The Central Committee of the PCP, having met on February 29 and March 1st, decided the venue of the XXI PCP Congress, which will take place on November 27, 28 and 29, 2020, at the Peace and Friendship Pavilion, in Loures, under the motto: «Organise, Struggle, Advance - Democracy and Socialism»
The Central Committee of the PCP also defined other aspects within the framework of the Congress preparation, namely regarding methodology, the phasing and objectives to ensure the broadest participation of the Party collective, and defined a set of central issues for the initial debate on the content of the Theses - Draft Political Resolution.
The XXI Congress of the PCP takes place in a context marked by the consequences of capitalism’s structural crisis, in a national situation marked by the process of monopoly restoration and recomposition, with increasing control by foreign capital, interconnected with the process of capitalist integration of the European Union, which compromise national sovereignty and the solution of structural problems, as well as economic development and social progress.
The [Party] Congress takes place in a context where the current government upholds the policies that have kept the country submitted to the impositions of the European Union and the Euro [currency] and subordinate to the interests of monopoly capital, which maintains and strengthens its control over strategic areas and sectors of the country’s life.
In the period since the XX Congress, it was possible to halt and reverse, in several aspects, the brutal offensive that the PSD/CDS government had pursued – implementing, and under the pretext of, the pact of aggression signed by PS, PSD and CDS with the IMF, the EU and the ECB [European Central Bank] - and it was also possible to defend, restore and win rights. But it was not possible to overcome and remove the PS government’s choice to stay linked to the right-wing policy, in key matters.
The decisive role of the PCP’s intervention and the workers' struggle in the new phase of the country’s political life, which corresponded to the previous [Parliamentary] term, has to be valued. It proved that, unlike what they tried to instill, the valorisation of rights, wages and income is a factor of job creation and economic growth. At the same time, it proved that a full response to the country’s problems is inseparable from breaking with the right-wing policy and adopting the alternative patriotic and left-wing policy that the PCP stands for, and presents to the country, as well as a government that implements it.
The XXI Congress is called upon to carry out an assessment of the country's situation and the prospects for its evolution, namely when confronted with the development of the European capitalist integration process, the global offensive by imperialism and the inherent contradictions within the capitalist system.
The XXI Congress is called upon to analyse, debate and define the main lines of work with a view to strengthening the Party, its political activity and initiative, as well as the tasks and lines of work to strengthen its connection to the workers and the people, its political and social influence, a broader convergence with democrats and patriots and the action of internationalist solidarity.
The preparation and holding of the XXI Congress is particularly important to define and materialize measures that strengthen the Party's activity in defending the interests of the workers and people, in the struggle to break with the right-wing policy and for an alternative policy, for an advanced democracy, Socialism and Communism.
The PCP Central Committee indicates a set of issues, questions and topics for debate within the organisations, with the goal of ensuring the broadest contribution of Party members to defining the central aspects that are to be included in the preparation of the Theses - Draft Political Resolution.
Topics for debate in the organisations
- The structural crisis of capitalism. The sharpening of capitalism's contradictions. The accumulation and concentration of capital and the domination of finance capital. Scientific-technical progress and its impact. Environmental issues. The uneven development of capitalism. The dominance of economic power over political power. Processes to impose supra-national dominance. The European Union. Inter-imperialist rivalry and concertation. Heightened exploitation and worsening social inequality. The crisis of the liberal-bourgeois political system and the anti-democratic offensive of the ruling class. The threat of fascism. Threats to peace.
- The worldwide process of rearrangement of forces. The trend of relative decline in the hegemonic dominance of the USA and of the great imperialist powers in general. China's development and its role at the international level. The so-called economically developing countries. Instruments of economic and financial domination and imperialism´s ‘economic war’. Articulations and areas for cooperation that objectively question the hegemonic domination of imperialism.
- Imperialism’s offensive. Imperialism’s multifaceted strategy of domination. Militarism and war. NATO. The militarization of the EU. The arms race. The attack on international Law and the disregard and instrumentalization of the UN. The imposition of neo-colonial relations.
