Above photo: Delegates of the European Left at the 6th Congress.
NOTE: From December 13 to 15, 2019 members of the European Left held their sixth Congress in Malaga, Spain.
The European Left describes itself as:
“The Party of the European Left is a political party at the European level which was formed in 2004. Member and observer parties of the EL are socialist, communist, red-green and other democratic left parties. Their basic principles and political aims are laid down in the EL Manifesto from 2004. Membership to the EL is open to any left party and political organization in Europe that agrees with the EL Manifesto and accepts the EL statutes.”
Below are videos and the political document that came out of the Congress. Read the political document here or scroll below the videos.
The video-story of the Congress
The first day of Congress in one minute:
The entire event of Friday
The second day of the Congress in one minute
The entire event of Saturday morning and Saturday afternoon
The third day of the Congress in one minute
The entire event of Sunday
The opening of the congress
Heinz Bierbaum, elected President: “We need a stronger political profile”
Enrique Santiago’s (PCE) interview:
Sira Rego’s (IU, Spain) interview
El violador eres tu, flashmob at the European Left Congress
Felicity Dowling’s (Left Unity, Uk) interview
Jiri Mäntysalo’s (CPF) interview:
Marisa Matia’s (Bloco de Esquerda) interview:
Christian Picquet’s (PCF, France) interview:
Raisa Musakka’s (Left Alliance, Finland) interview:
Maurizio Acerbo’s (PRC,Italy) interview:
Danny Butter’s (Die Linke, Germany) interview
Mirko Messner (Kpo, Austria) interview
Luka Mesec’s (Levica, Slovenia) interview:
Mercedes Vidal’s (EUIA) interview:
Francois D’Agostino’s (PCWB, Belgium) interview:
David Wagner’S (Déi Lénk, Luxemburg) interview:
Press conference with Gregor Gysi (President of the European Left Party), Sira Rego (MEP, IU’s spokesperson in the European Parliament), Toni Valero (IU’s coordinator in Andalucia), Enrique Santiago (PCE’s national secretary) and Maite Mola (Vicepresident of the EL)
The Political Document:
Reset Europe, go left!
Overcoming capitalism to build a Europe of peoples, save the planet
and guarantee peace
1. We are facing urgent new challenges
Upheavals across the globe
We are experiencing a period of profound social and political upheavals that are all interconnected.
– Economic and financial crises that cause unemployment and poverty everywhere, capitalist competition and exacerbated economic wars, galloping inequalities and social models under attack by the austerity policies implemented by the bourgeoisies, changes in work, production and lifestyle patterns, caused by digital revolution, platform economy and precarious work.
– Immense ecological challenges in the face of the climate crisis as well as threats to biodiversity and all life forms caused by the capitalist mode of production on a global scale.
– New threats to peace and security with the multiplication of wars, the redoubled aggressiveness of Trump’s United States, the re-launch of the arms race, the rise of racism and xenophobia, the regression of human rights which shows the undignified living conditions of migrants stranded in Europe…
Confronted with these colossal challenges, the global capitalist system has run into a historical deadlock. A new kind of
humanism is needed for the future of humankind and our planet.
The GDP of the countries of the European Union has increased from 15 000 billion to 17 000 billion euros in ten years. The lack of control over off-shore companies and the secondary market subtracts 40% of multinational profits from the community. At the same time, the working poor are growing in number and the money not redistributed from financial markets is ever more. Money, in fact, is not lacking. The central question is that of its use for social progress, for the ecological reconversion of the development model. Neoliberal policies, like xenophobic policies, seek to justify themselves by invoking the myth of financial scarcity. In fact, today we are in a crisis of over-accumulation with an enormous wealth that is not redistributed. Europe is a rich continent. This is the material basis of our fight.
The European Union and Europe at the hub of the crisis
Until now the European Union has put its power at the service of neo-liberal competition and of austerity and has pushed this logic to its limits. Today, it finds itself at the hub of a profound economic, social and institutional crisis of this system. Ever since the 2008 crisis, it has made people and the public sector pay the price of saving banks and financial capitalism, through austerity policies that continue to aggravate the situation and prevent paving the way for sustainable economic development in the interest of the common good, the human race and the planet. The huge concentration of capital – ownership of the production forces in the hands of the few are the greatest single obstacle to creating a better world for the many on a green planet. Inequalities are getting considerably worse. More and more people are being excluded and cut off from social development. Public investments and services, which are a prerequisite for human progress and an ecologically sound future, are being sacrificed. Young people see their future betrayed by this European Union. The health of everyone, and first and foremost of the elderly, is threatened by the dismantling of social protection, the risk of its privatization and the questioning of the public health service. Energy poverty increases even more the inequalities with negative results to the social cohesion.
