I’d like to thank all the Euopean Left Party for organizing this congress. It is a great emotion for me to be here, in this common house where the word “comrade” is being pronouncing in several different languages but the meaning remains the same for all of us. Moreover, let me tell you that, as you can imagine, it is for me a big honour and a big responsibility being candidate to the EP Presidency.
Id’ like to thank all of you and the GUE/NGL, especially Gabi Zimmer and Marisa Matias, for the trust they have placed in me. As Gabi said, it’s truly meaningful the unanimous choice of the GUE/NGL to candidate me as a feminist from the southern Europe.
A feminist: self-determination should become a pivotal word for the European Left party. Self-determination for women, men, people. It would be a symbol of a change in left politics thought by a feminist perspective. It’s a crucial moment for the feminist movement in the world and Europe. After very successful demonstrations in Argentina, Spain, Poland, at the end of November was held also in Italy an important demonstration (200 hundred thousand people) against violence on women. The day after, a feminist assembly declared the full support to the global women strike for the 8 of March. I think it’s necessary that European Left party choose to support the global women strike. One out of 3 women in Europe has been victim of male violence. And too many times I’ve heard the slogan “the revolution must be feminist” without concrete consequences even in leftist parties. It’s time, now, to act it as a priority.
From southern Europe: as Italian comrades, we have to thank all of you for supporting us in the Italian referendum. As someone can remember, during last EL Summer University, I asked for your support in order to have the possibility to sing louder, after the referendum on the Italian Constitution, Bella Ciao. We are very proud of having given our contribution to defend the Italian, antifascist Constitution. Our contribution to the defeat of the Renzi’s project of applying the J.p. Morgan agenda for the Constitutions of the Southern Europe. Let me quote Jp Morgan (2013):
“The political systems in the periphery were established in the aftermath of dictatorship, and were defined by that experience. Constitutions tend to show a strong socialist influence, reflecting the political strength that left wing parties gained after the defeat of fascism. Political systems around the periphery typically display several of the following features: weak executives; weak central states relative to regions; constitutional protection of labor rights; consensus building systems which foster political clientalism; and the right to protest if unwelcome changes are made to the political status quo”
It was exactly the content of the Renzi’s proposal, aimed at reducing the power of Parliament, rejected by the 60% of the Italian voters. It was the occasion, for the Italian radical left, to build an alliance: an alliance with people against the proposal of the Democratic Party.
Meanwhile this week the so-called grand coalition between the S&D and EPP wanted to pass through the undemocratic review of the rules of procedures at the European Parliament. This is the same grand coalition that has supported austerity and the current set-up in the European Union: a model that is based on neoliberalism, on budget constraint, on the debt blackmail.
For sure, it’s time to build an alternative to the grand coalition in the EP. But it’s time above all to build an alternative to the grand coalition in Europe.
Building alliances is the title of our congress. Building alliance to build an alternative, trans-national social alliances.
So, who are our allies? In 30s, Antonio Gramsci wrote in his Notebooks about the importance of the hegemonic process – building a new common sense – in order to change the balance of power between popular and dominant classes. This was a strategic demand in his analysis about “the western revolution”: and I truly think that the project of an other Europe should be the actualization of the idea of “western revolution”.
In order to win the struggle for hegemony, in the lack of consent and democratic legitimacy of dominant classes, we should empower our credibility as an alternative. If Neoliberalism means the divorce between capitalism and democracy and this is one of the causes of the structural crisis of the social-democratic experiences, the anti-capitalist left will be as much hegemonic as much it will be alternative to neoliberal parties, as the European Socialist Party actually is.
Pes is the party of the labor reform in France and in Italy, supporting Rajoy in Spain, the party supporting TTIP, CETA and Tisa, FTA with Mercosur and so on.
Our strategic ally could not be the PES, if we want to build alliances with and between people suffering Neoliberalism. I fully agree with Alberto Garzon: the alliance problem could not be solved in a bureaucratic and institutional way if we really want to change the balance of power.
EL should have a pivotal role in building a European agenda of conflicts and movements. Therefore, I fully approve the proposal of an Annual European political forum: it must be the place for local “self-government” experiences, as Barcelona and Naples, for basic income networks, for mutualism and so on.
I hope we will celebrate, next year, the centenary of the eastern revolution making a step forward in changing Europe, in building a contemporary “western revolution”.