November 8-11, 2012
Ten years ago, Florence hosted the first ever European Social Forum. It constituted an extraordinary moment in the
construction of a continent-wide demos, which presented analyses, proposals and solutions which – had they been
translated into policies – would have avoided Europe and the world crashing into the terrible economic, environmental,
social and democratic crisis in which it is now mired.
Ten years on, there is neither nostalgia nor a desire to celebrate what we had then; even less do we intend today to
repeat paths which belong to that time and that stage of development: the social movements have changed, new actors
have emerged, there have been defeats but also victories, such as that of the water and commons movement in the
Italian referendum one year ago.
At the same time, Europe is today pervaded by a need to build, albeit in new forms, a European public space. The need
to look to the next 10 years with common objectives, agendas and strategies. The crisis – in its multiple aspects –
and the austerity policies can be beaten, but we are aware that to achieve this we have to get away from fragmentation
and the closure of each in their own narrow national dimensions: only if we are united can we win.
“Florence 10+10” aims to be an inclusive and popular space, at our disposal for building alliances and concrete
common initiatives: to build convergences for action on a European scale. There is not much time left to save Europe
from the lethal suffocation of neo-liberalism, technocracy and post-democracy in order to build together the Europe of
the people, of rights and of democracy. In the same spirit, over the course of recent months there have been numerous
significant initiatives aimed at reconnecting, organized by various networks all over the continent. We are witnessing an
encouraging blossoming of initiatives in Eastern Europe and in the Mediterranean area, which give form and substance
to that extended Europe for which the social movements have always fought. Florence 10+10 is one step further on this
collective route that is, by all means, building itself.
The meetings and international initiatives for convergence which are scheduled for the coming months can also be a
part of the planning for the appointment in Florence. As far as we are concerned, we are willing to take part in a
travelling and “in itinere” construction of Florence 10+10. At the same time, we invite you to participate in the
European seminar that is planned, in the framework of the World Social Forum process, for September 14-16 in Milan
and which will be dedicated to work on the organization and expected outcomes of the event in Florence. Many other
appointments can be part of the preparatory process in each country, and organized by different networks, including the
WSF 2013 preparatory event in Monastir, Tunisia in July and hopefully one in Greece which would have a strong
political and symbolic value.
We invite you to bring to Florence the inter-connection initiatives that your networks are planning, with the specific
objective of jointly building convergences for a common European-wide strategy. The website of Florence 10+10 will
start to collect these initiatives and their proposals, as the first building bricks of the programme. It’s crucial to get in
contact as soon as possible with all interested organizations and networks.
We look forward to your coming to Florence from November 8-11, 2012. We wish Florence 10+10 to be instrumental
in the reconnection of struggles, of resistance and alternatives and the re-building from below of a popular and
democratic European public space.
The promoting committee of Florence 10+10
The Italian network for WSF
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org
November 8-11, 2012