The Left after the EU Elections: New Challenges

International Workshop of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

Contact and further information:
Cornelia Hildebrandt

Rosa Luxemburg Foundation
Franz-Mehring-Platz 1
10243 Berlin

The goal of the workshop is to analyze the new relationship of political forces in Europe within the EU and its member countries, and to draw conclusions for the European Left Party in particular countries and regions, and also for the strengthening of the Europeanization of struggles.


The aim is to “tell it like it is” – to present the strengths and weaknesses of European left parties, and discuss their strategic options for future struggles. This includes the deepening of the knowledge around concrete challenges faced by the Left in particular countries of Europe.

Key questions

· How have the political relations of forces in Europe, and especially within the European Union, changed since 2009? How should the results for the left parties be considered in the context of the entire spectrum? Which possibilities for the organization and implementation of leftist political approaches will become apparent at the European level in light of the results of the EU elections?

· Where have the left parties been successful, and which concrete conditions have been the foundations for their success? Which new forms of struggle, electoral alliances and socio-political alliances have proven themselves, or have emerged anew? What role has the attempt at personalization played with regard to the new possibility of electing the Commission President, and could it be useful for the left parties?

· Can tentative statements regarding the effects of left electoral offers, and regarding the nature of the electorate which supports the left parties, be formulated? How can a stronger Europeanization of struggles be achieved by using and expanding national struggles?

· How have the left parties’ possibilities for developing an alternative political agenda developed?

These and other questions are to be discussed at the workshop.

In the first block, the new conditions/new contexts of the European elections, and the capabilities of the left parties to respond adequately to these conditions, are to be discussed.

In a second part, the concrete conditions and challenges facing the left and its results in the EU election are to be presented and discussed, using the examples of selected country studies.

A third step will address possible paths for strengthening the Europeanization of the struggles, in the course of an evaluation of the electoral campaigns and the results of the EU elections.

· What answers does the Left have for all these developments? How are they being perceived, and which alternative strategies are being developed? Which strategies has the Left Party pursued nationally and at the European level, and on which alliances can it depend in that regard?

· What are the strengths of radical left parties in comparison with the social democrats, the greens, the conservatives and the right wing? What are the key elements of their strengths and of their weaknesses; what are the conditions for success of left parties today, and who are their allies, both at the societal and at the political levels?

· Which conclusions must left parties draw from the elections for the European Parliament? What are their strengths? How can the weaknesses of left parties be realistically addressed, both at the national and at the European levels?

The following three thematic blocks are proposed:

1. Current challenges to Europe
Discussion of current challenges regarding European developments before and during the EU electoral campaign.

2. How should the results of the left parties be assessed?
Assessments from the particular countries of the EU, and based on that, a comprehensive overview; development of tendencies and possible scenarios.

3. Conclusions for the formulation of strategic goals and the formation of new national and European alliances
The results will in conclusion be presented and discussed at the Summer University of the European Left Party.

The WS starts on Monday, 21 July, 19:00

Accomodation: InterCityHotel am Ostbahnhof, Am Ostbahnhof 5, 10243 Berlin



21 July 2014

Welcoming conversation in the salon of RLS, with representatives of the Left Party

5.00 PM – 7.00 PM: Arrival/ Welcome
Opening: Wilfried Telkämper, director of the Center for international dialogue, Cornelia Hildebrandt, Walter Baier

7.00 PM – 9.00 PM
Strategic options of the European Social Democracy: Gerassimos Moschonas, Associate Professor in Comparative Politics at the Department of Political Science and History of Panteion University, Athens (Greece).


22 July 2014

9.15 AM – 11.00 AM
Assessment of the overall results of the elections to the European Parliament – shift political power

  • What shows the European Election about the political power relations in Europe? Input: Walter Baier, coordinator of transform!europe
  • Renationalization or Europeanization – a new cleavage? Input: Cornelia Hildebrandt, deputy secretary of the Institute for Social Analysis, Rosa Luxemburg Foundation

11.00 AM – 11.15 AM: Break

AM – 12.15 AM
The new political situation in Eastern Europe – the role of the Ukraine-conflict for the European Election

  • On the situation in Ukraine: Volodymyr Ishchenko, Deputy Director of the Institute for Social Analysis in Kiev and lecturer at the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy
  • On the situation in the Baltic States: Tomas Tomilinas, Demos Institute for Critical Thought, Lithuania
  • On the situation in the Czech Republic: Jiri Malek, SPED Society for European Dialogue, Czech Republic

12.15 PM – 2.00 PM: Lunch

2.00 PM – 5.30 PM
Why are the right-wing parties successful in Europe?

  • Input on Ukip in UK: Dan Hough, University of Sussex
  • Input on left strategy vis-à-vis Front National: Elisabeth Gauthier, Espaces Marx, France
  • Input to Dansk Folkeparty: Inger V. Johansen, Transform!Danmark (tbc)
  • Coherence between the far Rights: Thilo Janssen, political scientist, Germany

5.30 PM – 6.00 PM: Break

6.00 PM – 7.30 PM
The new situation with the successful Left in Europe

  • The new situation in Greece – a challenge for the Left in Europe?: N.N.

New kind of political alliances:

  • Input on Spain: Jaime Aja Valle, director of the Europe of Citizens Foundation (FEC)
  • Input on the window of opportunity for Italian Left: Roberto Morea, transform!Italia
  • Input on Austria: Barbara Steiner, transform!Austria
  • The new leftwing-power in Slovenia: Anej Korsika, International Secretary of the Initiative for Democratic Socialism (United Left in Slovenia)

8.00 PM: Dinner at Umspannwerk


23 July 2014

9.00 AM – 12.00 AM
The new situation with the successful Left in Europe. Strategic debates and experiences of the radical Left:

  • General Input: Richard Dunphy
  • New Forms of Organisation:Inego Errejon, PODEMOS 
  • Input on Croatia: Marko Kostanic, Center for Workers Studies in Zagreb and publicist
  • Input on Cyprus: Giorgos Charalambous, University of Cyprus

12.30 AM – 1.30 PM: Lunch

1.30 PM – 2.30 PM
Challenge for the political Left – what is to be done?

  • Margarita Mileva, Board member of the European Left party

Conclusion, open questions, and next steps

  • Walter Baier/Cornelia Hildebrandt

ca. 3.00 PM: 
Departure of the delegates of the Summer University 2014 to Werbellinsee