Theses to the XVIII PCP Congress (Chapter I, II and IV)

Chapter I -The International Situation

1.0 Introduction

1.0.1 The 18th Congress is held in a highly unstable international situation, one full of uncertainty, with one prominent and especially characteristic feature - an ongoing large-scale economic and financial crisis in the capitalist system that is sweeping the world.

1.0.2 In spite of the setbacks it has suffered, imperialism's fierce offensive exhibits no sign of retreat. On the contrary, its essential features - exploitation, oppression, militarism and war - are becoming more marked. With crisis and with imperialism's intent of imposing its hegemony on the world as facilitators, the danger of military adventures with dramatic consequences is growing.

1.0.3 But imperialism does not have its hands completely free. It is conditioned by its own difficulties and contradictions. Everywhere, resistance and struggle continues and is becoming more diverse in form and content. A rearrangement of forces is underway, affecting States and international cooperation structures. While it does have contradictory aspects, it questions US hegemony and US goals of world domination.

1.0.4 The situation is one of multi-faceted rising acuteness in the class struggle, where quick and unpredicted developments are possible, where grave dangers for peace and peoples' freedom and sovereignty, coexist with real potential for progressive and even revolutionary developments.

1.0.5 The tragedy that the capital reproduction system constitutes for the world, and the obvious crisis that the capitalist system is suffering, highlight the need for Communist parties and for internationalist cooperation among them, and highlights the topicality of their project: building a new society, freed from the exploitation of man by man - socialism - as the only alternative to capitalism. Tenacity in building vanguard revolutionary parties and steadfastness in the ideological struggle have - in the current circumstances - acquired a greater, decisive, importance.

1.1 The World Economy and the Crisis of Capitalism

1.1.1 The PCP's 18th Congress is held in the context of a deep economic and financial crisis of capitalism, whose global impact has not yet been fully revealed. This crisis confirms capitalism's inability to rid itself of the crises that periodically afflict it. This crisis also reveals a much deeper - structural and systemic - crisis that, as the PCP has stated, brings to light the capitalist system's historical limits and makes overcoming it through revolution a requirement of our time.

1.1.2 The 17th Congress's analysis of the world economy and of the capitalist system's essential traits and trends of development, have been borne out by events and are very obviously topical today. The current crisis - with its epicenter in the USA - is a new and more serious episode of the crisis that has been dragging on since 1994-95, with the Mexican Peso crisis episode, the 1997-98 "Asian crisis", the 2001-03 economic crisis, and the US housing market crisis that began in August 2007.

1.1.3 Capital and wealth centralization and concentration are happening at an unprecedented rate, spurred along by the States that serve them, by wars, by formal and informal instances of international capitalist coordination, by "competitiveness" and "free market" policies that speed up the ruin of non-monopolist companies and destroy the weaker economies, by the frantic process of fusions and acquisitions, that have increased fivefold since the end of the 1980s. The role of big transnational corporations is growing. They now control 2/3 of world trade, and some of them have a larger economic value than some States.

1.1.4 The financialization of capital continues to increase. The dynamic of exploitation itself generates a growing mass of surplus capital in the form of money that - in quest of fast reproduction - is shifted into the financial and speculative sphere, to the detriment of productive investment, thus contributing toward the transfer and concentration of the surplus value generated. This situation comes together with the creation and growth of markets that are increasingly distanced from the productive economy (such as "futures" and other financial tools). Within a framework of free circulation of capital, of delocalizations, and the artificial creation of a quest for easy credit, they have heightened the capitalist system's irrationality and anarchy, and have become a major factor of monetary instability, speculative bubbles and stock market collapses. They also tend to make the cyclical overproduction crises more frequent, more global and more destructive.

1.1.5 The exploitation of workers is also intensifying, by extending the use of labour force and reducing - by all possible means - its remuneration, the goal being to appropriate the largest possible slice of surplus value, taking advantage of the communist and workers' movement's temporary weakness. The main lines of this offensive are: reducing/stagnating real wages; intensifying the pace of labour; appropriation of productivity gains by capitalists; deregulating and extending working hours; raising the pensionable age and lowering old-age and disability pensions; deregulating labour relations. The line of attacking class-based trade unionism and collective bargaining is one of the most serious expressions of the imperialist offensive and of big business's exploitative and reactionary policies. Extremely high unemployment figures, widespread casualization of labour (especially among the younger generations of workers), throwbacks in social and labour rights, and super-exploitation of migrant workers - are all realities that are being falsely portrayed as being inevitable.

