The 15th seminar of the Young Academics Network of the Foundation of European Progressive Studies took place in Vienna between the 6th and 9th November 2014.
The Young Fabians presence has increased to four following our recent call for new members. Two new members, Hannah Iqbal (Cardiff University) and Dee Goddard (University of Kent) joined Rich Penny (University of Southampton) and new Young Fabian Chair Alexander Adranghi (University of Manchester).
The seminar focused on developing the draft papers of the working groups that were established at the 14th seminar back in July.
The Foundation of European Progressive Studies or FEPS is a publicly-funded pan-European thinktank which consist of a network of member organisations across Europe. It provides independant research for the Party of European Socialists (PES). It establishes an intellectual crossroad between social democracy and the European project, putting fresh thinking at the core of its action. As a platform for ideas , FEPS works in close collaboration with social democratic organisations, and in particular national foundations and thinktanks across Europe, to tackle the challenges that Europe faces today. The Fabian Society is one of the three UK members.
The FEPS Young Academics Network was established in March 2009 with an aim to gather promising progressive PhD candidates and young PhD researchers ready to use their academic experience in a debate about the Next Europe. Realised with the support of Renner Institut, the project has gathered in its course more than 50 members. Their exchanges and interdisciplinary research have resulted in a number of stimulating studies, providing a relevant contribution to the European progressive movement.
More than 60 members of the Young Fabians recently welcomed speakers from Chatham House, the chinadialgoue journal and the Shadow Foreign Office team for a discussion in Parliament on the evolving nature of China’s foreign policy.
Rod Wye, former head of research for Asia at the FCO and fellow at Chatham House, gave guests a wide overview on the historical character of China’s relations with the West and pointed to how China’s main expectation for the future was a greater sense of recognition from Western countries as a global leader.
Isabel Hilton, a journalist and CEO of China Dialogue, provided insight into how China’s new domestic priority of ensuring environmental protection as part of a modernising economy will feed through into a much greater level of engagement on global issues such as deforestation and climate change.
Kerry McCarthy, Shadow FCO Minister with responsibility for China, provided a critique of the coalition government's overly trade-focused outreach towards China and argued that the way to ensure British influence was to engage with China on all levels, while not shirking from our responsibilities towards upholding our national interests.
The Young Fabians Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday November 15th 2014. The new committee was formally elected with long standing Fabian Alex Adranghi elected as Chair.
The meeting was chaired by outgoing Young Fabians Chair James Hallwood. The new executive has been confirmed as followed:
- Alexander Adranghi (Chair)
- Adebusuyi Adeyemi (Vice Chair)
- Martin Edobor (Vice Chair)
- Paulina Jakubec (Secretary)
- Sophia Morrell (Treasurer)
- Ellie Groves (Anticipations Editor)
- Heather Vernon
- Louie Woodall
- Alvin Carpio
- Ben West
- Jessica Toale
- Sophie Keenleyside
The Annual General Meeting discussed and passed the following motions.
#1 The Young Fabian Group Annual General Meeting resolves to affirms its support of the Rt Hon Ed Miliband MP in this capacity of Leader of the Labour Party and future Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
#2 The Young Fabian Group Annual General Meeting resolves to affirms the Fabian Society's proud affiliation to the Labour Party and our commitment to return Labour candidates to Parliament and other public offices in 2015.
#3 In this 130th anniversary year, the Young Fabian Group Annual General Meeting offers a vote of thanks and solidarity with our forebears whos established the Fabian Society. We affirm our pride in the Fabian tradition and its significant contribution to the Labour Movement at home and abroad.
The votes are in for this year’s elections and the new members of the 2014/15 Executive are; Alexander Adranghi, Heather Vernon, Louie Woodall, Adebusuyi Adeyemi, Alvin Carpio, Martin Edobor, Ellie Groves, Ben West, Jessica Toale, Paulina Jakubec, Sophie Keenleyside and Sophia Morrell.
The new Executive formally takes over, after a customary vote, on the AGM this coming Saturday.