Political choices in Europe are dominated by major financial interests, by transnational corporations, by EU institutions that lack democratic legitimacy, such as the European Commission and the European Central Bank (ECB). The election of the President of the European Commission and the distribution of posts were, once again, the result of political horsetrading.
Europe is not just the EU, but EU policy has an important impact on the development of the whole of Europe, including relations with Russia. The Party of the European Left (EL) is engaged in discussions on the possibility of and the way for transforming the situation as well as the EU. But it is clear to all of us that the Maastricht, Amsterdam and Lisbon Treaties do not provide a basis for a social, democratic, ecological and peaceful Europe. This is why we want to change and challenge these treaties, which the European Left has always considered harmful. We want without waiting to move towards another Europe. What is decisive for us are the political processes that must be launched right now to open whenever possible concrete paths towards the necessary changes of the EU and therefore also of Europe. The left must take up this challenge without postponing its struggles. It is essential that Europe becomes the protagonist of a big transformation, at the service of a new project of solidarity and humanist cooperation between peoples.
A crisis of democracy
The growing rejection of the system and the protest are not enough to pave the way for a new Europe characterised by justice and peace. For lack of hope, the crisis has turned into a political crisis, a crisis of confidence in democracy, a crisis of project and perspective.
In order to preserve the system, capitalist forces everywhere are attacking democracy, concentrating and confiscating political decisions. We are witnessing a decline in democracy everywhere. Authoritarian regimes and practices are on the rise. The traditional parties, the big coalitions and the neoliberal alliances often lose in favour of radicalised forces of the right and the extreme right.
The extreme right is double-faced and ultra-demagogic, does not reject the logic of economic warfare and does not oppose austerity policies. They even fanning tensions by promoting racism. And they make people believe that they will give them better protection, by putting them first, against all others. But in practice they undermine the interests of workers and peoples. The threat is real. Never since the Second World War has the extreme right been this powerful in Europe. Despite apparencies of “normalisation” some of them are trying to bear, their project remains the same: wanting to rebuild European societies on so-called “ethnic” bases. They often sink roots in the history of European fascisms. They are in many countries at the heart of the political landscape and have the capacity to impose their political stances in the public debate.
Social democracy has fallen into a deep crisis due to the general acceptance of the neoliberal framework that led to a political deadlock. And in the context of this political upheaval, the rejection of the dominant political systems and the European Union tends to express itself in a political environment dominated by a lot of confusion, as seen with Brexit or the alliance between Salvini and the Five Star Movement in Italy.
The green parties have increased their electoral scores in Europe. But these parties are diverse in nature, without being anticapitalistic. They are sometime close to the social and ecological aspirations of the European Left, and sometime they are ready to form different alliances with conservatives or social democrats in the name of so-called green capitalism for others. This situation compels the Left to develop a project that is inextricably social and ecological in nature which overcomes the logic of profit.
Popular movements give hope
The last years have seen a rise in popular movements that give hope for the future:
– A wave of feminist movements for real equality, against all violence towards women, for the right to abortion, at a time when retrograde attacks against women’s rights are resurging in Europe.
– The growing awareness about climate crisis in populations all over the globe and the birth of an international climate movement with big demonstrations, actions of civil disobedience and strikes of schoolchildren, inspired by Greta Thunberg. Facing the inaction of States and Europe, the peoples and especially young people are mobilizing by embracing moto “to change the system, not the climate”, for another organization of the society.
– Trade unions continue the fight against austerity and for workers’ rights, decent wages, for pensions and working conditions.
– Local actions against rising rent prices and the gentrification of major cities in defence of low-cost and quality housing for all. The right to healthy and energy-efficient housing for all is a priority in Europe.
These and other movements are the basic force for a progressive change. The European Left (EL) supports their development and cooperates with them. The EL is supporting all those who are looking for alternatives to this system that exploits human beings and nature with the same violence and is committed to strengthening initiatives in that way.
