis, can generate frustration and war between poor people, but can also, as demonstrated by the Arab spring, help the population to relieve themselves from the conditions, and passivity and inactivity.
However, the challenge is anything but easy, most of all in Maghreb committed in the process of democracy but also in Europe, where most of the problems are (with the given differences) completely analogous:
1. There does not exist a model of democracy to imitate, and western liberal democracy anyway demonstrates its own limits
2. Politics has renounced its regulatory function and has accepted market supremacy, which dominates states and entire worlds without any democratic control.
3. The abdication of politics has caused a grand crisis of credibility and trust, and, even in Maghrebi countries which prepare for new elections, the citizens do not harbour expectations in political parties
4. At the same time, representative democracy and the vote are still the only instrument available for the construction of legitimate institutions
5. Organised civil societies (associations, unions, social movements) which in most cases enjoy the appreciation of citizens, in front of the crises of politics and representation, often have difficulty in being effective since they do not have sites and channels to be heard and this undermines their credibility
6. It is certain that in building or renovating democracy there is a need to invest in a strong independent civil society
7. At the same time, however, in front of the failure of the political class even progressionist, it is not easy to find a solution to the problems of how to guarantee adequate political representation in a country and in a community
8. In the democratic space it is not only democratic civil society which moves but also reactional and non-liberal, religious or lay, and often the definition of limits of liberty is not easy to find
9. Organised democratic civil society, which seeks to represent the instances of citizenship, often does not manage to reach entire portions of populations in some countries there is a big gap of presence of civil societies between cities and countryside, average cultured middle classes and excluded layers, etc.)
Even on this essential ground, there is a need to find strong ideas on democracy and credible answers to the crises of politics and representation. It is grounds for discussion all to be processed, also in the altermondialist movement the theme is always evoked but not deep, and the open reflection for example at the start of the Worldwide Social Forum with balanced participation by Porto Alegre it has so far been little developed.
The necessity of Maghrebi civil society come to terms with the construction of the new democratic situations helps to accelerate and deepen this discussion. Some elements are immersed in the debate in Cecina:
1. There is no democracy without permanent and active involvement of the population
2. Democracy destroys itself if it does not have people at its centre, their needs and their rights, and the common goods to defend for which it exists and has sense
3. Privatisation and selling-off of common goods renders superfluous the practice of democracy, such as giving up the objective of justice and social cohesion
4. The crisis and the loss of trust in politics resolve themselves putting back at the heart of public democratic space the universal values and anchoring to them the practice of representation
5. The space determined by representative democracy, however insufficient, it is necessary, but is the basis on which continually strong elements of participative democracy, or deep democracy are triggered
6. participative democracy and winning and permanent practice of citizens and collective and shared care of common goods
7. education and instruction, know-how, access to culture, freedom of print and freedom of communication for all are indispensible components of democracy
8. there is no possible democracy without equality of sex, guarantee of civil rights, usability of pluralism of opinions and lifestyle and here is the possible confine of participation in political life of organisations connected with religious values.
Freedom of movement as a concrete change in the relations between the North and South of the Mediterranean
The Mediterranean has always interwoven stories of populations and people. Cultures and civilisations, merchants, artists and armies have voyaged on the sea. In the modern era first slavery then colonialism, and today liberalism have made unequal and unjust relationships, between the north and south sides of the Mediterranean space.
Lampedusa is the symbol of this today. The island of Lampedusa is the port of Europe, the port of life as it is called by migrants, where however there are many tombs with no name. there are thousands of deaths on the sea, between those who come to seek protection or to build a future.
It is not the fault of fate. For years, support has arrived from Europe for totalitarian regimes in Maghreb and Mashrek through agreements, programmes, arms and intervention plans. It was done to detract resources from African countries and render them accomplice in European policies on matters of immigration. Through agreements on economic matters and on policies of immigration a new form of colonialism and abuse has been realised.
In many cases the agreements foresee limitations of personal liberty, contrary to European legislation, to international negotiations and the construction of European democracy. It is a case of agreements of re-admission or of programmes of frontier management, impregnated with ideology and, very often with electoral propaganda, of European governments.