- The ideological struggle. The ideological offensive of imperialism at the global level - contents, means and processes. Anti-communism, the falsification of History and the promotion of anti-democratic and reactionary values. The reconfiguration of the right-wing and the advance of the extreme right and fascist forces. Crisis and reconfiguration of social democracy. The sharpening of the class struggle and the ideological struggle.
- The emancipatory struggle of the workers and peoples. Objective and subjective factors in the revolutionary struggle. Worldwide alignment and balance of forces. Resistance against imperialism’s exploitative and aggressive offensive. The struggle of the working class, the workers and popular masses. Divisionism, provocative action and the cult of spontaneity against organised struggle. The affirmation of national sovereignty, an element of resistance and progress. The national question and the class question. Objectives of the struggle, phases and stages. Working class alliances. Forces that converge in resistance against imperialism's offensive. The importance of their cooperation and unity in action. The anti-imperialist front.
- The International Communist and Revolutionary Movement, situation and challenges. Rightist, reformist, and left, dogmatic and sectarian opportunism. The irreplaceable role of the Communist Parties - their organic and ideological reinforcement, their close connection to the workers and the masses and their rooting in the national reality. Proletarian internationalism. The Communists’ solidarity, cooperation and unity in action. The cooperation of Communists with other revolutionary, progressive, anti-imperialist forces. The historical era of the transition from capitalism to Socialism.
- The nature of capitalism. The class genesis of the profound contradictions and problems that mark the current world situation. Dangers and potential of the struggle for progressive and revolutionary transformations.
- Socialism - the necessity for our times. The historical perspective and the struggle for immediate goals. Phases and stages of the revolutionary struggle. The policy of alliances. The socialist society for which we fight, an expression of Humanity's centuries-old aspiration for liberation from exploitation and oppression. The relevance of the communist ideal and project.
- The capitalist EU integration process. The EU's instruments of political, economic and budgetary domination. The options of subordination contrary to national interests and to the country’s development. The false thesis that compliance with the budgetary impositions of the European Union is compatible with the development of the country and the full response to economic and social problems. The issue of Debt and the Euro [currency]. The necessary response.
- The country's economic situation. The structural problems and the necessary economic and social policy. Productive capacity and the devaluation of national production, the tertiarization and financialization of the economy. The export/import ratio. The defence and valorisation of natural resources and the right to know and insert them in a public strategy at the service of the country. Scientific and technological developments, their consequences, potential and use for national development.
- The process of capitalist concentration and centralisation, the economic and political domination by monopoly capital and the growing presence of foreign capital in the country's strategic sectors. Repercussions of this domination in limiting a sovereign strategy for the country's development, in the perversion of democracy and weakening the institutions, in fostering phenomena of corruption that arise from the promiscuity between political and economic power and between the public and private sectors.
- The new phase of the country’s political life, corresponding to the previous Parliamentary term - assessment, significance and conclusions to be drawn. What it confirms regarding the importance of the workers’ and people’s struggle for the defeat of the PSD/CDS government. What it confirms about the decisive role of the PCP and the struggle to defend and achieve rights. How it belies the theses of those who defend that the only path for the country is that of destroying rights and cutting wages and pensions. How it reveals that subordination to big capital, to the Euro and to the impositions of the European Union is incompatible with fully responding to the country's problems and with its sovereign development. Different expressions of the wrong assessment of what it represented: the overestimation of what was achieved, to the detriment of asserting an alternative policy; the complete underestimation of making use of existing conditions to move forward in improving the living standards of the workers and the people.
- Affirming the patriotic and left-wing alternative and the values of [the] April [Revolution], in contrast to the options of the right-wing policy. Denouncing the PS government’s action and confronting the goals of the reactionary and fascistic sectors. The indispensable exposure of, and opposition to, the options of the PS government and its ensuing limitations and a decisive confrontation with strategies that pave the way for retrograde and anti-democratic political and institutional projects, based on the enhancement and distortion of facts and situations, and on the instrumentalization of discontentment with the absence of a response to real problems of the people and the country.