1.1.6 Social polarization is growing, both within each country (specifically in the USA and other major capitalist powers) and worldwide - albeit with contradictions - between the developed capitalist center and the underdeveloped periphery. The blatant contradiction between the gigantic advances in science and technology and the horrible social throwbacks that are ravaging the world today, are in themselves a political and moral indictment of the capitalist system. Even according to UN statistics, about one thousand million [in North America: one billion] people suffer chronic hunger, and one hundred thousand die every day as a direct or indirect result of malnutrition.

1.1.7 There is a stepped-up systematic attack against the State's social functions (gained through struggle), while the State's coercive component (Armed Forces, Police, Courts) are strengthened, as are the mechanisms of capitalist domination and of submission to imperialist centers.

1.1.8 All spheres of social life are commercialized, within a conception of privatizing anything that can generate greater returns on capital (Health, Education, Social Security, Culture, Leisure Time) and of turning anything that can fulfill even the most elementary needs of human existence (Food, Water, Environment) into a business. Confronted with deteriorating environmental conditions resulting from the capitalist mode of production, a new "environmental dogma" has been developed and a sophisticated offensive launched to provide ideological backing for resource plunder and the creation of an "environment market".

1.1.9 Capitalism's parasitic nature and decadence is spreading, with organized crime being installed in power, with all types of criminal traffic flourishing (weapons, drugs, prostitution, slave labour, human organs, children) with the coverage and complicity of international banking and its sophisticated instruments to circulate and launder capital. Profit expansion is based on a proliferation of poverty and on a brutal destruction of stable social relations, caused by policies of plunder together with imperialist globalization and with imperialism's meddling and military aggressions.

1.1.10 Capitalism's evolution in the economic and social spheres is backed by highly reactionary (even fascist-leaning) political, cultural, ideological and military developments, involving attacks against democratic freedoms and rights; tightened control over the ideological apparatus; subordination of the legal and judiciary apparatus to big business interests; offensive against States' sovereignty and recolonization of the planet; development of militarism and a new arms race.

1.1.11 Against this backdrop that characterizes the capitalist system's development, some important developments have occurred since the 17th Congress that transcend their momentary importance and express new line-ups of forces and trends, that it is worthwhile to emphasize: The crisis triggered in the USA with the bursting housing bubble, has highlighted the extremely serious problems of a highly deficit-plagued, debt-ridden society increasingly dominated by the military-industrial complex, with extremely serious social disparities and problems, with some 35 million people living in poverty. The foreign debt amounts to over 70% of GDP. Rather than being the world economy's "locomotive", the USA are a bottomless pit sucking in the surplus value produced by workers all over the world. With just 4.6% of the world's population, the USA consume over 20% of the world's energy resources and account for about 21% of all CO2 emissions. The USA's military superiority is undeniable, as are its scientific and technological potential, and its hegemony in the mechanisms that create and spread the dominant ideology. But their economic power and privileged position as the world's main financial center are now weakened. This is expressed in the devaluation and loss of credibility in the dollar and its role as a reserve currency. As earlier PCP Congresses warned, the US economy has reasserted itself as the main factor of instability and crisis in the world economy. The European Union's reinforcement as an imperialist bloc - without underestimating the frailties and contradictions that the capitalist integration process in Europe entails - has exposed even better the EU's class nature, as a tool of Europe's big business and big capitalist powers. This has knocked down two central ideas with which they seek to fool the masses: that European capitalist integration would supposedly seek to counter "the excesses of globalization", and that the "Common Foreign and Security Policy" with its ancillary military arrangements would make the EU safer and be an obstacle to US "unilateralism". What in effect is happening - and at a surprising pace - is an intensification and refinement of neo-liberal policies geared toward increasing exploitation and big business's power. In the immediate term - both directly and via NATO - the alliance with the USA is being strengthened and there is an increasingly ambitious aggressive interventionism. China's development and growing international significance (with the prospect of becoming the world's top economic power in the next few decades), as well as the emergence of other large countries with high growth rates such as India, Brazil, Russia and others. At the same time, regional alliances and cooperation and integration processes are unfolding. While these generally follow a pattern of expanding capitalist relations of production, they do however tend (as in the cases of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas - ALBA - spearheaded by Venezuela, or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization) to counter the hegemonistic intents of the USA and the two other major "Triad" powers, the EU and Japan. These processes - expressing the uneven development of capitalism and generating inter-imperialist contradictions - have weighed in positively on the international line-up of forces, and on peoples' resistance against imperialism.

