Progressive International has over 50 advisors from 31 countries, including Noam Chomsky, Yanis Varoufakis, Naomi Klein, Iceland PM Katrín Jakobsdóttir, Ece Temelkuran and our honorary president Ertuğrul Kürkçü.
Today the Progressive International will launch with a mission to unite, organize, and mobilize progressive forces around the world.
According to the timeline released by the initiative, in May, the website will be launched, the Council will be announced, and inauguration will be programmed -“Soft Launch”. Between May and September, blueprint working groups will be convened, stories will be published from the Wire, and the activities of members in the Movement wiil be supported and the activities of members in the Movement will be supported -“Build”. And, in September, the “Summit” will be convened for inauguration.
Responding to the call by DİEM25 and Sanders Institute in December 2018, the Council of Advisors of the Progressive International will convene for the inaugural summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, hosted by the Prime Minister of Iceland and the Left-Green Movement to analyze the challenges of the 21st century and set the strategic direction of the initiative.
More than 50 advisors from 31 countries who will convene for the inaugural summit include Katrín Jakobsdóttir (Prime Minister, Iceland), Fernando Haddad (Former Mayor, São Paulo), Aruna Roy (Founder, MKSS), Noam Chomsky (Professor, MIT ), Vijay Prashad (Executive Director, Tricontinental), Yanis Varoufakis (Member of Parliament, Greece), Elizabeth Gómez Alcorta (Minister of Women, Gender, and Diversity, Argentina), Pierre Sané (President, Imagine Africa Institute), Naomi Klein (Author), Varshini Prakash (Executive Director, Sunrise Movement), and Ertuğrul Kürkçü (HDP Honorary President) and Ece Temelkuran (Author) from Turkey.
The initiative took its first step in December 2018, when the Democracy in Europe Movement (DiEM25) led by Yanis Varoufakis, former minister of finance of Greece, and the Sanders Institute led by independent US Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, issued an open call to form a common front in the fight against rising authoritarianism.
DIEM25 was initiated in 2015 by Varoufakis and Croatian philosopher Srećko Horvat for a pan-european political movement and announced its foundation in Berlin on February 9, 2016 and in Rome on March 23. Among its guiding principles are alter-globalisation, social ecology, ecofeminism, post-growth and post-capitalism. Implementation of a universal basic income is widely defended among its members.
DIEM25 argues that the opportunity to create political organizations at a pan-European level needs to be seized. Its participants consider that the model of national parties forming fragile alliances in the European Parliament is obsolete and that a pan-European movement is necessary to confront the great economic, political and social crisis that Europe is going through. In its analysis, the movement considers that this crisis threatens to disintegrate Europe and has characteristics that are similar to the Great Depression experienced in the 1930s.
The movement aims to reform the European Union's existing institutions to create a "full-fledged democracy with a sovereign Parliament respecting national self-determination and sharing power with national Parliaments, regional assemblies and municipal councils" in order to replace the "Brussel's bureaucracy”.
Among others, the movement is supported by prominent American linguist and political activist Noam Chomsky, Italian philosopher Antonio Negri, American anthropologist Charles Nuckolls, American economist James K. Galbraith and former Labour MP Stuart Holland. Diverse figures including Julian Assange, film director Ken Loach, British Labour politician John McDonnell, Dutch sociologist Saskia Sassen, Franco Berardi and Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek are on its Advisory Panel.
DIEM25 participated in the 2019 European election with 11 member parties in 7 countries but failed. None of the candidates could gain a seat in the European Parliament. However, the DIEM25 member parties already hold 5 seats in the Danish parliament, 1 in French, 9 in Greek, 6 in Polish and 1 in Portuguese parliaments.
The Bernie Sanders Institute is a think-tank launched by senator’s wife Jane Sanders, aiming at helping “progressive leaders” connect with more people. The purpose is expressed as “revitalizing democracy in support of progressive institutions.”
Sanders describes himself as a "democratic socialist" and an admirer of aspects of social democracy as practised in the Scandinavian countries. In a statement in 2015, Sanders identified his conception of "democratic socialism" with Franklin D. Roosevelt's proposal for a Second Bill of Rights, saying that democratic socialism means creating "an economy that works for all, not just the very wealthy," reforming the political system (which Sanders says is "grossly unfair" and "in many respects, corrupt"), recognizing health care and education as rights, protecting the environment, and creating a "vibrant democracy based on the principle of one person, one vote."
The initiative for Progressive International sets out from the observation that the ‘Wave of Global Protest’ in 2019 has ripened the conditions for bringing about a common front for struggle.
In its press statement, the initiative underlines that in 2019 “From Delhi to Paris, Santiago to Beirut, citizens rose up to defend democracy, demand a decent standard of living, and protect the planet for future generations.” And they believe 2020 will be “the year that we unite these disparate protests in a Progressive International, bringing together activists and organizers, trade unions and tenant associations, political parties and social movements to build a shared vision of democracy, solidarity, and sustainability.”
“The stakes could not be higher,” says the Progressive International. “The Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the urgent need for universal healthcare, worker protections, and international cooperation. Only a Progressive International can match the scale of these challenges and stand up for collective rights against those that would profit from fear, bigotry, and alienation.”
11 May 2020