European Consulta process, new docs

Fri, 4 Jan 2002  |  to the consulta | castellano | català | deutsch | New!: regional consulta processes
PGA Conference Leiden: Consulta Workshop | Conference Daily Newsletter #2
consulta meetings
2nd european consulta-meeting 21.-23.2. 2003 in Tuebingen

Hello and happy resistances and alternatives 2002!
During the PGA convenor and support working groups meeting in Leiden, MRG circulated a provisional version of the European Social Consulta Guide (DOC)to elicit feedback (it is not yet ready for distribution), as well as a Consulta presentation document that is ready for distribution.
We also shared some interesting debates and exchanges of opinion during several informal meetings regarding the consulta. We look forward to the written versions being sent to the caravan99 list.
Please feel free to distribute the consulta presentation document to your direct contacts.
Futhermore, if you are interested in participating in the debate about the provisional internal consulta document, write us at: and we will send you the current version of this not yet finished document. we can send you also the .rtf version of the presentation document if you need.
This is the moment to decentralize the process and we invite all of you to create promoter groups. We are asking for e-mail contacts from all those officially ready to begin promoting the consulta in your territory. You can write to about this and any other issues.
We are also making a database of contacts and distribution lists for the consulta process. Please send us all of your contacts so we can begin compiling the database (please let your contacts know you are sending us their information, and we will refer to you as having providing us the contact information). We will coordinate this work with the new "global contacts" European PGA working group.
Finally, we want to inform you that in a few weeks we will be creating a european-specific list for comunication and coordination among the groups working on the process. We are working to have create lists with the domain on a free server. In few weeks, the web-platform for the consulta process will also be created with the domains: /org.
More information to come!
best regards,
MRG people from the Barcelona Consulta Promoter Group.
pd: Below the presentation document


Presentation Document


  1. Introduction and precursors to the European Social Consulta
  2. Objectives of the European Social Consulta and hallmarks
  2.1 Objectives
  2.2 Hallmarks
  3. Process and stages
  4. Contents and issues
  5. Organization of the European Social Consulta
  6. FIRST STAGE: The Internal Consultation. Explanation and objectives of the Internal Consultation
  6.1 What is the Internal Consultation?
  6.2 Function and process of the Internal Consultation/ Description of the Internal Consultation process
  7. First International European Social Consulta Gathering
  8. Contacts

1. Introduction and precursors to the European Social Consulta

Seattle, Prague, Genoa... these are already symbols of the growing worldwide struggle being waged by social movements against multinational organizations and economic liberalism. On the way we have learned to recognize the strength of coordinated action on the part of these movements and the vulnerability of the “untouchable” organizations of capitalism. This is why we have proclaimed that “Another World is Possible.”

The ESC has emerged from a social movement that is challenging capitalist globalization and its neoliberal policies, and can be situated within three broad Contexts:

  1. The process of convergence among the multitude of Social Movements that are fighting for Another World: In a very short time span mass mobilizations have made possible the convergence of groups and networks working in a dispersed manner. In these newly created spaces of gathering, we have become aware of the importance and the complentarity of our social struggles, we have visualized common causes and enemies and we have discovered the system’s fragility, we have become aware of our strength.
  2. The necessity of creating a Common Space for sustained coordination: Given the growing capacity of our calls to action and mobilization, the system is creating the most favorable conditions to fight against us: new economic resources, police impunity, restriction of our liberties, intimidating the population and manipulation information. One vital strategy in this new situation, which was already vital before, is deepening our contact and communication with society, decentralizing our struggle and working intensely in local and regional contexts in a coordinated way and with common objectives. In order to do this, we need to provide ourselves with strategic, long-term projects. There is no better path for moving forward than from an informed social debate, from collective participation and mobilization, from the cohesion of our groups and social movements. In order to advance in the construction of responses and in the coordination of actions in local and global contexts, we need to create a common meeting space from which to begin elaborating common proposals and projects as the basis for this other possible world.
  3. The idea of questioning the current state of our democracy through acts of participatory democracy: With the goal of establishing a basis to coordinate all of our efforts, we propose to establish and define among all participating Social Movements a Common Action that takes the street as a symbol of civil disobedience and which is able to cuestion the current state of our established democracy.

The document which you have in your hands is the result of a collective effort by people who are involved or who collaborate with the promotion of the European Social Consulta (ESC). It is designed to communicate our ideas around this project.