1.1.12 The accentuation of capitalism's predatory nature, together with the ongoing global recolonization's consequences, have become most obvious in worsened agriculture/food, energy and environmental problems. The transnational corporations' plunder - based on World Bank (WB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) structural adjustment policies, on world trade liberalization as pushed by the World Trade Organization (WTO), and on unbridled stock market speculation - is leading to unbearable price rises and pushing the world into serious crises that are unsolvable within capitalism. The "hunger riots" there have been in many countries, against food price rises (over 37% in 2007 and 14% in 2006), and are undeniable indictments of neo-colonial impositions and of the agri-food transnationals' policies of basing their fabulous profits on the most cynical capitalist reproduction mechanisms: hunger and poverty.

1.1.13 Capitalism is the dominant mode of production and social-economic formation, and the dynamic of its contradictions makes a decisive mark on world development. But this influence is not absolute. There are social and political forces, including States that participate in configuring the world in which we live and the balance of class forces in which we fight. These forces' weight is all the greater the better advantage they can take of capitalism's difficulties and contradictions.

1.1.14 At this moment, it is imperative to take the offensive in the battle of ideas, drawing the necessary political and ideological conclusions from the economic-financial crisis that originated in the USA. This crisis is opening a deep crack in neo-liberal fundamentalism and technocracy. It is a strong blow against the triumphant capitalist rhetoric of the 90s, following socialism's defeats. It is nullifying a whole propaganda setup that tries to make people believe that capitalism had become capable of dominating its own contradictions and of escaping the necessarily destructive cyclical crises that are inherent to the capitalist mode of production and to the destructiveness of its development.

1.1.15 On the year that we mark 160 years since the Communist Manifesto and 190 years since Marx's birth, one conclusion emerges from observation of today's world: in spite of the great transformations that the capitalist system has undergone, the Marxist analysis of capitalism is today exhibiting extreme vitality, and the fundamental laws of capital reproduction formulated by Marx and Engels are glaringly valid today. Such is the case with the law of value and with surplus-value theory, which unveil the mechanism of capitalist exploitation and the law of tendentially dropping profit rates. Capitalism does all it can to counter them by intensifying - as far as it can and the balance of forces permits - the exploitation of proletarians, and to financialize the economy. Such is also the case with the law of relative pauperization, that sheds light on the root causes of overproduction crises, and on the fact that they are unsurmountable by capitalism. And such is also the case with the validity of Lenin's theses on imperialism - in particular the law of uneven development of capitalism - which demonstrates that it is impossible to set up a single capitalist mechanism (a "super-imperialism") and thus abolish competition among monopolies and inter-imperialist contradictions (which constitute the prime causes of militarism, aggressions and wars).

1.1.16 Capitalism's response to the crisis it confronts is tending toward increasingly violent displays of force. While not absolutely ruled out, capitalism's margin for manoeuvre using Keynesian-type reformist solutions is limited. Even social-democracy, which has in the past implemented them, is increasingly intertwined with big business and with imperialism's most reactionary and aggressive policies. It is a dangerous illusion to think that it will be possible to respond to workers' and peoples' yearnings and to save humankind from terrible upheavals and civilizational throwbacks, without touching big business's economic and political power or the dictatorship of finance capital. Only far-reaching anti-monopolist and anti-capitalist changes - imposed and defended by the masses - can achieve that.

1.2 Imperialism's Offensive

1.2.1 The last four years have been marked by an intensification of imperialism's offensive, with a rise in militarism and proliferating imperialist wars; with a stepped-up and coordinated attack against the sovereignty of States, against international law, against the exercise of peoples' right to self-determination; with the opening of simultaneous theaters of conflict, that are diverse in their goals, methods used and countries and peoples targeted.

1.2.2 By implementing a violent and revanchist process of settling scores with 20th century History and workers' and peoples' struggles, imperialism is seeking by all possible means to pervert the legal edifice that emerged from the 2nd World War, one that despite all the retreats and changes that have occurred - particularly in the political map of Europe - continues to be an obstacle to imperialism's hegemonistic ambitions.

1.2.3 It is true that the fact that the offensive is intensifying reveals that the balance of forces is still very unfavorable. But it is no less true that imperialism's inability to defeat resistances, and its attempts to distort or hide the most violent aspects of its offensive, reveal its difficulties and its loss of margin for manoeuvre in the political and ideological spheres. This favours the anti-imperialist struggle.