Congratulations to those elected and in particular to Alexander Adranghi who was elected from amongst the new Executive to be Chair in the vital year ahead.
|Sophia Morrell||68||Elected on Chair's casting vote*|
*The twelfth position was tied between Katharina Klebba and Sophia Morrell and the constitution states ‘In the event of a tie the Chair of the Young Fabian Group shall have a casting vote.’ This was far from an ideal solution and our Chair, James Hallwood, made it clear that he thought future years should seek a better constitutional solution. However, bound by the rules and in discussion with the candidates, he and Katharina decided that she would give way to allow Sophia her first experience of the Executive. The graciousness with which Katharina stepped aside was noted by the outgoing and incoming Executive and she has our thanks for three years of work for the Young Fabians.
Commiserations to those who were unsuccessful this time – there will be ample opportunity to get involved over the coming year. Thanks to all who ran.
On Tuesday 2nd September the Young Fabians hosted a workshop on careers in Europe. The main presentation was given by Jonathan Millins, Senior Policy Officer from the East of England Region. There was advice given on many possible opportunities of working in Europe.
We were also joined by former Young Fabian and academic Michael Weatherburn who is currently engaged in Europe through FEPS on the opportunities for academics to work on projects in Europe.
The event was chaired by Young Fabians Secretary Alex Adranghi who is also a member of FEPS Young Academics Network and was followed by a social.
On Friday 29th August the Young Fabians campaigned in Scotland in East Dunbartonshire. The group was hosted by Labour PPC and former Young Fabian Amanjit Jhund and the delegation led by Young Fabians Secretary Alex Adranghi.
The group campaigned on the doorstep with five sessions over the weekend focused around Bishopbriggs and Milngavie, and enjoyed a night out in Glasgow on Saturday.
The Social Democrats in Sweden are on the verge of a historic victory against the centre-right Alliance for Sweden coalition, the party has been campaigning hard against austerity and the negative politics of the right.
Last month the Young Fabians invited members to apply to join a campaign delegation to Sweden, travelling during their general election weekend 12-14th September. We received a huge amount of interest in the delegation and want to thank all those who applied. The final delegates have been selected and will be:
- Amrita Rose
- Unsa Chaudri
- Oana Olaru
- Peter Thorpe
- Rachel Ward
They will be joined by International Officer, Joel Mullan and Campaign Officer, Alvin Caprio who will be directing our efforts on the ground. The delegation will be lead by Young Fabian member, Nathaneal Sansam and Treasurer, Martin Edobor.
The Swedish Social Democratic Youth League, the Youth section of the Social Democrats will be hosting us over the course of the weekend. Following the visit there will be a series of debrief events based on Social Democracy in Europe, in which delegates and Young Fabian members will have the opportunity to discuss their experiences and thoughts on various aspects of European progress politics.
Chair James Hallwood has been invited to speak at the International Union of Socialist Youth Festival in Malta as a representative of the Young Fabians.
IUSY Festival brings together socialists from all over the world to meet and discuss key issues facing the broad international movement. James will be speaking on panels about the European Union’s Youth Guarantee and Free Movement in Europe.
The Labour Party will have no formal presence at IUSY Festival this year, so James and the Young Fabians will be representing the British Left at this key event.
Recordings of the sessions and tweets from @youngfabians account will give an idea of what is said.
We hope that this first year of our involvement with IUSY will be the start of a stronger relationship.
A call for nominations is now open for members who wish to stand for the Young Fabian Executive 2014/15.
Please send up to 70 words to firstname.lastname@example.org saying a bit about yourself and why you want to stand by 29th August.
The only positions that are guaranteed each year are: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and Editor of Anticipations. All other roles are decided by the incoming Executive so bear this in mind in your statement. Members elect Executive Members not the positions they will get.
Ballot papers will go out with the conference edition of the Fabian Review and the new Executive will take over at our AGM on 15 November 2014.
The Health Network left politics behind in Westminster on Friday 1st August and went out and enjoyed some bowling instead, followed by great Indian food. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and an excellent opportunity to meet some friendly faces.