You will note that everything is still left to construct. The text points out the possible points of departure and the short term strategy that will allow us to advance toward several objectives to be defined among all of us.

Because of this, we call on all organizations, networks and social movements to reflect on this proposal for a project of collect action, above and beyond the acronyms and specificities of each group. We call for the creation of a social framework that allows us to advance toward this project , and which makes it possible.

2. Objectives of the European Social Consulta and Hallmarks

2.1 Objectives

We propose that the European Social Consulta have one broad goal: Transform Society. In order to make this possible, the ESC should also have three specific objectives:

  1. Deepen the analysis and critique of current economic, political and social system and build alternatives and proposals that allow us to transform society. We will do this through the creation of space at the European level, which integrates teh vision and action of the largest number of people and sectors.
  2. Strengthen and widen the European social fabric that is critical of the system. The European Social Consulta will allow us to reinforce the work of local grouops and networks, and to connect these groups and networks with struggles at the global level. The connection between the different European social movements requires a project like the European Social Consulta, which will crytalize in a network-based organizing system, shaped by the grassroots and operating in a participatory, horizontal and decentralized fashion, as much in the taking of decisions as in the realization of actions.
  3. Provide social movements and society in general with instruments for the expression of our common will, so that we can all participate in the construction of our own future. These instruments constitute, in and of themselves, a denunciation of the total lack of democracy in our current political, economic and social system.

2.2 Hallmarks of the European Social Consulta

With the goal of ensuring that the process of the European Social Consulta is as open, democratic and horizontal as possible, but always maintaining a very clear political framework and a spirit of respect toward all people, cultures and communities, we propose the following hallmarks to guide this process:

  1. A clear rejection of capitalist globalization and the lack of democracy and grassroots participation associated with it.
  2. A rejection of all forms and systems of domination and discrimination, including- but not limited to- patriarchy, racism, clacism and religious fundamentalism of any creed.
  3. A call for critical reflection, debate, direct action and the development of alternatives to the current system as tools for social transformation.
  4. An affirmation of direct and participatory democracy and the capacity of all human beings to create the world in which they want to live and to actively participate in the decisions that most affect them.
  5. An organizing philosophy based on decentralization, horizontalism, autonomy and the will to coordinate.

[New Hallmarks including comments & translations]

3. Process and stages

We propose that the process for the European Social Consulta be dvided into the following 4 parts:

  1. Internal Consultation among collectives and social movements. The Internal Consultation consists of a process of diffusion and contact among movements and organizations through a system of questions that will spark a debate in order to help us develop an understanding of the various reactions, ideas, proposals and affinities toward the project. It will allow us to build this project together through a collective process, and will culminate with the First International Gathering where we will define the project’s subsequent stages.
  2. Spaces of social debate: We will create local spaces of participation and discussion connected at the European level with as many people as possible. A multitude of dynamics might be useful for this: assemblies, seminars, gatherings, etc., around the questions, issues, objectives and with a methodology previously agreed upon through the Internal Consultation. From these spaces will emerge the critiques, analysis, proposals for transformation and the agreements that will be the starting points for the following stages. These spaces will be sustained and constitute teh nmost important part of the process.
  3. Mass Consultation among the entire population. Around those issues decided upon in the spaces of debate at the European level, mass consultations will be carried out in order to extend the debate to the entire population. This consultation will be held around those themes decided upon in the European gatherings and the local assemblies can add other issues in their territories in an autonomous fashion. These actions do not mean ending the debates described above in section b), but rather just the opposite, widening and enriching those debates.
    One concrete proposal involves making the first mass social consultation coordinated at the European level coincide with the European elections in 2004. This would be an exercise in participatory democracy that questions the current system, seeking the participation and opinion of the entire population.
  4. Processes of Application: this involves moving forward in the application of the agreements around each aspect obtained in the spaces of social debate. This stage, as all others, would be subject to the agreements and consensus constructed throughout the entire process and would lead to initiatives coordinated at the European level that would create their own dynamics.

4. Contents and issues

The initial idea would be to engage in a global analysis of the current economic, political and social system, but including Europe, its specific issues and the transformations we can promte from here, as a context of particular importance. In terms of levels and issues of debate, we start from the idea that the consultation process should integrate all those levels and themes of debate that might be of interest to those collectives and social movements that become involved in the process. It should marginalize neither analytical nor concrete debates and should attend to proposals for structural transformation (political, economic and social system), sectoral debate (ecology, social rights, militarism, immigration, gender, etc...) as well as concrete reforms (ending specific laws regarding immigration, abolishing the external debt, guaranteed income, tobin tax, etc...)

