Press releases

More humane migration and asylum policies needed

Culture takes centre stage at GUE/NGL study days

Need to win back workers’ rights, especially for the young

Citizens and human rights in jeopardy with TTIP


Firenze Fiera, Palazzo degli Affari, 1st floor

Piazza Adua 1, 50123 Florence





TUESDAY 18th November 

Opening of the meeting and welcome
Gabi ZIMMER, President of the GUE/NGL Group



Europe and austerity, precariousness and unemployment – young people's contribution toward a new development model
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Enzo Masini  Maurizio LANDINI, Secretary General of FIOM Trade Union (Federazione Impiegati Operai Metallurgici)

Emiliano BRANCACCIO, Economist – Sannio University

Focus on youth
Introduction by Patrick LE HYARIC, MEP

Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Claudio RICCIO, ACT (Agire – costruire – trasformare) network
Sandro GOBETTI, Coordinator of Basic Income Network – Italy
Gaia LEISS, Researcher, Member of “Collettivo Effenove”


TUESDAY 18th November 

The new challenges to culture
Introduction by Curzio MALTESE, MEP
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Nadia URBINATI – Columbia University, Professor of Political sciences
Giuliano GARAVINI – Member of the “Coordination of Precarious workers in University”

Is European cultural heritage at risk? The impact of budget cuts on cultural goods
Salvatore SETTIS – former director of the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, founding member of the European Research Council

16.45 – 18.30

Continuation of the panel

Carlo FRECCERO – television writer, communications expert.

WEDNESDAY 19th November

9.30 – 11.00
Reframing migration and asylum policies: from  border surveillance to migrants and asylum seekers rights approach

FRONTEX and European migration and asylum policies
Introduction by Cornelia ERNST, MEP
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Fulvio VASSALLO PALEOLOGO – Palermo University, Professor of Law.  Expert of immigration and asylum policies
Annamaria RIVERA – Bari University, Professor of Social Anthropology.  Anti-racist activist
Francesco PIOBBICHI – Journalist and Activist

11.15 – 13.00
International instability: Looking at the situation in countries of origin and transit
Introduction by Javier COUSO, MEP
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Enrico CALAMAI – former Italian Ambassador to Buenos Aires during the 70s, promoter of the Migrants International Tribunal
Sara PRESTIANNI – Migreurop
Domenico RIZZUTI – President of Italian–Tunisian Forum for Mediterranean Citizenship

Wednesday 19th November 

15.00 – 16.30
Against TTIP and for another idea of international trade
Introduction by Helmut SCHOLZ, MEP
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Monica DI SISTO – Fairwatch Coordinator


16.45 – 18.30
The new architecture of international trade
Introduction by Anne-Marie MINEUR, MEP
Guests' and MEPs' contributions
Antonio TRICARICO – Re:Common campaign
Leopoldo TARTAGLIA – CGIL Trade Union – International Department
Mario PIANTA – Urbino University, Professor of Economic Policy – Sbilanciamoci campaign
Antonio CANTARO – Urbino University, Professor of Constitutional Law

THURSDAY 20th November

9.00 – 10.30
Group meeting to prepare for the Strasbourg plenary session




Gabi ZIMMER was elected President of the GUE/NGL political group in March 2012. She has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 in the GUE/NGL political group. Between 2000 and 2003 she was President of the German left party PDS (which merged to form DIE LINKE in 2007). Before that, she was President of “PDS Thüringen” from 1990 until 1998 and, at the same time, a Member of the Regional Parliament of Thuringia until 2004. As a full member of the EP's Development Committee until September 2012, and a substitute member of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, her main political objectives are the fight against hunger, poverty, and social exclusion both within and outside the EU.


Eleonora FORENZA is an Italian politician, currently a Member of the European Parliament and  Head of the Italian delegation of the “L' Altra Europa con Tsipras “ list in the GUE/NGL political Group. In the European Parliament she holds the role of Vice-President of the Delegation to the EU-Chile Joint Parliamentary Committee; additionally she is a full member of the Committee on International Trade as well as of the Delegation to the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly.

Her activism in student movements has been always accompanied by long political militancy in the PRC, which she joined in 1996. She is currently a member of the national Secretariat of the Italian Party “Rifondazione Comunista” (“PRC”). She is active in the women's movement and she is part of the collective “Femministe Nove “.