A necessary relaunching for the European Left
The European Left was quick to realise the harmfulness of the European treaties. But in the current context of social and political upheavals, it has so far failed to transform the growing criticism of neo-liberal policies in Europe into a successful alternative political project that is credible in the eyes of the peoples.
In the 2019 European Parliament elections, despite a number of successes, it lost out. Without wishing to embellish or justify these results, it should be noted that the social and political situation was different at the time. During the 2014 European elections, European left-wing forces were carried by and have become stronger with the opposition to neoliberal austerity policies and by rising hopes, particularly in the Southern countries that were the guinea pigs of austerity politics. In 2019, in many European countries, the European Left failed to make its mark on the European election campaign with a credible alternative to neo-liberal politics and to oppose the extreme right with its nationalism and racism. The Left did not speak out loud with one voice. We failed to address jointly the diktat imposed on Greece from 2015 on, when the European Left has not been able to create a balance of power that could oppose neoliberal policies, and this has left an imprint. Nor have we managed to keep up with and go on the offensive/counterattack on the major issues such as migrations, refugees and climate crisis.
The European Left is now facing a new turning point, the necessity for a political re-launch. Although it represents an important part of the left-wing forces in Europe, its share is not big enough. This is the challenge we must now overcome, by working actively and purposefully towards the cooperation of all left-wing and greens forces in Europe, through struggles and common goals.
This requires the affirmation of our alternative proposals, a clearer definition of the struggle that will make it possible to move them forward, and a bolder effort to merge our national battles and our common fight to build a different future in Europe.
It is essential for us now to define the political processes for proposals, actions and cooperation that will make it possible to gather broader forces, change the balance of power and initiate the necessary transformations for the interests of the peoples.
The European Left has made public concrete commitments, above all in the Manifesto published for the 2019 European elections. These provide guidance and proposals for moving forward in this direction. Four main themes run through these proposals: a necessary and pressing social-ecological transition; the aim to achieve equality for all in Europe; the democratisation of Europe by protecting peoples and nations against all authoritarianisms, the fight for peace and internationalist solidarity.
2. The alternative of the European Left
Social-ecological transformation at the heart of our project
Policies of capitalist competition and austerity advance the race for profit by turning off the tap on spending on human development and by damaging the planet. We want to replace these with policies that are economically, ecologically and socially sustainable, and mobilise investments that are good for society. The European Left works for common ownership in many forms. Public authorities, employees, communities, and other associations of people must have direct control over production. This means that the people and their elected representatives at local, regional, national and international levels manage economic power. That will entail a radical expansion of democracy.
The future belongs to a fundamentally new development model with the aim of totally transforming capitalist economic structures. The European Left defends the aim of social and democratic appropriation. Public authorities, employees, workers and citizens associations must be able to control economic orientations and companies. Our longer-term goal is that key sectors of the economy, such as energy, become socially-owned. This implies that the people and their elected representatives lead the economy. For us, social and ecological transformation is a class struggle, at the heart of the Left’s thinking. We want to open the perspective of a society free from the demands for profit on capital, a socialist and democratic society for humanity and for the planet. This means putting financial flows under democratic control, strengthening the public sector, and introducing social and democratic regulation of the economy at all levels, from the local to the regional, from the national to the European.
To this end, we want public services and investment for the common good such as energy supply and new energies, water supply, new forms of mobility and communication, work, housing, health and care. Education and culture must be autonomous and not subject to market dictates. In particular, we want a free education, an education which is secular, inclusive, equally approaching both girls and boys and respecting various social roles and personal identities, and which allows the development of an autonomous and solidary personality of young people and their responsible approach to citizenship. Privatization of public services is devastating for peoples and nations; furthermore, nothing justifies it financially. In this respect, the EL calls for the creation of a European Observatory of Public Services. The EL calls for an free access for all to medicines against global companies of pharmaceutical industry and for the creation of an European public pole for medicines in cooperation with national public poles and World Health Organization.