5. Organization of the European Social Consulta

We understand the ESC as a network-based organizational process, at the European level, whose different elements function in an autonomous and decentralized, yet coordinated fashion on the basis of agreements tpreviously consensed upon at various territorial gatherings (European, regional, etc.).

To organize the ESC we believe that certain basic organizational components (local assemblies, promotor and connecting groups and technical working teams), elements of thematic and territorial coordination as well as communication tools (webpage, internet distribution lists, bulletins, etc.) are necessary.

6. FIRST STAGE : The Internal Consultation. Explanation and objectives of the internal consultation

6.1 What is the Internal Consultation. Objectives

As we have already explained, the “Internal Consultation” consists of a process of diffusion and contact among movements and organizations through a system of questions that will spark a debate in order to help us develop an understanding of the various reactions, ideas, proposals and affinities toward the project. It will also allow us to define the stages of the Process itself proposed above.

The main objective of the internal consultation is to ensure the active participation in the definition of the process itself from the various geografic and social contexts on the European content. That is to say that the first steps of the consulta and the initial decisions should be extremely participatory, transparent and should result form a process of debate and consensus, with the equal participation of all the groups involved.

6.2 Function of the internal consultation process

From the promotor groups in Barcelona and Madrid we are developing a guide to the internal consultation. This guide will include some proposals, such as those contained in this document, but with a series of open questions designed to invite your response for each of the sections. The responses will be gathered through a web page that will house all those responses obtained. Reports will also be developed for the First International Gathering that will contain the results of the internal consultation. In a few days we will circulate a first draft of the internal consultation guide. If you want to recieve and express your opinion about this draft before the definitive version is sent out, write to the contacts that appear at the end of this document.

Parallel to this, we are beginning to promote the process:

Our first objective is to promote the creation of different promotor groups in each territory in Europe, so they can extend the debate surrounding this process in their own territory.

What are the promotor groups, and how do they function?

They are groups of people and/or collectives that get involved with this beginning stage of the process in order to:

  • Encourage the creation of other promotor groups, make contact with the networks and collectives working in their region and keep them informed; this is a task of Promoting and Extending the Consulta.
  • Diffuse the internal consultation guide and explain the proposal for the European Social Consulta, encouraging all the collectives in thier territorial context of action (community, region, nation, state...) to participate in the process of debate, inviting them to attend the first European gathering.
  • Advance the elaboration of ideas and proposals through the Internal Consultation around the project’s objectives, organizational aspects, etc., in their region (not in a unilateral fashion, but coordinated with local and regional groups that become part of the project) in order to bring them to the First International Gathering of the European Consulta.

How are we encouraging their creation?

  • Through personal contacts.
  • Through the internet.
  • By taking advantage of various international gatherings.
  • Through a mini-caravan or visits to different groups throughout Europe who might be interested in becoming promotor groups.
  • Through the organization of regional gatherings.

The “Internal Consultation” will culminate in a debate at the First International Gathering, in which hundreds of participants from all over Europe will participate having already engaged in a previous discussion and where decisions can be consensed on among everyone.

7. First International Gathering of the European Consulta

In order to put all the proposals and ideas that emerge through the Internal Consultation in common, we belive it is important to hold a gathering at the European level with the objective of reaching a consensus among all the people involved around the process to follow, methodology, organization, the issues to deal with...and ultimately, to give shape to the European Social Consulta.


In order to give enough time in the process of the Internal Consultation so the largest possible number of collectives, coming from all over Europe, can participate, we propose that the first gathering be held between the spring and fall of 2002 in Barcelona.

This First International Gathering would have three main objectives:

  • The first, making contact and exchanging ideas and impressions.
  • The second would be to debate and decide on all those issues we will have worked throughout the Internal Consultation.
  • The third, make a calendar and organize our future work, defining in particular:
    • European Social Consulta Objectives
    • European Social Consulta Issues and Themes
    • Euroepan Social Consulta Process and Methodology

8. Contacts. Information.

For those people or collectives who would like to work on this project, we suggest that you get in touch with the promotor groups that are already functioning, which until now are:

  1. Madrid Promotor Group:
    - Madrid regional list:
  2. Barcelona Promotor Group: (provisional):
    - Barcelona Regional list:
    - email:


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