In her research work, she is mainly engaged in Gramscian studies (being on the board of the  “International Gramsci Society “, Italy), women's history and feminist theory.


Emiliano BRANCACCIO is a researcher in Political Economy and Professor of Foundations of Economics and Labour Economics at the Faculty of Economic and Business Sciences of the University of Sannio. He has worked with various magazines and newspapers, including Il Sole 24 Ore. Between 2000 and 2011, he commented on the Nobel Prize for Economics in the newspaper “Manifesto”. He is regularly hosted by radio and television broadcasts (including Radio 24, Radio Uno, Radio Tre, TG3 Linea Notte, Agorà, Omnibus, Otto e mezzo, Presa diretta, Sky TG24 Economia) to comment on economic matters, in particular on debt and the impact of the potential TTIP policies.


Patrick LE HYARIC is a French journalist, politician and a Member of the European Parliament elected in 2009 for the Île-de-France constituency. He is a member of the French Communist Party's executive and also the federal Secretary of the Communist federation in the Morbihan. In 2009, he was selected to lead the Left Front list in the Île-de-France constituency ahead of the 2009 European elections. In the European Parliament he is a member of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, a substitute member on the  International Trade Committee a member of the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian legislative council and a member of the Delegation to the parliamentary assembly of the union for the Mediterranean.


Claudio RICCIO has been an activist in student movements both in his hometown, where he was elected to the Academic Senate, and at national level for many years and was also a candidate for the European elections of 2014 on the  “L' Altra Europa con Tsipras “ list. Due to his wide experience, he became national spokesman for “Link – Coordinamento Universitario” and for the network “Rete della Conoscenza”. He is among those who have set up the independent news website “Il Corsaro”, developed the campaign “Voglio Restare” and the new project to build a new left, “ACT” (agire, costruire. trasformare). ACT is the commitment of many young students and workers to bring to Europe the battles against precariousness, for a new universal welfare, for the investment on knowledge as a driver of social transformation.


Sandro GOBETTI is a social researcher, editor of the magazine “Infoxoa”, author of articles, creator and curator of research and essays on European models of welfare and transformation of work. He has been responsible for research and study on the guaranteed basic income at the Region of Lazio between 2005 and 2010. He is the national coordinator of “Bin Italy” (i.e. Basic Income Network Italy), an association of sociologists, economists, philosophers, lawyers, scientists and freethinkers which has been involved in researching, designing and promoting activities aimed at supporting the introduction of a guaranteed basic income in Italy.


GAIA LEISS, a philosophy graduate, focused her studies chiefly on feminist and women’s thought. She has almost 10 years' experience in precarious and intermittent work, which she tries to use as living examples for her thought. For the past two years ago she has been part of the feminist collective “Femministe Nove “in Rome.



Curzio MALTESE is an Italian journalist and writer. He was elected Member of the European Parliament in May 2014 on the “L' Altra Europa con Tsipras” list. He began his career working for “La Notte”, then “Gazzetta dello Sport” and “La Stampa” among other newspapers. Since 1995 he is a columnist in “La Repubblica”. He has been a reporter on judiciary matters, politics, sports and entertainment. He published five books and is a theatre and television writer. In the European Parliament he is a Member of the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Transport and Tourism and of the Delegation for Relations with the United States.


Nadia URBINATI is a political theorist who specialises in modern and contemporary political thought and democratic and anti-democratic traditions. She co-chaired the Columbia University Faculty Seminar on Political and Social Thought and founded and chaired the Workshop on Politics, Religion and Human Rights. She is co-editor of the journal Constellations: An International Journal of Critical and Democratic Theory. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Foundation Reset Dialogues on Civilization-Istanbul Seminars.


Giuliano GARAVINI is a member of the “Coordination of Precarious workers in University” (PhD University of Florence), currently FIRB Lecturer at the University of Padua (coordinating the Padua unit of the FIRB “Engines of Growth”) and Research Associate at New York University in Abu Dhabi. His latest publications include “After Empires”, “European Integration”, “Decolonization and the Challenge from the Global South (1957-1986)” and “Completing Decolonization”. He is currently working on the history of OPEC from its origins to the present times.