- The reactionary offensive. Agenda, goals and instruments of reactionary projects under development. The emergence of new forces with parliamentary representation associated with monopoly capital and with a populist and reactionary agenda. Projects for subversion of the democratic regime and for constitutional changes based on so-called structural reforms. The whitewashing of the responsibilities and actions of PSD and CDS. The identification and fundamental convergence between the right-wing parties, PSD, CDS, and newly created parties such as Chega and the Liberal Initiative.
- The social situation. Social inequality. Poverty. Asserting social rights and protection with a public and universal Social Security [system] as a counterpoint to the privatisation agenda and to charity-based views. The right to healthcare, defending and valuing the NHS and the indispensable opposition to the privatisation of health care and services. The right to education, valuing Public Education and exposing the strategy of municipalisation for education and schools. The implementation of the social functions of the State and opposing the theses of the “right to choose” between public and private [services].
- Workers' rights. The general increase in wages as a national emergency. Its importance for improving the living conditions of workers, for raising the productive profile, in developing and strengthening Social Security. The right to collective bargaining. Labour legislation and the repeal of its grievous norms. Social concertation as an instrument for articulating right-wing policies with the interests of big bosses.
- The situation in Culture. The growing commercialization and divestment of the State - its repercussions on creation and creators, on cultural enjoyment and on the degradation and privatisation of Cultural heritage.
- The housing issue. The implementation of the right to housing, the State’s role and the dominance of financial capital in real estate. The rental regime and the law on evictions. The ongoing speculation and the denial of the right of access to housing, particularly for young people. The potential risks of a new speculative bubble.
- Situation and problems of the anti-monopoly strata. Issues specific to these sectors within the overall context of the broader struggle’s goals. Small and medium farmers and fishermen. Micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.
- Youth and new generations - problems, aspirations and prospects.
- The emancipation of women - reality, struggle, mystification and manipulation.
- Environmental issues and the capitalist mode of production. The so-called climate agenda: nature and objectives. The concealment of the essence and nature of capitalism as a major factor of environmental problems, the depletion of natural resources, ecological imbalances. The false invocation of a clash between generations. The struggle in defence of environmental values and its convergence with the struggle against exploitation and the capitalist system.
- The reconfiguration of the State at the service of monopoly capital. The democratic regime. The affirmation of Local Government. Administrative Regions and the fight against false “decentralisation”. The Autonomous Regions. The various theories - “minimal State”, “failed State”, the opposing of the “State” to “taxpayers”, etc., - that call into question the implementation of Constitutional rights, namely in the economic and social fields. The class nature of the State.
- The ideological struggle. Main lines and vectors of the ideological offensive: anti-Communism and the attack on the PCP; the whitewashing of fascism and the promotion of anti-democratic viewpoints; the subversion of ethical and behavioural values in order to, among other goals, promote individualism and conformism; the concealment of class contradictions and the denial of antagonistic interests; the downplaying of class relations and the consequent loss of perception and trivialisation of exploitation and inequalities; the inculcation of fear and uncertainty to justify the acceptance of decisions that counter democracy and individual and collective rights; the perversion and inversion of civilizational values; the dramatisation of crime and violence; the exacerbation of identity agendas (gender, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation) as instruments of diversion, division and mystification, concealing class issues and perspectives; the instrumentalization of concern for animal welfare; using corruption to blame democracy for what is rooted in monopoly capital’s domination. The new phase of the country’s political life and the campaign of ideological manipulation. Mystification concerning an alleged “left majority”, concealing the political and institutional nature of a minority PS government (although conditioned by a Parliamentary balance of forces and the PCP’s activity), the insinuations about the PCP's commitments which reflected the disquiet of reactionary sectors with the PCP’s role in achieving advances and responses, albeit limited, to problems. The use of the term “contraption” trying to convey a political notion of a non-existing aggregation of political forces and to belittle the idea of a patriotic and left-wing alternative. The misrepresentation of the PCP’s role, with the aim of limiting its political independence to prevent it from deciding, at any given moment, what best serves the interests of the workers and people and the struggle for general objectives. The falsifications regarding an alleged lack of dynamics and expression of the workers’ struggle.
