The elections for the European Parliament find the workers and the peoples of the European Union (EU) member states facing enormous difficulties and deadlocks. Working people are confronted with job precariousness and social insecurity, inequalities, poverty and with the attack on wages, pensions and on their rights. The peoples and particularly the youth are experiencing unemployment, enforced economic migration, dwindling access to education, health and housing. A reality that is an expression of the EU's intensified exploitation and impoverishment policies.
The asymmetries and inequalities of development between EU Member States are deepened. The EU itself remains in crisis and facing severe turmoil.
The EU, the ruling classes and the forces representing them can no longer conceal the growing social discontent that their policies are provoking: neoliberalism in the economy, the undemocratic and centralized structure of its functioning, militarism and interventionism in international relations. Today, there are many more who admit that the declarations and promises of the EU and of the forces that are leading it have been refuted. The reality that the peoples of our countries are confronted is very different.
- Instead of "prosperity", the peoples in EU are counting the unemployed, homeless and poor by the millions, at the same time as billions of Euros are being channeled to bail out banks. The public services and the public enterprises are being privatized. Social goods commercialized. Bank losses are being turned into public debt on to working people’s backs.
- Instead of "democracy and freedom," new mechanisms for filing citizens and to control the internet control are being implemented. Democratic freedoms, including trade union rights, are under attack. The ultra-right and neo-fascism, that had been defeated by the struggle of the peoples in the 20th century, are appearing again in Europe, while anti-communism and the falsification of European history is taking on an institutional character. In certain member states, the ultra-right forces are participating in government, while the system allows them to spread the poison of racist hatred, xenophobia, chauvinism, sexism, and homophobia, questioning the idea of equality.
- Instead of "peace", the EU is constantly militarizing and deepening its organic link with NATO. Now, with the creation of a structured cooperation in the military field (PESCO), a new phase of militarism has been signaled which, among other things, means more military expenditure and an "investment shift" towards the arms industry and arms trade. At the same time the EU is involved in an escalation of interventions and aggressions against States and peoples, exemplified by its complicity with Israel in the face of the drama lived by the Palestinian people.
- Instead of defending the environment, the EU subordinates it environmental policies to the laws of the market. The scandals of multinational industries which violate legislation on the environment and the failure to take the necessary decisions for combating climate change and the dramatic consequences of the environmental problems for the peoples testify to the gap between declarations and actions.
- Instead of solidarity and facing the causes that lead millions of people to leave their countries, the EU pursues policies that escalate and deteriorate the situation. Its involvement in imperialist interventions in the Middle East and Norther Africa has multiplied the numbers of the refugees. The burdens of the colonial past in combination with the neocolonial policies of exploitation of the countries of Africa and Asia, have created a vicious cycle of poverty and underdevelopment that leads their peoples to seek a better life in Europe. At the same time, the big capital ιn European countries is facing the refugees and migrants as cheap labour force which it wishes to exploit in order to undermine labour relations. No one doubts that migration and the refugee crisis is a complex and multidimensional issue. However, militarism, racism and xenophobia can never be the response. The progressive forces are called upon to struggle in each EU member-state in order to give responses in accordance to international law and for the principles of solidarity, internationalism and class unity of the working people to prevail.
The peoples want and need another Europe – Another Europe is possible!
In addition to the framework of Treaties, Common Policies and the Stability Pact, the EU has in recent years created a draconian mechanism to exercise suffocating control over the budgets and fiscal policies of member-states through the Fiscal Treaty, the 'Economic Governance' and 'European Semester". The Economic and Monetary Union is deepening, economic-political relations of dependence are being institutionalized, the sovereignty for exercising a different policy at a national level is being nullified, the democracy and the people's right to socio-economic development undermined. The "Banking Union" is pushing for a gigantic concentration of capital and the control of the financial systems of states. Free trade agreements with the powerful centres of the world (such as CETA with Canada), in combination through the neo-colonial trade policy with the developing peripheries of the world, constitute the external aspect of a profoundly unjust and exploitative economic model.
Democracy, State and people’s sovereignty are called into question by the imposition of relations of political and economic domination dictated by the great powers directory and determined by the interests of economic and financial groups. Elected governments are coming under blatant threats and are the subject of blackmails. Referendums are ignored or repeated until the people vote how the EU wishes them to.
The warnings issued by the forces of progress about the character, policies and course of the EU – as defined by its Treaties and have deepened with the policies that the right-wing and social democracy of Europe has implemented – have been shown to be true. However, not only does the EU not listen to the voices of the peoples, but it is intensifying the attack on our people’s standard of living and rights. With the slogan "More Europe", the leaders of the EU are not discussing about a different path or a different Europe, but about the speed with which the EU of the monopolies, militarization and directorates will continue to be strengthened. On the other hand, not only is the ultra-right’s nationalism and racism not an alternative, but represents the most reactionary face of capitalism, reminiscent of Europe's darkest eras.
The crisis in the EU – a result of capitalism and its contradictions – has brought to the fore in a dramatic way all the problems and has shown that the EU construction is not reformable in its essence, as its treaties define a neoliberal and militaristic structure and process. A path of effective cooperation in Europe will necessarily have to be based on the principles of sovereignty, freedom, democracy, social progress and peace.
Another Europe is possible, necessary and timelier than ever. Another Europe – a Europe that will serve the workers and peoples and their needs – can be born through a radical change in the foundations on which the EU was built. A radical change conceived and decided by the workers and the peoples of Europe.