Salvatore SETTIS is an Italian archaeologist and art historian. Between 1977 and 1981 he was the Director of the Institute of Archaeology and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pisa. From 1999 to 2010, he was Director of “Scuola Normale Superiore” of Pisa, a public institute for higher education, where he has also been teaching classical archaeology since 1985.


Georgios KATROUGALOS, elected Member of the European Parliament on the “Syriza” list, is a constitutionalist and international lawyer, Professor of Public Law and member of the Executive Council (Symvoulio) of Demokritos University of Thrace. Over the last years he has been writing critically on legal issues concerning the Greek debt and challenging the austerity measures and their impact on human rights and the Welfare State before domestic and international courts. In the European Parliament he is a full Member of the Committee on Transport and Tourism, as well as of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, a substitute member on the International Trade Committee and a member of the Delegation to the EU-Albania Stabilisation and Association Parliamentary Committee.


Carlo FRECCERO is an Italian television writer and communications expert. In addition to having worked for major Italian TV channels (Canale 5, Italia 1, Rai 2, RAI SAT, Rai 4), always in an executive role, from 2003 to 2012 he taught  a  graduate course in the arts, music and Performing Arts (DAMS) at the University of Roma Tre. He has also taught courses in television language and television theory and language broadcasting techniques. In Savona (his hometown), he delivered a University of Genoa graduate programme in Communication Sciences.


Cornelia ERNST is a German politician (Die Linke). Prior to her election to the European Parliament in 2009, she had been a Member of the Parliament of Saxony from 1998. From 2001 to 2009 she had been the regional chairman of the Left Party in Saxony.

In the European Parliament she is the Vice-President of Delegation for relations with Iran. She is also a full Member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, as well as of the Delegation for relations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Kosovo. She is also a substitute member in the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy .


Barbara SPINELLI is an Italian journalist, writer and Member of the European Parliament. She was one of the founders of the newspaper “La Repubblica”. After that, she worked for the newspapers “Corriere della Sera” and “La Stampa” first as a correspondent in Paris, where she still lives and works, then as a columnist. In October 2010 her return to “La Repubblica” was announced. Further to the 2014 European elections, she was elected to the European Parliament within the list “L' Altra Europa con Tsipras”. In the European Parliament she is Vice-president of Committee on Constitutional Affairs and a substitute member of the Committee of Civil Liberties.


Fulvio VASSALLO PALEOLOGO is a lawyer, professor of asylum law and similar matters, member of the Board of the PhD in “Human Rights: evolution, protection, limits,” at the Department of Legal Science, Society and Sports (DGISSPO) at the University of Palermo. As a Director of “L'Altro diritto-Sicilia”, he actively works for the defence of migrants and asylum seekers, while also collaborating with non-governmental organisations.


Annamaria RIVERA is an Italian anthropologist, essayist, writer and activist. She is Professor of Ethnology and Social Anthropology at the University of Bari. She is also a columnist for the newspaper “Il Manifesto” and “Liberazione” and directs the series of anthropo-logical research for the publisher Daedalus.

She is well-known for her strong commitment to fight against any form of discrimination (be it racist, sexist or any other). This is well reflected in her book “La Bella, la Bestia e l’Umano” (2010), written as an introductory text for the series of books “Sessismoerazzismo”.


Fancesco PIOBBICHI is a journalist, activist and social worker. He collaborated with the project “Mediterranean Hope – Observatory on Migration of Lampedusa”, a project of FCEI (Federazione delle Chiese Evangeliche in Italia), thanks to which a monitoring centre was set up in Lampedusa with the purpose of monitoring migration and reporting on immigration policies.


Javier COUSO is a Spanish political activist and Member of European Parliament for the United Left. A social activist since the 80s, he has been involved in the movement for the occupied social centres in the fight against racism and fascism in favour of human rights and international solidarity. He has been involved in politics while organising and participating in street demonstrations and protests. In the European Parliament he is Vice-President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Vice-President of the Delegation for relations with Iraq as well as member of other committees.


Enrico CALAMAI served as Italian diplomat in Buenos Aires during the 70's. He is the promoter of the Migrants  International Tribunal (TBC). He is also known as “the Schindler of Buenos Aires”, since he saved more than three hundred victims of persecution by the military regime in Argentina. Calamai has always assumed that if he had not been there, at the time of the coup, there would have been someone else who would have behaved in exactly the same way.


