PCP, AKEL and PCE promote Joint Appeal for the Elections to the European Parliament "Give voice in the European Parliament to the struggles, the workers and the peoples"
By initiative of the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP), the Progressive Party of the Working People of Cyprus (AKEL) and the Communist Party of Spain (PCE), communist, progressive and left-wing parties met on March 18th, in Brussels, with the objective of discussing the situation in the European Union, the elections to the European Parliament and a common appeal for those elections, based on a proposal presented by the three parties promoting this meeting and the associated process.
This initiative – to which PCP, together with AKEL and PCE, gave an important contribution – follows similar initiatives in previous elections for the European Parliament – in 1999, 2004 and 2009 – namely aimed to safeguard and reinforce the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) confederal group.
The meeting approved the joint appeal which we transcribe below and that had as its initial subscribers the German Communist Party; the Communist Party of Britain; the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia; AKEL (Cyprus); the Communist Party of Spain; the United Left (Spain); the Party of the Communists of Catalonia; the Communist Party of Finland; the French Communist Party; the Party of Italian Communist; the Communist Refoundation Party (Italy) and the Portuguese Communist Party. After its approval in the Brussels meeting, the Common Appeal for the Elections to the European Parliament was sent to a number of other communist, progressive and left-wing parties who were invited to subscribe it.
The subscription of the Appeal is still open to members and non-members of GUE/NGL. Until now, other than the original subscribers, the following organizations have associated themselves with the Appeal: the Communist Party of Austria; the Communist Party of Denmark; the Red Green Alliance (Denmark); the Left (Germany); the Socialist Party of Latvia; the Communist Party of Malta ; the Left Block (Portugal) and the French Left Party(France)
The Joint Appeal for the Elections to the European Parliament is within the framework of PCP's efforts to contribute towards the affirmation of the GUE/NGL group as a con-federal space of cooperation, independent of other spaces of cooperation, that gives voice, in the European Parliament, to the struggles of the workers and peoples, affirms an alternative to right-wing policies and social-democracy, and reinforces the struggle for another Europe, of cooperation between sovereign states with equal rights, of progress, social justice and peace.
Joint Appeal for the elections to the European Parliament
(Following the Brussels meeting of 18.3.2014)
The European Union (EU) is submerged in a profound crisis which, being an expression of the crisis of the capitalist system and of its contradictions,
results from concrete policies that favor big capital, the financialization of the economy, the uncontrolled circulation of capital, the liberalization of markets, privatizations, the attack against public services an ever greater accumulation of capital and an increased exploitation. These policies have been carried out by the political forces of the right and extreme right, as well as by social-democracy. Just as the crisis of capitalism highlights the system's historic limits, the crisis of the European Union shows that the EU is not reformable in its essence, as a neoliberal and militarist structure and process.
Another Europe will only be possible with a radical change of the foundations on which the EU was built. Confronted with the crisis, the EU promotes the financing of big banks, the transformation of private debt in public debt and use it as an instrument of economic and political domination; unleashes a violent offensive against labour and social rights and deepens its neo-liberal and militarist course – which is determined by the interests of the big economic and financial groups and of the ruling states.
Accordingly, the European Union promotes the concentration of political power in a directorate of powers which strengthens the lack of democracy, the predominance of the ruling states and the division within Europe between a “rich and leading” center and “poor and dominated” periphery.
This offensive seeks to impose a social regression of historical proportions, which is clearly reflected in brutal cuts in wages, pensions and social welfare; in growing unemployment and precarious jobs – with dramatic consequences for young people; in ever more restrictive access to health care, education, housing, in increased poverty and social exclusion, in the treatment of migrants as potential criminals. This offensive, which is accompanied by attacks against social rights that had been conquered and which are, in many cases, enshrined in national Constitutions, restricts other rights and freedoms, such as trade union rights, rights of association, of demonstration and of democratic participation.
Democracy, national sovereignty, the right to economic and social development are jeopardized by the European Commission, the European 1Central Bank and IMF's “memorandums of understanding”, which increase exploitation and impose colonial-style relations, foment social inequality and symmetries of development, and which the process of deepening Economic and Monetary Union seeks to institutionalize and perpetuate.These policies pave the way for reactionary nationalism, for racism and xenophobia, for the resurgence of extreme-right wing and fascist forces that were defeated by the struggle of the peoples during the 20th century.
The policy of EU confirms its ambitions as an imperialist political-military bloc subordinated to NATO and therefore to United States, promotes militarism, the arms race, and is characterized by a domination attitude upon the world, as is proved by its specific type of trade agreements, its operations of interference and aggression against sovereign countries and the recent TTIP agreement signed between the USA and the EU.