1.2.4 The expression of the imperialist offensive's main economic goals - increasing the big transnational corporations' profits and globalizing capitalist exploitation - has given special visibility to its major geo-strategic goals that envisage: expanding the main imperialist powers' domination to the whole globe; providing political and military coverage to the expansion and installation of transnationals; ensuring direct control over energy sources and flows, mineral resources, water and arable lands, communications and the main commodity transportation routes worldwide; tightening the geo-strategic and military encirclement of the "emerging powers", very particularly Russia and China, and containing those processes that assert economic, political and strategic relationships that are not under imperialism's strict control.

1.2.5 This is an offensive that seeks to: contain or "domesticate" any autonomous expressions of assertion of sovereignty, such as the ones taking place in Latin America, but also in Africa, the Middle East and the Asian continent; prevent social revolts, and above all, avoid their transformation into movements of political struggle that jeopardize the ruling class's interests; criminalize revolutionary forces and sources of anti-imperialist resistance.

1.2.6 Attacks against international law and the sovereignty of States are proliferating, a global strategy that - by strengthening colonial-style relationships, dismembering countries and creating protectorates - seeks to recolonize the planet and redraw the political map of the world to favour imperialism's hegemonistic interests. Their goal is to - with or without UN coverage - secure markets and sources of raw materials for the transnationals, and to prevent - with the corruption and help of the respective countries' ruling classes - a second wave of social and national liberation movements.

1.2.7 Strengthening directorates of powers; promoting and "institutionalizing" of big business coordination and decision-making centers; the role of imperialism's international economic institutions (OECD, IMF, WB, WTO) as steamrollers to run over national economies and as the gravediggers of workers' and peoples' social and labour rights; the emergence of international institutions - such as the Council of Europe - as thoroughly anti-communist ideological diversion centers; the process of turning the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) into an instrument of imperialism's eastward cavalcade following the USSR's dismantlement; manipulation of the UN by the big NATO powers, subverting its role as the guarantor of abidance by international law and upholder of peace; - all are worrying expressions of a policy of increasingly centralizing political power and subjecting it to economic powers and to the strategy of militarizing international relations.

1.2.8 Part of this line is the European Union's development, corresponding to a new phase of imperialist interventions by Germany and other big European powers - that are establishing themselves as a political, economic and military bloc closely coordinated with NATO, an imperialist center that (in spite of actual inter-imperialist rivalries and contradictions) coordinates and shares zones of influence and intervention with the USA. Although presented as an "area of democracy" and of "defence of human rights", it is actually a political-ideological imperialist center, thoroughly anti-democratic in its essence, with no regard for workers' and peoples' rights worldwide.

1.2.9 In seeking to conceal its exploitative nature, imperialism is stepping up and diversifying its ideological offensive. Mass media ownership concentration processes are being intensified, as is the utilization of new information technologies to impose upon peoples a single mode of thinking and a single cultural standard. Consumerism, individualism and apathy are fostered, anti-social behaviour is promoted. Conformism is fostered, and class division factors such as racism and xenophobia are promoted. Concepts such as "war of civilizations", "western values", "human rights", and the manipulative use of ethnic, religious and environmental issues are all rolled up into a strategy to subdue peoples.

1.2.10 The thoroughly reactionary nature of economic, social and international relations policies, together with social-democracy's surrender to neo-liberalism (thus asserting itself as an essential pillar of imperialism's offensive) are factors that merge with the social, economic and demographic consequences of capitalist exploitation, leading to a resurgence of fascism and providing neo-fascist forces access to power in several countries, particularly in Europe. Parallel to this, there is a continuing rewriting of History, where fascist dictatorships are whitewashed, fascism and communism are obscenely presented as equals, anti-communism is rampant, those who resist imperialism are criminalized, and the forces that - in very diverse ways - resist and fight against exploitation, oppression and war are persecuted.

1.2.11 Militarization of international relations has been the aspect of the imperialist offensive that has developed the most in recent years. The world is today highly unstable and insecure. The capitalist rhetoric about peace - that followed the defeats of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe - is now belied by a reality of proliferating imperialist wars of occupation and of militarism being asserted as the political and economic weapon of the biggest capitalist powers.

1.2.12. The fascist-leaning concepts contained in the "National Security Strategy of the United States of America" (later adopted by NATO and the European Union), have been assimilated into so-called "anti-terrorist" legislation in several countries. The theory of "preventive war" has become generalized. Sophisticated worldwide campaigns are launched, to present violence as a commonplace thing, for the toleration of criminal practices such as torture, concentration camps, illegal detention, kidnapping and illegal trafficking of prisoners, support for para-military groups and protection for self-confessed terrorists.