Progressively the frontiers of Europe have been moved towards North Africa, offloading onto those countries the management of arrivals, financing a true and absolute war on migrants. At the same time the imposition of liberal politics has produced enormous poverty of population and an increase in social inequality. It is substantially accepted that on an organised civil society for decades the iron fist of regimes has been weighing, which has repressed the growth of the most fundamental components of democracy, a necessary element for a just and sustainable economy and society.
The management of the frontiers and the relations between the countries of the EU and those of the southern side of the Mediterranean on matters of immigration, have been built with objectives and instruments mostly foreign to the interests of the people and the states.
Today the wind of change which blows on the Mediterranean, the Arab revolutions and revolts, the fall of regimes require the modification of these relations, and to subordinate all forms of relations between Europe, Maghreb and Mashrek to the principles of equality, justice, equal dignity and human rights. The European policies should be revised, in the first place those on matters of immigration, economy and business.
There is a need for enormous political investment on the democratic resources of the countries on the southern side, on young people, women, workers, on an independent civil society, because this wind produces lasting results and can sow the seed of equality and dignity even in Europe and in the whole world.
The civil society: an alliance at the basis of change and against racism
Twenty-five million immigrants in the EU, an insignificant percentage compared to European inhabitants, but, despite this, in recent years fear and negative sentiments have been built and fed against foreigners and immigration. An approach which criminalises the immigrants and indicates them as scapegoats for the problems in Europe.
The European Union has reacted to the changes in the Arab world with repressive measures which concretely negate discourses supporting these changes. For this reason it is even more important to develop and consolidate dialogue between civil societies.
We have the responsibility to put into action a different public discussion which interrupts the increase in racism, xenophobia and islamophobia fed by the extreme right, but also by the choices of the government. A racism which in recent years has allowed a worsening of measures against Roma and, more in general, a progressive inhumanisation of minorities and migrants.
Our actions must therefore be aimed at and organised with the double objective of obtaining concrete results and inverting the growth of racism, reconstructing a culture of equality and social justice, which is able to have ample consensus in European societies.
It is necessary that existing networks between the social organisations impose some concrete objectives starting with the redefinition of existing agreements and relations between the countries of the Mediterranean area. The relations between countries of the north and south sides of the Mediterranean must be rewritten on the basis of equality and the concrete interests of the states and populations involved.
A fundamental course therefore is that which allows the release of visas which must be more transparent and accessible in some cases it is possible to immediately a view and a reformulation of relations between the European Union and North African countries in that direction.
Probably the first campaign to undertake to sustain the processes of emancipation of Maghreb Mashrek is this: without views, the free movement and the opportunities for change and growth, would assist different and better development of the area.
Frontiers and rights of asylum; a concrete action. The battle of life against the dead of the frontiers
Different rules are needed also in the management of frontiers regarding access to rights of asylum. The programmes and the agencies for the management of frontiers must be converted into subjects which help asylum seekers to arrive in conditions of safety.
The agreements for the so-called battle of clandestine immigration have been transformed into real and proper instruments against rights of asylum. Insurmountable frontiers do not translate themselves into smaller numbers of irregulars, so much as an increase in deaths and missing people in an increase in costs and risks and in a decrease in asylum seekers. Consider that millions of people have left Libya, less than 2% have arrived in Europe.
In a situation of war like that in Libya assistance to the population are subordinated to the battle against illegal immigration. That is, we help you if you support our interests. Obviously this political choice immediately transforms itself into a worsening of conditions in the departure countries of the migrants.
For refugees escaping war and their consequences, it is necessary to provide a system of welcome and temporary protection.
Civil society must organise concrete actions which should also have the strength to denounce the responsibilities and errors of European policies. The message must be clear: while governments raise walls and produce injustice and death, civil society supports populations and persons fleeing and denounces the consequences of choices made in error by the European Union.
Together with this hypothesis of concrete action it is necessary to put in place every juridical action aimed at persecuting illegal behaviour, such as omission of assistance, rejections, mass expulsions etc..