The History of the European continent is full of militant and revolutionary legacies. It proves that the peoples – with the working people and the youth as the pioneering force – can, with their struggles, stop the current attacks and barbaric measures; to once again block the road to ultra-right and fascism; to pave the way for major social transformations of an anti-imperialist and anti-monopoly character: to provide an alternative to capitalism and its dead ends; to once more project the vision of building new societies, for progress, peace and social justice.
We unite forces. We strengthen struggles
The Communist, progressive, anti-capitalist, anti-neoliberal, left and ecological forces that co-sign this Appeal consider that the upcoming elections to the European Parliament next May represent a significant opportunity so that our struggle for the present and future of our countries and continent is expressed.
We know that the danger of the ultra-right today represents a major threat to our continent and its peoples, which is also encouraged by the Trump Administration in the United States. The ruling forces and interests of EU cannot curb this threat because it is their policies that cultivate the ground generating it, while some even openly collaborate with the ultra-right. Only the forces of progress, the forces that are fighting for labour and social rights, as well as for the sovereignty of the peoples, can be the bastion of resistance to the ultra-right and fascism. That is why their strengthening is the option for every democrat and progressive citizen of each of our countries.
We call on the working people, youth, women and, in general, the peoples of the member-states of the EU to express their demands, aspirations, struggles and visions with their vote in the elections for the European Parliament, strengthening the forces that – like us the parties signing this Appeal – are at the forefront of labour and social struggles and pledge themselves to continue the struggle:
For a Europe of social rights
That serves those who produce the wealth and drive the economy, namely the working people; that ensures permanent, stable, full and dignified jobs for all; that restores and promote social achievements and rights; that defends and promotes public services; that guarantees the right to education and work for the young generation and a dignified standard of living for the elderly and vulnerable social groups; that rebuilds and expands social infrastructures providing support to families, children, people with disabilities;
For a Europe of economic, social and ecologically sustainable progress
For a path of social and economic development for our continent that promotes real and ever-increasing convergence between the different countries; that should be based on public investments programs for social policies, the sustainable use of natural resources and the protection of the environment; that take radical measures against climate change, while assuring social justice; that promotes the productive potential of each country, respecting the right to development and a model of sustainable development; that ensures food sovereignty and security; that defends the public character of the strategic sectors of each country and supports small and medium-sized enterprises; that puts an end to tax havens, free and deregulated movements of capital and that combats and taxes the speculative activities of capital.
For a Europe of peace and cooperation with all the peoples of the world
A Europe that respects the Charter of the United Nations and international law, including the principles of the self-determination of the peoples and the territorial integrity and sovereignty of states; that rejects the arms race and the militarization of international relations; that acts for the end of the external aggressive interferences and the external aggressions; that puts an end to aggressive military alliances such as NATO and the existence of foreign bases and strive for disarmament, including the removal of all nuclear weapons from the territory of the member states and the total abolition of nuclear weapons. For a Europe that promotes the cooperation and friendship between the peoples from all over the world, equal and mutually beneficial - political, economic, social, cultural cooperation
For a Europe of democracy, of cooperation among sovereign States with equal rights
For a Europe that respects democracy and democratic participation, the sovereignty and equal rights of its states, the cultural diversity and identity of every people, the rights of minorities; a Europe that will not be governed by directorates, lobbies and more powerful states, but by the peoples.
For a Europe of freedom, rights and solidarity
For a Europe that defends democratic freedoms, as trade union rights, civil and social rights – including citizen’s digital rights, privacy, personal data protection and the neutrality of the internet; that rejects repressive, filing and surveillance mechanisms; that guarantees in practice the equality of all people regardless of gender, ethnicity, colour, religion, disability and sexual identity; to combat all forms of discrimination against women and to consolidate women's rights, including their sexual and reproductive rights.
We work together and strengthen the Group of the Left in the European Parliament
To this end, we will further develop our cooperation and we pledge to continue the work of the Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) in the European Parliament on the basis of equality and the mutual respect for our differences, paths, experiences and peculiarities; to continue our joint action through GUE/NGL as an arena of cooperation that focuses on the many things that unite us in the struggle for another Europe.
We reaffirm the character and identity of this Parliamentary Group as a confederal space of cooperation between communist, workers, progressive, left and ecological forces whose common aim is to give a voice inside the European Parliament to the struggles of working people and the peoples; to assert, to propose and defend progressive and distinctly different policies from those that the right-wing and social democracy have pursued and continue to pursue; to give expression and content to the struggle for another path for Europe.
By signing this Appeal, we commit ourselves to defending these goals and guidelines. The bigger strength we have, the stronger will the struggles for a Europe of cooperation, social progress and peace.
Parties signing the Joint Appeal for the 2019 election to the European Parliament
1. Austrian Communist Party, KPOE
2. Workers’ Party, PTB-PVDA, Belgium
3. AKEL, Cyprus
4. Communist Party Bohemia Moravia, Czech Republic
5. Communist Party of Denmark
6. Communist Party in Denmark
7. Danish Communist Party
8. Communist Party of Finland
9. French Communist Party, PCF
10. German Communist Party, DKP
11. Die Linke, Germany
12. Italian Communist Party, PCI
13. Partito della Rifondazione Comunista - Sinistra Europea, Italy
14. Convergenza Socialista, Italy
15. Workers' Party of Ireland
16. Communist Party of Luxemburg
17. Communist Party of Malta
18. Portuguese Communist Party, PCP
19. Communist Party of Spain, PCE
20. Izquierda Unida, Spain
21. Communists of Catalunya
22. Esquerra Unida i Alternativa
23. Anova Irmandade Nacionalista
24. Communist Party of Britain
This Joint Appeal is open for signatures
The Joint Appeal was announced with its first subscribers on January 11, 2019