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European Social Forum- European Preparatory Meeting- Istanbul
[2008-12-05]

European Preparatory Meeting of ESF 2010 was held in Istanbul between 21st- 23rd of November. Social Forum of Turkey was the host of the meetings that has organized at Istanbul Bilgi University, Santral Istanbul Campus where the ESF 2010 is going to take place.

There were nearly 150 participants in the meetings that 50 of the participants were from abroad. Malmö assessment, financial crisis and the policies to struggle against the crisis, social movements and the preparatory of ESF 2010 are the issues that discussed in the meetings.

Technical information

From abroad;
There were 50 delegates.
Participants were from 16 different countries.
26 organizations have presented.

From Turkey;
There were a hundred participants
19 organizations have presented.

On Friday 21st, there were network meetings. Climate Change, Labour and Globalization, Education, Charter for Another Europe, Anti-war, Central Eastern European and Openesf network meeting has done. And on Saturday, in the Social Movements Assembly, the declarations or/and the decisions of these networks were read.

Opening Ceremony and Assessment of 5th ESF
On Saturday, EPA began with an opening speech of the president of KESK (Confederation of the Unions of Public Workers) Sami Evren. In his speech, he said;
“They want us to pay the bill of the financial crisis which has started in the two glorious center of capitalism, in USA and in Europe and then spread all around the world. They want us, the proletariat of the world, to pay the cost of the crisis like we’re the reason of the crisis. So today, we need global solidarity more than we have ever needed. Global solidarity networks like this kind of platforms have to continue its way with creating stronger solidarity networks and building up stronger struggle unions.”
After this opening, the assessment of 5the ESF in Malmö started with the evaluation of Nordic Committee. From the evaluation of the NOC and the comments were about the meetings, the political success of the meetings. Also, it mentioned that the cultural activities were more successful than the previous ESFs. The success of demo and the new political solidarity groups and networks were mentioned but there were also the critics of the forum. The Babel interpreters that could not still get their expenses back and the translation system that did not work at most of the meetings were the main critics to ESF in Malmö. Also, the participants told that the solidarity fund was less than expected and it should be well organized for the next ESF. Besides that, in this process there was a lack of communication and cooperation between NOC and the rest of Europe.
Financial Crisis and the Policies to Struggle against the Crisis
The second session of Saturday was the financial crisis and the policies to struggle against the crisis. The participants underlined that ESF- EPA should have a declaration focused on the actual issues like economic crisis. And the declaration which was written in the Labour and Globalization Network was discussed and after some changes it’s agreed on that declaration which has already send to the mail groups.
Social Movements Assembly and Reports from Networks
In this assembly the reports from the networks that were organized on 21st of November, were read and reported.
European Social Forum 2010 and Next European Preparatory Assembly

In the ESF 2010 session, the preparatory meeting that was in Diyarbakır on 16th of November and the Mesopotamian Social Forum were mentioned. Besides that, the preparation process of ESF in Turkey and the participation from Europe to the ESF 2010 were discussed by the participants. Also the participants from Turkey and abroad underlined that if the Forum will be at the end of June; more students and more people from Europe can be involved in the process and participate to the Forum. The need to strengthen the solidarity fund was another issue that has discussed. The interpretation system ALIS cannot work in Istanbul because of thousands of local and national radio station so Social Forum of Turkey is discussing to use the old headphone system.

About the unpaid expenses of 78 Babel interpreters, NOC will work on this issue and try to solve this problem till the next EPA; otherwise in the Next EPA all the participants of that meeting will prepare a declaration about this issue.

For the Next EPA, Paris, Berlin and Brussels were the cities that are proposed. But as the Belgium Social Forum has some structural changes and as Germany and France has problems about Solidarity Fund; the place of the next EPA not exactly decided, will be discussed.

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