Yanis Varoufakis: A letter to supporters of Another Europe Is Possible
In a letter addressed to supporters of Another Europe Is Possible, Yanis Varoufakis makes the case for the organisation to unite with the Democracy in Europe Movement 202514th September 2016
Before the referendum we worked together to convince the people of Britain that another Europe is possible. We traversed the country arguing the IN and AGAINST line. In town hall meetings, on the streets, on television and radio, in newspaper interviews, op-eds, etc. we proclaimed that, as long as we banded together to form a pan-European progressive movement, it was possible to oppose the EU’s neoliberal, austerian, anti-democratic oeuvre, while defending the EU’s achievements (e.g. free movement, environmental protection).
In the end, we failed to convince enough voters. But, we did convince many, against the better efforts of the establishment’s official ‘remain’ campaign – Brexit’s best allies. Those whom we convinced before 23rd June now feel bereft, flirting with resignation and defeatism. We have a duty to revive their spirit just as we have a duty to continue our fight for another Europe of which Britain will, and must, be an inextricable part.
To revive the spirit of those who believed that another Europe is possible it is essential that a pan-European movement (which this belief demands to turn into a realistic prospect) comes into being. Thankfully, such a movement is already in place and burgeoning daily: It is DiEM25, the Democracy in Europe Movement that your organisation has already worked harmoniously with prior to the referendum.
In essence, DiEM25, since its formation on 9th February in Berlin, is doing in every European country what Another Europe Is Possible is doing in the UK: forging an alliance of progressives keen to democratise the EU and to press it into servicing the many rather than catering for the few. For Another Europe Is Possible to join forces with DiEM25 would be a natural next step, one made even more pertinent after Brexit.
On the morning after the referendum, DiEM25 received many agonising emails from UK residents asking us, amongst other questions, whether they can still be part of DiEM25 “now that the UK is out of the EU”. We responded that DiEM25 has never discriminated between EU and non-EU countries. That we have admitted, from Day One, members from Switzerland, Serbia, Iceland, Turkey, indeed even from Latin America, the US and Australia. Europe is broader than the EU and our movement is determined to remain pan-European, eschewing all borders and divisions. This outlook, we believe, makes a coming-together between DiEM25 and Another Europe Is Possible even more advantageous for both organisations – especially so after Brexit.
Finally, DiEM25 is a young movement taking shape now. By joining us, you will play a central role in giving DiEM25 its shape, form and content – along with many European progressives that are joining every week. DiEM25’s organisational structure (as outlined in our Organisational Principles) favours horizontality and involves only a minimal degree of central coordination, in the spirit of ‘open-source’ social movements that sprang out in Europe over the past decade or so in response to European capitalism’s major crisis.
DiEM25 already has more than three thousand members in Britain, of whom at least one thousand are active and energised. Bringing together Another Europe Is Possible with our existing UK members would make DiEM25 UK a major force in shaping the progressive agenda in Britain but also in shaping DiEM25 throughout Europe. This is so because DiEM25 refuses to be a confederacy of national organisations or chapters. We demonstrate our disrespect toward borders by traversing them. In this context, we would like to encourage you to interpret our coming-together as an opportunity for Another Europe Is Possible to spread its wings to the rest of Europe.
It would be remiss of us to disregard the emotional attachment that we all have with the labels, logos, slogans and aesthetics of a movement that has been built up with our energy and commitment. Another Europe Is Possible is a phrase that DiEM25 wishes to project across Europe. Indeed, the best (and perhaps only) way of convincing Britons, post-Brexit, that another Europe is possible is if together, as the Democracy in Europe Movement, we convince all Europeans that another Europe is possible.
So, let’s join forces. We have a continent to win.
On behalf of DiEM25’s Coordination Collective
12th September 2016
Yanis Varoufakis is the former Greek finance minister and the co-founder of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM). For more information on this vital international project click here.