The objectives of a left-wing industrial policy must be redefined. It is essential to clarify what this implies at a time when the production process within societies is undergoing profound upheaval. We want to rethink industrial production and its ownership, so that it can satisfy human needs, but is resource-efficient and free of fossil fuels. We want a new model for agriculture and food production, through a total reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), to ensure a decent income for farmers as well as a healthy and inexpensive food, relocate production and harmonise environmental standards upwards. Greenhouse gas emissions must be drastically reduced by 70% by 2030 to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, as established by the Paris Climate Agreement at COP21. To fight the climate crisis, the depletion of natural resources and ecological disasters, a fundamental social change and a redesign of the organization of production are needed. The energy model must be rethought in its entirety.
Large public investment programmes should be implemented under democratic public control in order to avoid a simple, unequal and hardly green capitalist modernization. The EL calls for redirecting investment and research and development policies in favour of job creation and ecology. Speculation and investments destroying jobs, encouraging company relocations and pollution must be deterred and penalized. Faced with new tasks and new socio-ecological criteria that are creating quality jobs, the European Central Bank (ECB) must be put under democratic control and play another role with new missions by taking on the financing of this new type of economic development. The Eurogroup, an undemocratic body, must be abolished. At an immediate level, ECB must select banks’ refinancing on other criteria so as to banks stop to finance speculation, compagnies delocalisation, jobs suppression and pollution and condition
refinancing with zero interest to jobs development, real wealth creation and decrease of pollution. The EL wants to open a broad debate about creation of an European fund under democratic control (European Parliament, national Parliaments and trade unions) supplied with monetary creation made by ECB which could finance public services in Europe and make loan to states for developing public services.
The explosion of wealth and profits, at the expense of wages, must be stopped. Tax policies must become more equitable by imposing higher taxes on the incomes of the richest and on wealth, on the profits of large companies and banks, whilst reducing the tax burden on low and medium-range incomes. Tax havens must be closed. Financial speculation on energy, water, housing, health, education and land must be prohibited, and financial markets must be placed under democratic control to fight against the financialization of the economy. To combat the precariousness of working conditions, we support social struggles for the creation and increase of a minimum wage, in those countries where the workers’ movement fights for this. More broadly, we support the struggles for wages, collective agreements, the reduction of hours of work without reduction of wages and the improvement of working conditions in all countries.
Trade unions and their power over collective agreements should also be strengthened in the interest of increasing employees’ incomes and improving social protection. The right to work, a decent and justly paid work, for all is part of the imprescriptible human rights. The “social rights pillar” – always promised, never achieved – must become a priority and be translated into binding and enforceable social rights which are effectively tools to fight against poverty and social exclusion. It cannot be subordinated to austerity policies and the laws of the market and competition as during the European Semester. We therefore support ETUC’s (European Trade Union Confederation) call for a social protocol that prioritises trade unions and social rights over the law of the market and the “fundamental freedoms of the EU”. New rights of intervention for employees in the companies must enable the invention of a new economic democracy.
Housing is a right. The increase of prices and rents, the real estate speculation, the eviction of the popular and average strata, the risk of museification of certain districts is a widespread phenomenon. The phenomenon of over-tourism plays an aggravating role in these logics. The right to housing and the protection of tenants, especially through social housing, must be defended, to fight against poverty, exclusion and homelessness, and to attack platforms like Airbnb that uberise our neighbourhoods.
Equal rights for all in Europe
For the European Left, equality of rights for all in Europe is a central objective. Any kind of discrimination, whether based on gender, ethnicity, nationality, religion, sexual orientation or disability, must be eliminated.
The European Left supports the feminist movement in its fight against patriarchy and for equal rights for women in terms of pay, working conditions, professional progression and social participation at all levels. Fighting all violence against women must be a priority in all European countries, utilising the necessary means.
The European Left supports the cause of LGBTIQ sexual minorities against any discrimination directed against them, and for the full recognition of their rights in terms of equality.
The European Left is strongly committed to the fight against all forms of racism, at a time when blatantly racist and xenophobic forces are resurfacing throughout Europe, including in European governments.
The European Left condemns the inhuman policies in relation to migrants, starting with those that in recent years have condemned thousands of refugees to death in the Mediterranean. Instead of closing borders by spending more and more on Frontex and of building walls at the borders, the European Left proposes an active European policy based on the principle of solidarity between the Member States and that is directed at the same time towards cooperation and peace policies addressing the causes of forced migration linked to poverty, wars and climate crisis. The EL proposes as well reception policies for asylum seekers and refugees that are respectful of human rights and take into account the right to mobility and freedom of movement of all human beings on Earth. The EL supports the system of international conventions protecting human rights from attacks by governments such as the UN Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the European Convention on Human Rights. The EL calls for the removal of the Dublin Regulations and the establishment of legal and safe humanitarian corridors.
