Last Sunday, on 24March, we marched for Europe in Brussels, together with partners in civil society, to show support not for the EU as the only possible answer but as the best one. Indeed, nationalists and right-wing populists are trying to fool people by spreading lies and disinformation and using the EU as a scapegoat for all that is wrong with current politics. But reality shows that only solidarity-based solutions actually improve people’s well-being. This reality is made visible every day by our members, who organise and deliver social inclusion, accessible and inclusive education, programmes for active citizenship, who develop solidarity networks internationally and who have been at the forefront for the rescue, first reception and integration of migrants. Where the EU failed to deliver common solutions, our members did.
This is one of the reasons why the civic space has rarely been more relevant than today. Only in an open civic space, indeed, CSOs are enabled to operate and sprout the incredibly diverse contribution to democracy described above.
Our board member Maja Pleic talked about it with the participants at our workshop Progressive Alliances in Society that SOLIDAR proudly organised in the frame of the S&D initiative School of Democracy. The workshop was attended by MEP Seb Dance, who contributed especially to the discussion on how to react to fake news and misinformation. SOLIDAR gave a presentation during the workshop on the campaign Behind Nationalism, which is based on the idea that to mobilise voters we need to also unveil the nationalists’ myths about the EU.
The workshop was developed around the question of how political parties and CSOs can build better progressive alliances in the 21st century to achieve a true paradigm shift and restore trust in democratic institutions. We would like to thank participants for the lively and interesting discussion that will definitely inform our work and we look forward to more mobilisation towards the European elections!