1.2.13. This militaristic and "security" offensive is backed up with talk about fighting "global terrorism". Terrorism in all its forms, including State terrorism, is very contrary to workers' and peoples' interests. Both History and current events show that it is imperialism and its policies that promote and nourish terrorism, to later invoke it to create a false dichotomy between security and freedom, as well as to strengthen the repressive component of States and to snoop on and control citizens' lives and social relations.

1.2.14 International treaties essential to strategic equilibrium (such as the ABM Treaty) are torn up; a so-called US "anti-missile defence system" is installed in Europe; NATO is expanded and US military bases are established on Russia's borders; provocations are launched against China; several military powers - prominent among them the USA with its creation of the AFRICOM military command center - are staging a "return to Africa"; the US 4th Fleet in Latin America has been resurrected; Japan is rearming itself and performing a militaristic revision of its Constitution; there is a nuclear agreement with India and destabilization manoeuvres and interference in East Timor by Australia and the USA; - are all telling examples of imperialism's global military and geo-strategic offensive, and their ancillary re-colonization intentions.

1.2.15 The Middle East and the Asian continent continue to be the main areas of instability. Continued imperialist occupation of Iraq and Israel's zionist crimes in Palestine; intensification of the war in Afghanistan, and its gradual extension into Pakistan; Israel and US provocations and threats of intervention or military provocations against Iran or Syria; interferences and aggressions against Lebanon; threats against the People's Democratic Republic of Korea; provocation of political instability in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Myanmar; - all add up to a dangerous scenario for world peace, with potentially explosive dimensions in the recent military escalation in the Caucasus by a Georgia that is totally under imperialism's orders.

1.2.16 Events show that the insecurity and dangers that characterize the current international situation emanate from imperialism's political and military centers. The fact that since 1998 military spending has grown by about 45% - with the US military budget, and that of its main NATO allies, reaching record levels - shows well that they are banking on a new arms race to boost the armament industry's fantastic profits. This is also evident in the fact that the 100 largest companies of the military-industrial complex (74 of them from NATO member states) saw their sales grow more than 100% in the last decade, and in the fact that a number of logistics and mercenary-recruiting companies are flourishing with the recent "privatization" of military conflicts.

1.2.17 All the statements expressing concern over the military investments of developing countries are clearly exposed for what they are by the fact that the USA and NATO exert nearly hegemonic domination over world military capabilities. The US military budget alone accounts for about half of all world military spending.

1.2.18 In a situation of grave concerns over the possibility of conflicts spreading, with unpredictable consequences for humankind, the nuclear issue has reacquired growing importance. The main imperialist powers are spending many millions on programmes to modernize their nuclear arsenals and strategic missile systems. At the same time as it tries to prevent the development of nuclear industries for peaceful purposes by countries that reject its hegemony, imperialism commits the crime of again considering the use of nuclear weapons as a possibility.

1.2.19 The rapid development of militarism and the multi-faceted imperialist offensive has been backed with a reinforcement of imperialism's strategic-military coordination structures. At its Riga summit in November 2006, NATO emphasized its nature as a global, offensive organization, preparing for further expansion in the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Ukraine. Side by side with this, a large set of "partnership" agreements are being concluded on the Asian and African continents, in an attempt to bring as many countries as possible under their wing. NATO's goals, methods and development bear out its role as imperialism's "riot police", and serve to strengthen our demand for - in accordance with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic - that aggressive organization to be dissolved, and for Portugal to gradually break all ties to its military structure.

1.2.20 Imperialism's offensive is unfolding against a backdrop of fast change and realignment of forces, both in terms of the class struggle and within the imperialist camp itself. In this context, it has become especially important to interpret the inter-imperialist dynamic where - within a framework of growing, and above all more visible, rivalries between the triad's two most important pillars (the European Union and the United States of America) as they compete for markets, zones of influence and resources - key aspects of class coordination and power-sharing still subsist.

1.2.21 The world's main imperialist power - the USA - has in the last four years confirmed its status as the spearhead of imperialist militarism and warmongering, with the Bush administration's fascist-leaning policies. However, it will not give up that role without a major shift in the balance of forces and major change in the dominant economic and political system in US society. That issue is not at stake in the upcoming election for the White House.

1.2.22 Events have shown that - if unchecked - imperialism's offensive can jeopardize even humankind's existence. The world is in effect facing great dangers, that must not be underestimated. At the same time, those dangers coexist with strong resistance by workers and peoples, and with real potential for progressive and even revolutionary development.