While the laws of the market dominate everything and far-right ideas spread, the question of cultural hegemony must again become a driving force for the action of the left. Political, social, economic, ecological and democratic struggles carry major cultural stakes.
A democratic Europe of sovereign peoples
The fight for democracy and respect for popular sovereignty is one of the foundations of the Party of the European Left.
We fight against the rise of authoritarianism and ethnicist hysteria, as well as the questioning of the principles of equality, the rule of law, fundamental public freedoms and, more broadly, the principles of emancipation, secularism, freedom of thought and expression independent of any economic or clerical oppression, which are phenomena that are gaining ground in Europe. The adoption of extreme-right ideas by liberal or right-wing governments, far from pushing them back, on the contrary legitimises this debate.
In many countries this results in repression, even bans on political and trade union organisations as well as on left-wing and opposition newspapers as well as NGOs fighting for rights and freedoms.
The EL reaffirms its solidarity with these. The EL strongly condemns any historical revisionism equating communism with Nazism as the European Parliament has shamefully declared.
We are also fighting the authoritarian vision around which the neo-liberal EU is forming. The fiscal pact, the single currency based on the concept of austerity, the mechanisms for controlling national budgets by the European Commission, the independence of the ECB, the weight of the lobbies, Business Europe and the European Round Table are anti-democratic.
The European Left defends a European space in which peoples and countries, equal among themselves, have control over political choices and decide in sovereignty how to cooperate and share responsibility among themselves. For us, the principle of popular sovereignty and respect of countries is fundamental. We also know that the major challenges of the 21st century are global in scope: the fight against social dumping, the fight against tax fraud and evasion, the fight against climate crisis and the question of debt require common struggles and political responses at European and international level.
Democracy in Europe also means a stronger involvement of citizens, populations, national parliaments and the European Parliament which should be reinforced in European decisions, the fight against corruption and “pantouflage” (“revolving doors”), the defence of workers’ and trade unionists’ rights, the fight against social and fiscal dumping, the defence of social protection systems for all, the defence of Internet neutrality, digital democracy, and protection for whistle-blowers and journalists who report financial crimes or state surveillance systems. We promote the principle of alignment on the best offer in terms of social, fiscal, and ecological rights.
A Europe of peace and international solidarity
War is now on Europe’s borders, and in Europe itself. The unconditional commitment to peace and disarmament is one of the inseparable elements of the politics of the Left. The European Left reaffirms its opposition to permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) and the endeavours to create a European force associated with it as giving the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX more and more powers. On the contrary, we want the dissolution of this agency which is maintaining Fortress Europe. The aggressive presence of NATO in Europe must be opposed and the fight must lead to the dissolution of NATO. The NATO missile shield needs to be dismantled. The EL calls on countries in possession of nuclear weapons to negotiate treaties limiting their production and deployment. Our goal is a global nuclear disarmament. The EU must ratify the UN TPNW (Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons). Opposing the logic of blocs, in which European defence projects are entrenched, we defend the logic of collective security on the basis of a development of the role of the OSCE and Council of Europe and the prospect of a pan-European conference and treaty on collective security with Russia.
In order to secure peace in Europe it is paramount to establish and reinstate both cultural and economic co-operation between European nations. Russia is Europe’s largest country, and the deterioration of relations between Russia and the EU is harmful to people throughout the continent. Moreover, the rift between the EU and Russia is used as a pretext for armament, by the EU and NATO, as well as Russia. The European Left strongly supports the lifting of the sanctions against Russia by way of a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Eastern Ukraine, mainly through the implementation of the Minsk Protocol. In the same process, a normalisation of diplomatic relations between the EU and Russia should take place. The European Left demands a stop to the arms race immediately, opposes the increase in military spending and supports all cultural and civic cooperation leading to peace between the EU, Ukrainian, and Russian people.
In Europe, the EL calls for the urgent resumption of negotiations regarding Cyprus for a comprehensive peaceful solution that respects the agreed framework for a federal, bizonal and bicommunal state with a single sovereignty and political equality, and with the withdrawal of Turkish occupying troops and ultimately foreign military bases.
