GPF and the World Social Forum

The Global Progressive Forum sprang up from the success of the first World Social Forum (WSF) held in January 2001 in Brazil and participated to the World Social Fora of Porto Alegre, Mumbai, Nairobi and Belem. The GPF has also been actively involved in the European Social Fora of London, Athens and Malmö. The GPF is a member of the International Council of the WSF. Since the World Social Forum (WSF) was launched in 2001, Socialist MEPs have attended every event. However, it is only since the first official delegation of the S&D Group in 2004 that the number of Group members present has increased. The Global Progressive Forum (GPF) has been involved in the World Social Forum since the first edition and, in 2006, the GPF was elected as a member of the International Council (the decision-making arm of the World Social Forum). 

World Social Forum Dakar 2011 

In 2011, the World Social Forum took place in Dakar, which enabled us not only to meet our international partners, but also to strengthen our relations with our Senegalese counterparts. By organising the S&D delegation and also jointly organising workshops as part of the activities of the WSF, which was held this year in Dakar (6-11 February), the GPF has gone a step further in its commitment to the WSF and its cooperation with its civil society partners. 

In collaboration with the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), SOLIDAR and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), the GPF organised four workshops. The delegation of MEPs from the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, consisting of Kader Arif, Head of Delegation, Jo Leinen, Zita Gurmai, Corina Cretu and Kristian Vigenin (together with three members of the secretariat: Javier Moreno Sánchez, Cecília Gondard and Alexandra Salmon-Bobek), was, therefore, part of a larger delegation which included, amongst others, the President of SOLIDAR, Josef Weidenholzer, Massimo D'Alema, President of FEPS, Conny Reuter, Secretary General of SOLIDAR, Philip Cordery, PES Secretary Genera, Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of FEPS, and Erich Fenninger, SOLIDAR Board member. Members were also able to take part in the Foundation and Trade union meetings that were held throughout the Forum. Other MEPs, such as Pervenche Berès, Henri Weber and Harlem Désir, were also in attendance as part of other delegations. 

In short, the WSF is made up of civil society representatives and political decision-makers and is first and foremost a place to meet and exchange ideas. The staging of the Forum of Parliamentarians, at the invitation of the National Assembly of Senegal, enabled open and constructive discussions to take place with numerous African members of parliament. 

Click here to know more about the GPF activities at the World Social Forum in Dakar (2011)

World Social Forum Belem 2009

The Global Progressive Forum participated to the 2009 edition of the World Social Forum in Belem, Brazil with a delegation chaired by Josep Borrell, President President of the GPF, and including Socialist Members of the European Parliament Henri Weber, Francoise Castex and Kader Arif. 

The activities of the GPF took place within the framework of the Decent World Decent Life Alliance and thus in close partnership with Solidar, ITUC and Social Alert. A total of three workshops were proposed under the heading of the Alliance in the tent World of Work focusing on the new global financial architecture, the global welfare state and the decent work campaign. 

The GPF actively participated to the relevant assemblies in the run up to the concluding gathering on the last day of the World Social Forum presenting the result of each workshop and reporting on the main issues raised during discussions.

European Social Forum Malmö 2008

Yonnec Polet attended the ESF 2008 on behalf of the GPF.

Programme themes:

  • Working for social inclusion and social rights – welfare, public services and common goods for all.
  • Working for a sustainable world, food sovereignty, environmental and climate justice.
  • Building a democratic and rights based Europe, against ”securitarian” policies. For participation, openness, equality, freedom and minority rights.
  • Working for equality and rights, acknowledging diversities, against all forms of discrimination. For feminist alternatives against patriarchy.
  • Building a Europe for a world of justice, peace and solidarity – against war, militarism and occupations.
  • Building labour strategies for decent work and dignity for all – against precarity and exploitation.
  • Economic alternatives based on peoples needs and rights, for economic and social justice.
  • Democratizing knowledge, culture, education information and mass media.
  • Working for a Europe of inclusiveness and equality for refugees and migrants – fighting against all forms of racism and discrimination

World Social Forum Nairobi 2007

The Global Progressive Forum, together with its partners of the Decent Work Decent Life Campaign took an active part in the 2007 WSF in Nairobi. Its delegation included members of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament Harlem Dasir, GPF Vice-Chair, Max van den Berg, Miguel Angel Martinez Martinez, Kader Arif, Alain Hutchinson, Dan Joergensen and Ole Christensen.