1.3 Communists', Workers' and Peoples' Struggle. To Resist is Already To Win

1.3.1 The imperialist offensive's intensification has been met with growing resistance from workers and peoples.

1.3.2 With the all-out deterioration in the working masses' living conditions, with the limitations on, or abolition of, important social gains and democratic rights, with the attacks against national sovereignties, the class struggle has become sharper and has intensified on several fronts. It has taken on very diverse forms, contents and goals - all converging on a condemnation and rejection of big business and imperialist policies. Even though the balance of forces is still unfavourable, the forces of social progress, of national liberation, of peace and of socialism have continued the struggle everywhere.

1.3.3 Workers' struggles for their demands and for a society with more justice - involving the working class and other salaried strata, in both the public and private sectors - has materialized into major strikes, demonstrations and national days of action. Across all continents, millions of workers are associating the struggle for workplace demands with street demonstrations for jobs with rights, for better pay, for trade-union freedom, for social security, for tax justice, against privatizations, against the closure and delocalization of plants, against attacks on public services. The general strikes that have occurred in many countries are just some examples of the struggles that are being waged every day all over the world - and that the dominant media struggles to conceal. Resistance against capital's offensive of exploitation - where, together with destruction of historic gains by workers, there is the dramatic poverty into which more and more millions of human beings are being thrust - has taken on new expressions, in very diverse sectors and countries - such as the demonstration of child labourers in Bangladesh, the march of the poor in India, or the riots against the steep food price rises. Working class and working people's organization - and above all the existence of a fighting, class-based and mass-supported unitary trade union movement - is of decisive importance to achieve correct leadership in the development and effectiveness of the struggle.

1.3.4 The struggles of immigrant workers have gained particular prominence, particularly in the USA and Europe. These are struggles against racist and xenophobic laws, for legalization and equal rights, and against super-exploitation.

1.3.5 One section that has been hit particularly hard by the big business offensive is the masses of farmers who - confronted with WTO decisions, with the development of agro-industries and bio-fuels - have found their survival threatened by capitalist business and speculation. Farmers' and farm workers' struggles - for the right to produce, for fair prices to producers, against the use of GMOs, for the right to land - have been at the core of the class struggles in many countries, such as Brazil and India. They have also been the driving force behind far-reaching political and social change, such as in Bolivia and Ecuador, as well as in the defence of indigenous communities and traditional products, and in the defence of public water and the environment.

1.3.6 The growing exploitation of masses of farmers by agri-food industry transnationals, and the speculation over food prices, has brought the specter of hunger to the forefront on the international scene - making it a more powerful potential generator of new conflicts, and confirming food sovereignty and food security as essential components of national independence and social progress. The issue of land ownership and agrarian reform - and the slogan "land to those who till it" - has become even more topical today.

1.3.7 The system's crisis has also weighed on the urban petty and medium bourgeoisie - particularly on micro, small, and medium-scale businesspersons - who are reacting against the effects of capitalist concentration in all spheres of activity, by organizing themselves more. Prominent is also the struggle of intellectuals and technical workers who - as an increasingly proletarianized stratum - are suffering a loss of rights and income, and are haunted by the specter of unemployment. Women's struggles - within very diverse organizations or through women-specific movements - is gaining in importance in societies where the exploitation of female labour is on the rise, and where there are attempts to curtail equal rights and specific rights gained through long and hard struggles. Youth struggles are of great importance, not just to defend their immediate interests in terms of job rights and to defend public education, but also to defend wider workers' rights, freedom, democracy and peace.

1.3.8 The struggle against imperialism has undergone major development in the last few years. Resistance against interference, aggression and war - mainly by the USA - has also been a prominent feature of peoples' struggles to uphold their sovereignty and their inalienable right to decide on their own future. In Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon, Cuba and Venezuela, as well as in Syria, Iran, DPR Korea, the Balkans, Colombia or Cyprus, battles are underway that will be decisive for those peoples' futures and for regional stability - these struggles deserve active solidarity from Portugal's communists. Very diverse forces - in their backgrounds, goals and methods - are involved in those struggles, with real mass support and all converging in their rejection of arrogant and humiliating foreign imposition, and in their defence of national culture and sovereignty. The struggle against capitalist European integration is part and parcel of this vast movement.

