The European Forum of Leftist, Green and Progressive forces is a unique political space: an open, plural and participatory dialogue between left-wing, green and progressive groups, from political parties to trade unions and community campaigns. The forum brings together people from around Europe, and beyond, to address the health, social, economic and environmental crises facing the continent.

The Covid-19 pandemic hit Europe full force. Tens of thousands of Europeans have died. This crisis has revealed major flaws in our public health systems undermined for years by austerity policies. Millions of workers are now facing poverty and unemployment.

Europe’s reaction to the crisis was uncoordinated and lacked solidarity. The European Union’s current model of ever-deepening competition has shown to be woefully inadequate in tackling the pandemic, its economic impact and the climate crisis. Short-term profits can no longer take priority over the future of people and planet.

The Covid-19 pandemic demands that we change course. We need a Europe committed to sustainable social and environmental development; a Europe focused on improving life for the majority, saving the climate and protecting biodiversity.

What started as a health crisis has now become a global economic downturn—underpinned by the failure of the EU to mount a radical response. That failure makes it all the more urgent for Europe’s progressives to come together and chart an alternative way forward.

Together, we will oppose the same old remedies of cuts, austerity and war. The people of Europe will not be made to pay, once again, for a crisis we did not cause. By coming together, sharing our struggles and building new alliances we can change Europe’s direction towards a fairer, greener economy and more equitable and more just society.