- Foreign policy and subordination to imperialism. The integration of Portugal in the warmongering projects of the European Union, NATO and the USA. Complicity with the destabilizing, aggressive and putschist agenda of imperialism.
- The situation in the Armed Forces and the security forces and services. The affirmation and valorisation of the Armed Forces within the framework of its mission to defend national sovereignty and independence. Access to [the] Justice [system] and its class nature. Citizens' guarantees and the violation and invasion of privacy.
- The situation in the Media. The process of concentration of ownership. The degradation of information and of the independence of journalism. The articulation of the media agenda with the goals of monopoly and imperialist domination. The situation of media workers.
- Patriotic and left-wing policies, a pressing condition to respond to national problems. An alternative policy with priority goals: to liberate the country from submission to the Euro and the European Union’s impositions and constraints, as a component of asserting a free and sovereign Portugal; the renegotiation of public debt; valuing work and workers; defending and promoting domestic production and the productive sectors; ensuring public control of banks and recovering for the public sector the basic strategic sectors of the economy; guaranteeing a public administration and services at the service of the people and the country; defending a just fiscal policy that eases taxation on the income of the workers and the people, combats tax havens, and breaks with the scandalous favouring of big capital; defending the democratic regime and compliance with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, extending rights, freedoms and guarantees, the fight against corruption and the implementation of an independent and accessible justice system for all.
Mass struggle, broad-based organisations, political activity and the alternative
- The mass struggle, a decisive factor to affirm and win rights, to raise social and political awareness and for social transformation. The workers' struggle, the core factor in the development of the mass struggle.
- The expression and importance of the mass struggle in recent years and the prospects for its development. The role it played in defeating the PSD/CDS government and imposing, in the new phase of national political life, the defence, restoration and conquest of rights.
- The irreplaceable role of the organised struggle. The disruptive action of the so-called “inorganic agendas”.
- Social forces and their evolution. Trends in the rapid technological transformation and their implications for the productive process, the organisation of work, the alignment of class forces, the characteristics of paid work and the organisation of the working class and workers in the struggle against capital.
- The broad-based organisation of the working class and of workers. The United Trade Union Movement. Workers' Committees. Divisionist action, the creation of divisive structures and organisations with provocative purposes and dynamics of radicalisation.
- Organisations and movements of other non-monopoly classes, strata and social sectors. Expressions of the struggle regarding specific problems.
- The new phase of the national political life. Reality and manipulation. The important expression of the workers' struggle during this period. Struggle, resistance, results and their valorisation.
- The current situation and the necessary path for the country. Affirming the patriotic and left-wing alternative, as opposed to the class options of the PS and its government and the goals of big capital’s reactionary and revanchist offensive.
- The political context and its developments. Parties with representation in the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament] and other political forces. The role of the President of the Republic. Constitution of the Republic and electoral laws.
- Political initiative and the alternative. Political, electoral and institutional struggle and their articulation with the mass struggle.
- The patriotic and left-wing alternative and the path to achieve it.
- The Party’s centennial: its history, the present and the future. Communist identity and project.
- The attack on the Party, its permanent nature and its sharp intensification in recent years. Operating principles, the basis of the Party's strength. Practices of disaggregating the Party, their prevention and combat. Defending the Party, resisting, moving forward.
- Militancy, readiness, activity and attitude, regardless of the nature of each task. Intervention on mass fronts. The Communists’ activity in the institutions. The importance of the practical application of the principle of not benefiting, nor being negatively affected, due to the exercise of institutional responsibilities.
- Leadership structures and bodies, functioning and style of work.