The Global Progressive Forum took partin the WSF 2007 in Nairobi to promote the Decent Work Agenda and launch the Decent Work Decent Life campaign, together with partner organisations including the ITUC, the ETUC, Solidar and Social Alert.

Click here to download the final programme of activites @ the 2007 WSF: Programme WSF 2007

As a full member of the International Council (IC) of the World Social Forum, the GPF also took part in the IC meeting meeting held on 26-27 January in Nairobi. The issues discussed included the 2008 and 2009 WSF events and the future of the WSF process.

European Social Forum Athens 2006

Harlem Désir, Vice Chair of the GPF, Vice-President of the PES Group, PS France

Yonnec Polet, PES Political Advisor

About 30.000 participants from all over Europe. The previous ESF had large participation from southern Europe, mainly from France and Italy, but it has diminished this year. It has to be underlined that for the first time participation from East and Central European countries was high. It is also noticeable that due to the proximity with Turkey, lots of Turkish associations, trade union and political groups were present in Athens. Young people continue to be attracted by the ESF: Once again the vast majority of participants were young.

Several meetings with Harlem Désir took place during the ESF regarding the coming WSF in Nairobi, Jan 2007. Some aspects concern concrete steps and initiatives that are already in the pipeline other are new proposals. - Taoufik Ben Abdallah, secretary of the African Social Forum, P.K. Murthy (India), member of the WSF International Council, Giampiero Rasimelli.

World Social Forum Porto Alegre 2005

5th World Social Forum 

26-31 January 2005, Porto Alegre, Brazil

Report on the Global Progressive Forum, Chair Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

After a stop over in South Asia, in Mumbai, India, in 2004, the World Social Forum (WSF) came back to where it all began; Porto Alegre. The Global Progressive Forum organised, for the first time, several events in the official program of the WSF (see annex). Many speakers from the Global Progressive Forum were invited in different panels.

All in all, about 200 participants from SI and PES member (Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestine, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Uruguay, UK, US) parties attended the WSF.

The participation was much higher than the expectations with more than 100 000 people from all over the world. More participants from Africa and Asia (especially India) attended the WSF this year, but it is still insufficient.

The WSF is still a work in progress. The world social forum event is more successful than the regional ones, where local political antagonisms are stronger and create obstacles (The case of the European Social Forum being the best example).

For the 2006 edition, the International Council (IC) of the WSF decided to organise a decentralised WSF. It will be held in different places around the world the same time, during the period of the WEF in Davos.

The joint event with the trade unions (ICFTU, WCL, ETUC )  and NGOs (Solidar and Social Alert) was very successful. The GPF had its own stand where lots of materials were distributed.

List of meetings:

- Giampiero Alhadeff, Secretary General of SOLIDAR

- Roberto Savio, IPS

- Giampiero Rasimelli, Eurolat/Tercero Sector

- Chico Whitaker, Brazilian Peace and Justice Commission (CBJP) of the National Council of Bishops (CNBB)

- Candido Grzybowski, Director General of IBASE 

- Gerry Rodgers, Director of the ILO’s Policy Integration Department 

- Flavio Lotti, Tavola de la Pace

- Federico Mayor, President of UBUNTU

- Meeting with UNISON

- José Genoino, President of the PT, Workers Party, accompanied by the PT’s International Department; 

- Giorgio Romano, Special Advisor of Minister Luis Dulci