1.3.9 The peace movement, after a broad-based and very active period of struggle against US threats and war on Iraq, has more a dispersed expression now. But there are positive signs that should be encouraged. In Europe, opposition has developed against EU militarization and against the installation of US missile systems and eastward NATO expansion. Struggles have developed against foreign military bases, and major demonstrations against militarism have taken place in Japan and India. The World Peace Council has been strengthened and is currently playing a more active role. But the peace movement is currently not up to the seriousness of the situation. It must be given more attention, and solidarity with all peoples suffering imperialism's interference and aggressions must be stepped up.

1.3.10 In particular, active solidarity must be expressed with peoples' struggles for self-determination and independence - as in Palestine, Western Sahara, Cyprus - or for the consolidation of democratic national independence processes - as in East Timor -, as well as with the courageous processes to assert sovereignty - that are politically very significant and presage a realignment of forces detrimental to imperialism. Such is the case of the Latin American continent, where the USA - following some serious setbacks, and with the support of fascist-leaning governments like Colombia - are launching a dangerous counter-offensive that must be denounced and defeated.

1.3.11 Latin America's progressive and anti-imperialist developments - despite some contradictory features and a diversity of processes - is one of the most encouraging examples of advances in the liberation process since our 17th Congress. Powers shifts in many countries - impelled by powerful people's movements - have led to the adoption of important democratic and social measures. Neo-liberal policies have been abandoned, and some of their most detrimental effects have been contained. This made it possible to reject the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA-ALCA) and to make progress in a Latin American integration process that is positive overall. It has multiple expressions, ranging from the Mercosur - that in spite of its capitalist mode of operation, objectively confronts US hegemony - to the ALBA - with its markedly anti-imperialist character -, several instruments of cooperation have been created, based on fairness and more equitable relations. In seeking to roll back those developments and depose democratically-elected governments, the USA are using intensive subversive activity to support the most reactionary forces.

1.3.12 Socialist Cuba's revolutionary example, its intransigent defence of its own sovereignty, confronting imperialism's threats, terrorist actions and fierce long-term blockade, and providing active solidarity to Latin American peoples and the unfolding processes - has been an important boost to the progressive changes in Bolivarian Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and other countries.

1.3.13 The struggle to uphold national sovereignty - its popular and mass character, involving very diverse social, political and religious forces - is, in the current context of imperialist globalization, a living expression of the class struggle. It has an undeniable internationalist content, while emphasizing the importance of the national level in the struggle for social change and for peoples' liberation.

1.3.14 An important factor on the international arena - particularly due to their role in resisting the imperialist "new order", are the countries that set themselves the direction and goal of building a socialist society: Cuba, China, Vietnam, Laos and DPR Korea. With diverse paths and experiences, these countries face problems and contradictions inherent to the social transformation process itself, conditioned and amplified by the internationally dominant capitalist relations. By subjecting them to all manner of political and economic pressures, to military threats, subversive operations, and media misinformation campaigns, imperialism seeks to destabilize those countries so as to roll back their option for social change. These intentions imply serious dangers to international security, and if they were to be successful, they would constitute a huge retreat for the liberation struggle. Regardless of the different assessments we may make about each of these processes' path and features, or of the concerns we may have about them in view of the PCP's own programme for socialism in Portugal - and considering that there is no unique model or path to building the new society freed from exploitation of man by man - the PCP considers that it is essential to recognize and guarantee the right of each of those peoples to freely decide their path. This is our interest, and it is in the best interests of the cause of peace and social progress worldwide.

1.3.15 As we enter the new year, the Cuban revolution will be marking its 50th anniversary. Throughout this half century, it has confronted continuous interference, destabilization and aggression campaigns. Its political, economic, social and cultural achievements, its intransigent defence of national sovereignty, its example of patriotism and internationalism, are beacons for the world. Solidarity with socialist Cuba is imperative for all revolutionary and peace-loving forces.

1.3.16 Achieving convergence between peoples' struggles for national and social liberation and the struggles of the working class, of all working people and other anti-monopoly classes and strata, is today a core task for all forces that oppose imperialism's hegemony.

1.3.17 The anti-imperialist front has broadened and become more diverse. It encompasses very diverse social and political components, and has been joined by distinct ideological trends whose strategic goals are sometimes even antagonistic. This makes unity in action difficult, even when working for identical demands. It is necessary to define and amplify those methods and modes of work that favour joint or convergent action and render the struggle most effective. In strengthening the anti-imperialist front's various diverse expressions, an enhanced role should be played by the international unitary organizations that emerged in the wake of the victory over nazi-fascism in the 2nd World War - such as the World Peace Council, the World Federation of Democratic Youth (including the highly inclusive World Festival of Youth and Students movement that it supports), the Women's International Democratic Federation, the World Federation of Trade Unions - and it is important to work to stregthen their work and extend their mass appeal.