It is also necessary to repeat that the European policies concretely help traffickers and processes of reinforcing organised crime.
Between the possible actions proposed, other than battle, also the day of mobilisation on 18 December launched in Dakar on the occasion of the FSM and theory of a campaign to ratify the UN Convention for the rights of migrant workers and their families.
The ideas which must accompany the campaigns and the actions of network and of movements for rights of migrants, minorities and against racism, for a season of fair and equal relations between populations, is that of the Mediterranean as an open region within which is built our common future quale.
Equal relations to face together the common challenges
The challenges are shared, in the north and south of the Mediterranean. Each faces them from their own specific perspective, but we are all immersed in the grand crises of civilisation, and know that we need to construct an alternative vision, horizon, thought and agenda.
On this new horizon there is the construction of a free and democratic Mediterranean community, founded on common Mediterranean citizenship, which is multiple and capable of living together with other dimensions of citizenship, open and without frontiers, much more because the Mediterranean other than having an identity in itself also has intersections of other identities and cultures (European, African, Asian and also Atlantic).
The first necessary element to build together, step by step, is a new Mediterranean project and the decolonisation of the political, economic, social and personal relations between the north and south, also in civil societies.
With the revolutions and revolts in Maghreb-Mashrek, even in Europe starts a new phase in relations on all levels. Whether in institutions or in sectors of civil society, there are clear signals of neo-colonial intent even in this new period, which must be contrasted and combatted. The relations must be equal on all levels, there is no north which can teach democracy to the south.
Uneven agreement, obstacles to freedom of movement, economic appetites and financial interests, wars, occupations, militarisation, privatisation of common goods, are the enemies of democratic development in Maghreb-Mashrek and in the entire region.
The occupation in Palestine continues to be one of the main obstacles to democracy and peace in all areas. It must be considered a priority commitment on the agenda of all those who have at heart the future of the Mediterranean.
The dictatorships, ferocious repressions,, such as that in progress in Syria must be condemned and sanctioned. Anyway the western military interventions, interested in maintaining geo-political and resource control, are instead counter-productive and mistaken.
Common commitment to make an alternative Mediterranean building site on the basis of equality, deeply founded (in relations between citizens, community experiences, battles of good practice of social actors in flesh and blood), capable of making itself known, exchange of experiences and competences, build solidarity and common disputes, give us instruments to deepen the great key questions.
The next steps
Together we will build the Mediterranean steps to bring us closer to the Worldwide Social Forum in 2013, which will take place in Maghreb (in Egypt or in Tunisia), and will be a grand occasion of meeting and constructing the common agenda between thousands or activists and youths.
One of these steps has been to realise, with the seminar “Terra Nostra” (“Our World”) which, on the occasion of the March for Peace Perugia Assisi, has reunited for two days youths from Italy, Maghreb and Mashrek to discuss the rights to study, rights to work, form a non-violent battle and instruments of participation. The seminar was promoted by a series of associations and unions, one of which being ARCI, which participated in the meeting in Cecina. In the seminar an informal network was built, which will increase youth participation in the Worldwide Social Forum in 2013.
Another step will be realised over the coming months, with the realisation in Lampedusa of a seminar promoted by ARCI and Legambiente in collaboration with the Forum of Alternatives to begin a Mediterranean network for climatic and environmental justice. In particular we will work to build a communal front against oil boring in the Mediterranean and for an alternative energetic Mediterranean plan, founded on renewable energies, by network and on a small scale.
Another moment of continuing the debate in Cecina will realise at the start of November in Nice, during the Forum on the occasion of the meeting of the G20 in Marseille. Attac France, which participated in the work in Cecina, intending to deepen with the seminar, in which will participate at least twenty of the international guests who were in Cecina, some of the key aspects which we have started to outline together.
Finally, the Italian Network for the FSM has decided to realise in the course of a year, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the European Social Forum in Florence, a grand unified Mediterranean event, to deepen the social and movement connections in this our Mediterranean community of activists for rights, social justice, deep democracy and liberty.