We see tragically thousands of people dying in the Mediterranean Sea. It is an unbearable situation and we commit ourselves to fight to stop this terrible situation of people who only wants a better life. We commit ourselves to fight for a peaceful solution and combat the causes of those people to flee their homes. The conflicts that arise from migration are mostly economic ones, so we commit ourselves to the fight to redistribute the wealth from the rich to the poor on this matter as well.
The situation is even worse in Eastern Europe and Central Europe. In countries stricken by the disastrous effects of applying the Washington Consensus, and that remain in the periphery of the EU with little chance of reaching the EU’s economic and social averages, the Left has often disappeared. The definition of a regional strategy for the Left means the need of the definition of common interests in favor of public investments for the creation of jobs, the introduction of progressive taxes, for decent wages and pensions, against all the forms of nationalism, discrimination and repression, including against minorities and refugees, against all forms of patriarchy, to guarantee civil, political, cultural and religious freedoms. In the Balkans, the establishment of a lasting peace and social security constitutes a priority, in order to overcome the “divide and rule” logic, nationalist hatreds and tensions between countries. Moreover, regional cooperation must contribute to create the necessary conditions for the protection of social rights, the equality of all people living in the countries including migrants, combat organized crime and trafficking. Together with the forces of the left, ecologist, peace, social and feminist movements in the Balkans, we should work towards a comprehensive multifaceted concept of security (political, economic, social, ecological, human), rejecting options which lead to war and to violence, to the undermining of international law and to violations of human and minority rights. All this aims to prepare the left of the countries of Central, Balkan and Eastern Europe to occupy a stronger place in the European structures.
The EL also expresses its deep concern about the failure of the British Tories to comply with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. The national laws of the Irish people as laid down in these agreements must be fully respected. We also reaffirm our support for the recognition of the rights of the Sahrawi people through the holding of the referendum on self-determination. We also support the fight for democracy of the peoples of Turkey including the Kurdish people in the face of the Erdogan regime. At the same time, we time we condemn Erdogan’s invasion of Northern Syria.
Democratic elections of the Syrian government are an irretrievable condition in order to bring peace to the region. We are in favour of the full right to self-determination and respect of human, cultural and political rights of all parts of Syrian people. In order to make peace Syria we don’t see any other option than peace negotiations lead by the UN. We call the UN to include unarmed groups as well as representatives from the Kurdish self-government in the negotiations. We are against interventions of foreign forces in Syria.
The European Left reaffirms its overall solidarity with the peoples fighting for their rights: the Palestinian people for a peace process recognizing two states, Palestine and Israel, living in equal security, with a viable Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital; the people of Cuba for the lifting of the blockade, and all Latin American, African, Mediterranean and Asian peoples fighting for their rights and liberties. The Chilean, Bolivian, Colombian and Argentinean peoples are fighting for their dignity; the Venezuelan people against American and European sanctions and interference.
Fighting and bombing in Yemen must stop as well as the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for which the European arms industries play a primary role.
3. New tasks for the EL
The EL has successively gone through a founding and setup period, then one of development and strengthening, and, in recent years, has been confronted with a period of difficulties for the European Left. The challenges and demands of the situation of class struggle in Europe require the EL to take new initiatives and present a political offering to all leftwing forces in Europe with the concern to bring politics where the citizens are. The Left in every form is called upon to lead the resistance against the consequences of the crises by building progressive alternatives in Europe and throughout the world. What is required most urgently is a new balance of social and political forces. The Congress of the EL has therefore decided to:<.p>
– Strengthen the annual European Forum of Left, Green and progressive forces. At its 5th Congress, the EL had decided to propose that progressive political, social, civic and ecological forces should come together in an open framework of exchange in order to develop joint initiatives. Since then, three sessions of the Forum have been held: in Marseille (2017), Bilbao (2018) and Brussels (2019).
They show that in Europe there is a wide range of forces available in Europe to work on an alternative project for the peoples of Europe. The associated discussion on the direction and content of common policy axes benefits the strengthening of the forces of the Left in Europe.