Sara PRESTIANNI holds a degree in Political Science from the University of Bologna. She has always dealt with issues relating to immigration and human rights. After a Master in “Mediazione Intermediterranea”, she has been living in France, Spain and Italy since 2005. For six years, she has been coordinating the international network Migreurop composed of 45 associations from 17 countries in Europe and Africa; Migreurop is a network of researchers and activists whose goal is to raise awareness and fight against the widespread detention of foreigners and the proliferation of detention camps.


Domenico RIZZUTI is the President of Italian-Tunisian forum for Mediterranean Citizenship and a spokesman for “Sinistra Euromediterranea” (SEM). He is involved in the process of setting up a European Left, which could affect the change in European policies to help the countries of the Mediterranean. The Italian-Tunisian Forum for Mediterranean Citizenship is an organisation whose purpose is to create a dialogue and common initiatives to give meaning and substance to the construction of a “Mediterranean citizenship” as part of a political and institutional relationship with the institutions of the European Union.


Helmut SCHOLZ is a German politician (Die Linke). Since July 2009 he has been a member of the European Parliament where he sits in the Committees on International Trade and is a substitute member on the Committees on Foreign Affairs and on Constitutional Affairs. He is a member of the Delegation for relations with the United States and Coordinator of the GUE/NGL in the European Parliament for international trade policy. Currently he serves as chair of the EP's PGA group (Parliamentarians for Global Action).


Cecile TOUBEAU is a member of the clean vehicles team of T&E, a body that represents around 50 organisations across Europe, mostly environmental groups and campaigners working for sustainable transport policies at national, regional and local level. She also works on the on-going transatlantic trade negotiations (TTIP) and is responsible for network development and liaising with the T&E membership.


Monica DI SISTO is the Vice-President of Fairwatch, a blog for analysis, report and support for the activities of civil society in terms of economic solidarity, social responsibility and environmental rights. She is a professional journalist, specialised in international trade and economic solidarity. She also work as a consultant for various non-governmental organisations on issues of sustainability and advocacy.


Anne-Marie MINEUR is a Dutch politician (Socialistische Partij). Prior to her election to the European Parliament in 2014, she was active in local and provincial politics.

In the European Parliament she is a full Member of the Committee on International Trade, a substitute member on the Environment Committee and the Subcommittee on Human Rights and a member of the Delegation to the Cariforum, a subgroup of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States that serves as a base for economic dialogue with the European Union.


Antonio TRICARICO is an engineer, campaigner, analyst and editor. He currently works for “Re: Common”, whilst previously he was involved in the “Campaign to Reform the World Bank” (CRBM) dealing with financial globalization-related issues. He has co-authored several publications on IFI-related issues, the most recent being, “La Banca dei Ricchi”. He has been correspondent for the Italian newspaper “Il Manifesto” at several international summits. Re: Common is an organisation that aims to subtract the control of natural resources from the market and private/public financial institutions, and returning access and direct management to citizens through policies of active participation.


Leopoldo TARTAGLIA is an Italian journalist. From May 2003 he has been working at the International Department of CGIL headquarter, mainly in charge of relations between the government and ILO (International Labour Organisation), and with Asian countries. He is a member of World Social Forum and collaborates on the weekly “Rassegna Sindacale”.


Mario PIANTA is Full Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”, Faculty of Economics. He is actively involved in the “Sbilanciamoci” campaign thanks to which, in 1999, 48 civil society organisations committed to fight for a fair economy and a new model of development based on rights, environmental protection and peace. The “Sbilanciamoci” campaign annually organises activities of every kind in order to stress that policy, economy and society be oriented towards principles of solidarity, equality, sustainability and peace.


Antonio CANTARO is Full Professor of Constitutional Law at the Department of Law of the University of Urbino “Carlo Bo”. He directed the series “Citoyens” and the series “Manuali del cittadino”. He is currently Director of the series of “Critica Europea”. He is a member of the scientific committee of the following journals: “Revista de Derecho Constitucional Europeo”, “Democrazia e Diritto”, “Rassegna di diritto pubblico europeo” e “Diritti fondamentali”.