Statement PCP Central Committee

Communiqué of the Central Committee - 10 October 2003

(extracts)

“(…) The PCP’s Central Committee reaffirms its strong opposition to the draft of the new Treaty for the European Union drawn up by the “Convention”, a text that will serve as the point of departure for the proceedings of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) that started on October 4th.

The PCP’s Central Committee exposes once again the mystifying utilisation of concepts like “Constitution” and “Constitutional Treaty” for what can never be more than a (bad) Treaty that re-formulates and replaces the previous treaties that have been the legal backbone of the European Union. The Central Committee reaffirms its opposition to the aforementioned draft treaty for the way in which it was drawn up and for its contents that are incompatible with the Portuguese Constitution. Some of its aspects are clearly unacceptable:

- The new leap forward in the strengthening of the European Union’s federalist nature with the simultaneous institutionalisation of the directorate of big powers commanding the European Union’s policies and future and the primacy of the European “Constitution” over the National Constitutions;

- The attempt to “constitutionalise” a model of a neo-liberal Europe, contained in articles forming ¾ of the draft treaty, accommodating the structures, the policies and the economic and social guidelines of neo-liberal capitalism that are predominant in today’s European Union;

- The launching of the institutional basis for the militarization of the European Union and of its transformation into a political and military bloc, with a common defence policy articulated with NATO and the creation of a European Agency for Armament, Research and Military Capability.

The PCP’s Central Committee repudiates the unacceptable blackmail and humiliating pressure applied by some of the major powers (France and Germany) on independent and sovereign states, on the eve of the IGC, trying to condition their legitimate and sovereign intervention in the IGC, by threatening that the continuity of structural funds will be conditioned to them not disturbing the balance and consensus attained in the draft treaty that was drawn up by the Convention and adopted at the Thessalonica Summit. The absence of any kind of public protest, against those statements, on the part of the Portuguese government, is totally unacceptable.

While reiterating the views expressed by its Political Commission, the PCP’s Central Committee stresses that, in relation to the important question of the new European integration treaty, what is more urgent is to develop a vast public opinion, awareness raising and struggle movement with the aim of conditioning and preventing the government from binding itself, during the Intergovernmental Conference, to the already announced orientations, and at the same time not allow that this movement may be drowned in a debate exclusively centred around the issue of a referendum.

Meanwhile, the PCP’s Central Committee reaffirms that if the main orientations laid down in the draft of the new treaty are not dropped, and it looks like they won’t be, it then becomes indispensable to hold in Portugal a referendum on this subject, in a date and with (a) question(s) that allow(s) the Portuguese to speak out, in an informed manner, on what is essentially at stake, obviously with the obligation of always holding it before the Treaty is ratified by the Portuguese Parliament, and before the emergence of any deplorable attempt to “adapt” the Portuguese Constitution to the new treaty.

The PCP’s Central Committee reiterates its total and strongest opposition to the confusion-raising and fraudulent holding of the referendum on the same date of the European parliament election. Having assessed all circumstances, arguments and conditioning factors, the CC does not share the view of those who speak out in favour of a referendum until April 2004, justifying it with the fact that the referendum results could influence the government’s attitude in the IGC.

The Central Committee also underlines that, contrary to what others are declaring, the crucial moment or period to bind Portugal to the new treaty is not that of its (undesirable) signing by the government at the end of the IGC, but rather during the period previous to its ratification by the Portuguese Parliament. It is over this process that the referendum results will bear more influence, as happened already in several referenda in other European countries (…)”.

“(…) The Central Committee assessed the most recent developments in the situation on a European and world level, and issues regarding the cooperation between Communist and other left-wing and progressive forces.

The Central Committee stressed the dangers inherent to imperialism’s aggressive escalation in the Middle East and Central Asia. Faced with the Iraqi people’s resistance and the growing difficulties for the Anglo-American occupation forces in Iraq, the USA have just pushed through the adoption of a new Security Council Resolution which, instead of restoring the UN’s role in respecting its own Charter, “legitimises” the occupation and represents a new and harsh blow against the authority of that organization. At the same time, the fascist brutality of the Israeli government against the Palestinian people’s liberation struggle is intensified, and there are growing threats against other countries in the region, such as Iran. The entry of Turkey’s armed forces in Iraq and, above all, Israel’s aggression against Syria, represent new and dangerous steps in a strategy of domination and war that must continue to be opposed with persistence.

The PCP’s Central Committee once again denounces the PSD/CDS-PP Government’s shameful policy of subordination to US imperialism, and firmly opposes the sending of a National Republican Guard [Portuguese paramilitary forces] contingent to Iraq where it will, inevitably, be seen as an occupation force. The options to re-equip the Armed Forces must be seen within this context of submission and abandonment of national interests.

The PCP supports the Peace actions which have been convened for October 25, namely in Lisbon and Oporto. The struggle against the right-wing Government’s anti-democratic and anti-people offensive and the struggle against war and for a policy of peace, friendship and cooperation among peoples, are inseparable.

The Central Committee considers that the international context makes it particularly necessary to ensure that, together with the development of the struggle in each country, there may be stronger cooperation and internationalist solidarity between the Communists, progressive forces, the workers and peoples of the whole world.

Today, as always, and in accordance with its nature as a patriotic and internationalist Party, the PCP is profoundly committed to contributing towards stronger bonds of friendship, cooperation and solidarity between Communists and other left-wing forces, respecting the principles of equality and non-interference in internal affairs, and in a context where – recognizing natural differences of ideological stances and past histories, but also stressing the many aspects that unite us – it is necessary to pursue the path of common or convergent action. Differences on the level of ideology or political programs must not be an obstacle to the broadest possible cooperation among Communists and other left-wing forces that fight against capitalism, neo-liberalism and war.

In what concerns its relations within Europe, the PCP thinks that it is of fundamental importance to unite efforts in order to confront big capital’s violent offensive that seeks to destroy achievements and rights won throughout decades of hard struggles; to promote actions and campaigns on common problems; to promote and take part in people’s struggles. The forthcoming elections for the European Parliament and the creation of a Left Group in the European Parliament, tied to the workers’ interests, and clearly distanced from social-democracy, is another priority goal for cooperation, which requires work as of now. The meeting of left-wing parties of Europe held on September 5 in Almada [Portugal] was a contribution in this direction that the PCP wishes to pursue and extend.

The PCP’s Central Committee expresses serious concern regarding the course that is being followed in relation to the creation of a “European political Party”, and the harm that may result from this course to the necessary cooperation, namely of forces which, despite some important differences, have cooperated within the context of the United Left/Nordic Green Left Group in the European Parliament and in other multilateral initiatives.

The PCP views in a negative way the institutionalisation of “European Parties” in the European Union Treaties, and does not see this as a priority. Despite this, the PCP has been engaged in seeking a solution of unity for this problem, «a solution based on the Parties; which takes into account the experience of the GUE/NGL; which respects the sovereignty of each and the equality of all; with a flexible minimum structure; working collegially on the basis of consensus and of the principle of rotation of responsibilities, with a short political platform very much linked to the major issues which are at the core of the struggles».

Recent developments in this process have revealed methodological issues that are unacceptable and counter fundamental principles of relationship, involve discriminations and undermine the indispensable trust. These developments may hasten an artificial creation that ignores differences that have to be accepted, opting for criteria of close political-ideological proximity that the PCP cannot follow.

Whatever the difficulties, the PCP will continue to work towards a stronger cooperation among Communists and other left-wing forces and for broad solutions of unity, convinced as it is that this is the best way to serve the workers’ interests and to fight against neo-liberalism and war (…).”

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