The EL makes the following proposals to the forces involved in the forum:
o Consolidating the forum by developing proposals and concrete lines of action taken, among others, by the assemblies of trade unionists, women and young people as been presented in the declaration of the Brussels Forum. Strengthening the work with social, greens and feminist forces and movements is an important issue for the future of the forum.
o Making an offer of a co-construction of the forum towards the forces of the Left, communists, ecologists, social democrats, progressives, socialists, trade unions, citizens and pacifists on the basis of questioning the existing liberal, productivist and militarist order, with the goal of its expansion. This call is primarily addressed to the member forces of the GUE-NGL (European United Left-Nordic Green Left), the Green Group and the Progressive Caucus.
– Shape and run campaigns for concrete ruptures with the capitalist and productivist logic that presides over the European construction, to bring about new convergences and cooperation between the peoples and nations of Europe on the basis of respect for people’s sovereignty, social progress, ecological and energy transition, respect for the rights of all and peace.
o For the respect of popular sovereignty and democracy: for challenging the budget pact and the European Commission’s control mechanisms over national budgets (European semester, two-pack, sixpack) and the abolition of the budgetary golden rule;
o For fiscal justice: for a global fiscal COP, under the aegis of the UN; for a global tax on financial transactions under the aegis of the UN. The EL supports all States and EU measures in this direction.
o For gender equality: for the immediate and binding implementation of real gender pay equality; the EL calls for the widest mobilisation on March 8th.
o Against free trade agreements, first and foremost against CETA (“Canada-Europe Trade Agreement”), TTIP and the Mercosur Agreement;
o For the maintenance and extension of pay-as-you-go pension schemes and social protection systems; for upward alignment of wages, pensions and social protection.
o Struggle for a new industrial model to reduce unemployment and answer to the ecological and climate challenge, through cooperation, development of human capacities and new types of investment instead of competition, financial predation and the decrease of ” labor cost “. EL calls for shortening working time. For a network of vigilance, cooperation, information and struggle supporting mobilizations for employment, wages, climate and ecological transition against multinationals, against the economic war led by the United States. Particular vigilance is to be given to the energy sector, which is decisive for controlling and achieving the energy transition.
o For the dissolution of NATO and for a new pan-European collective security system, based on the OSCE and the European Council; Rejecting the militaristic policy.
o For a development model including the COP 21 decisions on carbon neutrality by 2050. The EL proposes to engage in a great ecological battle for the creation of environmental public services, public water management, development of free public transports, and also on the thermal renovation of housing, the defence of biodiversity and the end of pesticides. Our aim is to reduce use of energy, while developing an equal and good living for all. We support and work for renewable energy such as Solar
power, windmills, and ecologically balanced use of hydropower.
– Continue to expand the EL, particularly into countries and regions of Europe where it is not represented. This applies in particular to Eastern and South-Eastern Europe.
– Broadening coordination and cooperation of social, political spaces and trade union. Understanding that building of a left alternative in Europe needs more cooperation and coordination, EL parting from the maximum respect to each institution independency, considers necessary to keep and strengthen cooperation with GUE/NGL, in order to help to its institutional work being as effective as possible and with the maximum social impact. With transform! Europe, collaborating to deep its role as centre of studies and referential thinking to the daily work of EL and also of all parties integrated in our network.
– Continue and consolidate international cooperation relationships. The EL is deeply committed to the development of work cooperation, trust and initiatives with progressive international forces: the Sao Paulo Forum, through the EL-Sao Paulo Forum seminar, the Mediterranean left-wing forces through the Mediterranean Forum, as well as the forces of the Left in North America, Asia and Africa.
The Party of the European Left sees itself as a framework for exchanges between the parties that are members, observers and partners, respecting their sovereignty, and as a place for developing common demands and battles against the neo-liberal construction of the European Union, for a Europe of cooperation between sovereign and equal peoples. The differences between the member parties, which we recognize, should not hinder our joint work to make the Party of the European Left a stronger, more influential, more effective European party, able to build the sustainable European space that left forces need.
The Party of the European Left sees itself as an instrument for the unity of the left-wing forces for a democratic, antiimperialist, feminist and ecological socialism. Our social camp is that of peoples, workers, young people, retired workers, those who fight against any type of oppression and all discriminations and for emancipation, of women fighting patriarchy and gender violence, of those who want to live on an inhabitable planet tomorrow, of those who fight for peace and collective security, of all those who have an interest in overcoming capitalism, and are intent on acting together in pursuit of these goals.