- Cadres and tasks, readiness for regular tasks and cadre accountability. Responsibilities for regular tasks, a decisive aspect of the capacity for leadership and activity. Party workers: full-time revolutionaries and not Party employees. Political and ideological training.
- The recruitment of new militants and their integration.
- Strengthening the Party's organisation and intervention in shopfloors and workplaces. Cadres with responsibilities and who stand out. Existing cells and the creation of new cells. Work content, vanguard role, connection and rooting among the workers. Action of 5,000 contacts, significance and prospects. Development of contacts with workers regarding the Party and their Party membership, as a permanent style of work.
- The structuring of intervention and action among specific social strata and sectors. Strengthening of JCP and youth work. Action and organisation in the area of Culture and with intellectuals and technical cadres. Work aimed at women. Work with old-age pensioners. Action with farmers and fishermen and work with micro, small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Action among people with disabilities. Work with other specific strata.
- Grassroots organisations, functioning, structuring, contents of intervention.
- Link with the masses, intervention of communists in broad-based movements and organisations, unitary political work.
- Information and propaganda, its importance in the political and ideological struggle. Structures, means and contents. Electronic means of communication.
- The Party press. The role of “Avante!”and its circulation. "O Militante”. Editorial activity.
- The Avante! Festival:programme, preparation, new aspects and publicization, ways to increase the sale of the Entry Tickets (EPs). The militant action, the broad participation of friends of the Festival and the Party in ensuring the Avante! Festival.
- The Party's financial independence. Guarantee of financing with its own resources. Fundraising, a task for all members and extended contact with the workers and population. The Party's property. The regular payment of dues and their increase, a regular basis for financing. The value of dues and the structure to collect them. Fundraising campaigns. Initiatives. The judicious use of Party resources. Financial control.
- Party work centres [headquarters], foundation for the Party’s functioning and activity and for its links with the masses. Global assessment of existing work centres, their conditions, their degree of use. Ways of supporting the functioning and activity of Party organisations without a work centre.
- International activity and internationalist action.
The Central Committee of the PCP considers that the Party Programme and Constitution remain up to date and respond to the current demands of the Party's intervention.
The Central Committee of the PCP, considering the experience in the preparation of previous Party Congresses, and taking into account the importance of involving the Party collective, with the maximum participation of militants, Party organisations and bodies, decides to plan three interconnected and complementary phases for the preparation and holding of the XXI PCP Congress:
- The first phase, which will take place until the end of May, is based on the discussion throughout the Party of the fundamental issues that the Congress must address, on the structuring matters to be included in the Theses-Draft Political Resolution, based on the issues, topics and guidelines included in this Central Committee Resolution.
- The second phase, which will take place until the end of August, in which the Draft Political Resolution - Theses will be prepared, and which will take into account the debate and the contributions collected during the first phase.
- The third phase, beginning at the end of September, after the publication of the documents in “Avante!”, which will open a space dedicated to the members’ intervention, during which the plenary meetings and assemblies of the Party organisations will take place to debate the Theses-Draft Political Resolution adopted by the Central Committee and in which the election of delegates will take place, in accordance with the rules previously adopted by the Central Committee.
The XXI Congress of the PCP takes place in a particularly demanding and complex national and international political context. Its preparation and holding must be integrated within the Party’s overall work, contributing to strengthen it, in particular in the shopfloors and workplaces, to strengthening he unity of workers, to expand the mass struggle and the struggle of the various anti monopolistic social classes and strata, for the unity and action of democrats and patriots, to affirm the Communist ideal and project.
The Central Committee of the PCP calls on Party organisations and militants, and the Party collective to contribute, with their experience, analysis and opinion, to the success of the XXI Congress, to strengthen the Party and the work to mobilise the action and struggle, to expand our initiative, for a break with the right-wing policy, for a patriotic and left-wing policy, for an “Advanced Democracy - The Values of April in the Future of Portugal”, for Socialism and Communism.