Environmental problems and sustainable development are dealt with in a fragmented way, and the EU promotes policies that, while concealing the real causes of the environmental crisis and sacrificing their real solution, seek to increase the profits of the big economic groups.
The EU's course and policies are enshrined in its different Treaties, in the “Stability Pact”, in the “2020 Strategy”, in the measures for “Economic Governance”, in the guidelines for the “European Semester” and, more recently, in the “Fiscal Compact”, all based on the economic and financial deregulation.
We are profoundly convinced that this course that is being imposed upon the workers and the peoples is not inevitable. As is shown by the reality in other continents, processes of cooperation and integration of a progressive nature are possible, respecting the peoples' rights and aspirations.
We state that a different course is possible for Europe. The first step towards this direction is a profound break with the policies of the EU, with neo-
liberalism, with militarism and with the concentration and centralization of power in the hands of the directorate of big powers.
For a Europe of cooperation, social progress and peace!
The Communist, progressive, anticapitalist, antineoliberal, left-wing and ecological forces that support this Appeal view the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament, next May, as an important opportunity to give voice to the struggles of the workers and the peoples that are sweeping through the EU, to assert the need and the possibility of a Europe of cooperation, of social progress, of peace, of equality, of the promotion of the environment, that respects democracy, solidarity, that places the workers and the peoples, and not the big economic interests, at the core of its policies.
The History of the European continent shows that the workers and the peoples can, through their struggle, defeat great dangers and bring about progressive, and even revolutionary advances, some of which still today mark the reality of our continent.
Today, once again, the mass struggle is decisive, in defense of social and labor rights, of democracy and sovereignty, for profound transformations of an anti-imperialist and anti-monopolist nature, on the path towards building new societies of progress, peace and social justice. As in other parts of the world, so too in Europe the peoples are intensifying their resistance and struggle, are building alliances and solidarity, seeking to secure the path of social transformation.
We call upon the workers, the youth, women and in general the peoples of the EU-member States to give, in the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament, electoral expression to the intense struggles which they are waging, condemning those who are responsible for the EU's anti-social and anti-democratic policies and supporting those who, like the signatories of this Appeal, are side by side with them in the struggle, who give voice in the European Parliament to their aspirations, demands and protests and who represent a real alternative for Europe.
Another course for Europe is possible! Through the struggle and solidarity that unites all those that, in each country, and together in Europe, work, act and fight for the progressive and revolutionary transformation of their societies and for an alternative to capitalism.
In this sense, the forces that sign this Appeal pledge to continue fighting for:
• Cooperation across Europe for social rights, that values work and working people, full employment with rights, jobs for young people ending with the forced economical emigration, the rights of the elderly and of children, defending public services and the public nature and property of strategic sectors and areas, to ensure better living standards. A Europe that guarantees the rights to all citizens independently of their sexual orientation, a Europe without women discrimination, respecting their rights and conditions to free maternity as well as to decide on their own body.
• Cooperation across Europe for economic and social progress, of real convergence, based on the safeguard and promotion of each country's potential, on the defense of their productive sectors and of food security and sovereignty, on the support for micro, small and medium companies, on an end to tax havens and to the free and unregulated circulation of capital, on opposing and taxing the movement of speculative capital, on a sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment.
• A Europe of cooperation between sovereign States with equal rights, that respects and defends democracy and democratic participation, which opposes all forms of discrimination, reactionary nationalism, racism, homophobia, sexism, xenophobia, chauvinism, anti-Communism and other forms of intolerance, which rejects securitarian measures and respects rights, freedoms and democratic guarantees, the rights of migrants and minorities, cultural diversity and identities.
• A Europe that fights for peace and solidarity with all peoples of the world, that respects the United Nation's Charter and International Law – as with the rights of peoples to self-determination – which rejects the militarization of international relations, which stands for an end to foreign interferences and aggressions and political-military blocs, such as NATO, that promotes mutually beneficial international cooperation, based on friendship, solidarity and an all-European framework for common security for all the peoples of Europe.
A Europe without nuclear weapons and foreign military bases. Towards these goals, we are committed in continuing the work of the Confederal Group of the United European Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament, in a spirit of equality and mutual respect for our differences, histories, experiences and national specificities. A space of cooperation which highlights the much that unite us in the struggle for another Europe.
We assert our Parliamentary Group as a confederal space of cooperation, with its own identity, between Communist, workers', progressive, left-wing and ecological forces, who have the common goal of giving voice in the European Parliament to the struggles of the workers and the peoples, of asserting, proposing and defending alternative policies to those that are carried out by the right-wing and by social-democracy and to give expression and content to the struggle for a different course for Europe.In signing this Appeal, we pledge to uphold these goals and guidelines. The stronger we are, the stronger will be the struggles for a Europe of cooperation, social progress and peace.