Following the tight all-member vote regarding our participation in the European Parliament elections in Italy, we are writing to you to express our admiration for your tremendous work over the past year and to discuss our next steps in Italy.
First things first: We all feel a sense of frustration, and regret, that DiEM25 Italia will not be running the European Parliament elections in Italy this coming May. Some amongst you may even feel tempted to surrender to a sense of failure, to an urge to give up. This would be a grave error, we are convinced.
Yes, we failed to bring together a coalition in Italy worthy of DiEM25’s support and participation. But, this is not your failure. The Coordinating Collective wants to make this abundantly clear: You, our Italian Electoral Wing, performed magnificently. You worked diligently and effectively to bring together Italy’s fractious progressive forces into a single list that combines unity with coherence. You came close to producing this miracle. With your hard work, principled political work and unrelenting humanism, you inspired people up and down Italy and elevated progressive forces above their usual low-brow level of discourse. You helped them become better. You improved them. You explained to them the importance of a single, transnational, coherent programme (our New Deal for Europe). You gathered together, in one room, the Left, the Greens, the Mayors, other forces.
The fact that they became better is your legacy. The fact that they did not rise sufficiently to the challenge is their failure. All credit goes to you. And all credit goes to our members, across Europe, for agonising over the dilemma but, in the end, deciding that, no, the resulting list was not coherent enough. That we, DiEMers, will sit this European Parliament election out. Not because we are cowards, but because we are courageous in our pursuit of a new kind of progressive politics, the kind that our potential partners are still incapable of.
Our next step will not be to dissolve our Electoral Wing and pack up. We shall, instead, concentrate on showing progressives the way forward by running with them in local and regional government elections and preparing for the showdown against the fascists and the establishment in the next national elections – which may be just around the corner.
After this week, Italian voters will realise that DiEM25 is not yet another groupuscule of the Left, rushing into any unprincipled coalition in the hope of getting elected. When they ask us: “How shall we vote, given that you are not running?”, we shall reply:
“We wanted to bring together the Left, the Greens and the Municipalists under a single agenda. They would not rise up to the task. So, we refused to run with one against the other. But we are asking you to vote for the Left or for the Greens. Do not abstain. Vote against the establishment, in its various reincarnations, and against the fascists. That’s our duty. Meanwhile, DiEM25 will continue to work to bring progressives together under one roof, with one programme. So, when you see DiEM25 running, you will know the news is good.”
Comrades, our Italian Electoral Wing was created less than a year ago. It did wonders. But it takes more than wonders to unite Italian progressives under a coherent agenda. It will take additional time and even more work. Speaking for all DiEMers, rest assured that our transnational movement will be behind you in this endeavour. All we want from you is that you keep your chins up and that you communicate to us your plans for the next steps.
We shall prevail only because (a) we must and (b) it will be fun trying.
On behalf of DiEM25’s Coordinating Collective,
>>DiEM25 Political Director
>>DiEM25 Communications Coordinator
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