EU Elections: a Joint Declaration of the Left

DIE LINKE and the French Communist Party are appealing to progressive forces, unionists and social movements to vote for the Left in the upcoming EP elections.

published at Neues Deutschland

On April 8, right-wing forces from all across Europe gathered in Milan in order to prepare for the elections to the European Parliament starting on 28th May. It was a coincidence, that on the same day, a group of opponents of this ‘right-wing International’ met in Paris. Bernd Riexinger, chairman of DIE LINKE, had travelled to Paris to meet Fabien Roussel, the national secretary of the French Communist Party, who was elected to this office in November of last year.

In a joint declaration they are stating that it is “high time” for a Europe of people, “which puts the needs of the great majority first”. In France, Germany and “in the whole of Europe, right-wing extremist forces are expanding their influence”. France and Germany have lived through “the bitter experience of the political consequences of the crisis of the 1930s”. Amongst the reasons behind the growing influence of the Right, the policies of the French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor Angela Merkel are mentioned. Macron is critisised to “subdue himself to an increasing extent to the world of finance and the NATO”, whereas Merkel is described as someone who maintains “her country’s dominant position as a trading power on the expense of the European member states”. Together, they are part of a European model which enforces neoliberal integration and pushes for austerity.

This is opposed by the vision of a social and peaceful Europe which must be at the service of people who “take their fate in their own hands and call for a change of direction”. Amongst them, the “yellow vests” in France, the school strikes for climate and the tenant movement in Germany are mentioned. It is up to “progressive forces, trade unions and people who are part of social movements” to achieve a shift of power. In order to obtain this, amongst other things, an immediate action programme for poverty-proof pensions and against youth unemployment is needed, as well as the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the effective taxation of multinational companies.

DIE LINKE and the French Communist Party are part of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left EP group, as well as of the Party of the European Left (EL). In their declaration, the parties endorse the other member parties of the GUE/NGL group and the EL. Luc Mélenchon’s La France Insoumise left-wing movement is also part of the GUE/NGL group, but has withdrawn itself from the EL in 2019.

Cover photo: National Secretary of the French Communist Party, Fabien Roussel, and the chairman of DIE LINKE, Bernd Riexinger. Source: DIE LiNKE International.