1.3.18 The struggle for peace and against militarism and war, as well as solidarity with peoples suffering imperialism's interference - are the primary things. But they have to be backed, exposing interferences and the use of force in international relations; the struggle against NATO's enlargement, and for the dissolution of NATO and other political-military blocs, and in particular against EU militarization; for disarmament and the banning of all weapons of mass destruction; against the installation of anti-missile systems and against the militarization of outer space; to democratize the UN and for abidance by its Charter and by international law.

1.3.19 In the current situation, with the deepening crisis in the capitalist system, certain struggles have become especially important: the fight against exploitation and the inevitable attempts to transfer the burden of the crisis onto the workers and peoples; the fight for more equitable and fair economic relations, against neo-liberal policies that dismantle workers' rights and destroy public services; against the rising fuel prices and for alternative energy sources; against rising food prices, against hunger, for food sovereignty; the struggle to protect the environment, and many others.

1.3.20 The "anti-globalization movement" - within which an acute ideological struggle has been underway, to which the PCP has actively contributed by supporting a stronger anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist stance - is today going through a period with lower impact. The realities of class struggle - and of the national level's decisive importance in the struggle - has highlighted the limits of the "movementism" and "cosmopolitanism" (that had been presented as a "new internationalism") of those who spread the illusion that it is possible to "humanize" capitalist globalization. From the outset, the PCP characterized that movement as an expression of a shrinking social support base for capitalism in its current form. But we continue to consider that convergent action by all those who suffer the consequences of big business's exploitative and aggressive counter-offensive is extremely important.

1.3.21 The current time is still one of resistance and of gathering strength. It is also a time of major progressive and revolutionary potential. At this time, great responsibility is placed upon the shoulders of communist parties and the international communist and revolutionary movement. Together with an intransigent defence of workers' interests, they must identify the unifying factors needed for alliances between the working class and the various social and political components that make up an anti-imperialist front. They must confidently put forward the prospect of an alternative, even though in the immediate term only limited goals and intermediate stages in the struggle for socialism and communism can be envisaged.

1.3.22 Contrary to the predictions of those that two decades ago announced the end of history and of the class struggle, it is increasingly obvious that capitalism is incapable of providing answers to workers' problems and wishes, that the working class continues to be at the core of the class struggle, and that salary-earners and other anti-monopoly classes and strata need strong communist parties.

1.2.23 Stronger communist parties, with stronger cooperation and mutual solidarity - with proletarian internationalism at its core - are historically validated requirements for success in the struggle. Closer bonds and cooperation between communist parties - of which the International Meetings (the 8th was held in Lisbon, and we are now at the 10th) are an important instance - are being forged. The PCP will do everything it can to enhance them in the future, and to create the conditions for more stable and effective coordination.

1.3.24 This reality does not however negate the huge weaknesses, difficulties and problems that still exist in the communist movement. It is still very scarred by the negative consequences of socialism's defeats. On the one hand, there are valuable processes of resistance, assertion and recovery by communist parties. But on the other hand, revisionist and reformist trends continue to develop, involving degeneration, self-liquidation or dilution into "left-wing" fronts, giving up the ideological references and revolutionary goals that define communists as a revolutionary tendency needed to strengthen the anti-imperialist front - irreplaceable in the liquidation of capitalism and in building a new society without exploiters and exploited. In this respect, the European Left Party - which the PCP did not join due to its supranational logic and its ideology - both confirmed that it was a false answer to the recognized need to strengthen cooperation between anti-capitalist left forces in Europe, and also introduced elements of division, distancing and prejudice, which surfaced especially in the United European Left/Nordic Green Left Group at the European parliament.

1.3.25 The struggle to strengthen communist parties has to confront rapid social-economic change - with its repercussions on the working class and its condition (unemployment, casualization, delocalization and/or immigration), and with huge ideological pressure from big business - that can only be overcome by strong beliefs, by having roots in the working class and the masses of the people, by fostering their struggles, by highlighting the revolutionary prospect of social change and by fighting opportunist ideas that deny the class struggle's existence.

1.3.26 Although there is growing understanding of the need for communist parties and for close cooperation between them, the communist movement is still undergoing a phase of great instability and it is still difficult to precisely delimit what its components and borders are. Diversity of situations and immediate tasks, of experiences, cultures, assessments of history have always characterized the communist movement. The existence of great differences today requires cooperation, to seek unity in action, based on equal rights, sovereignty, non-interference in internal affairs - rejecting nationalism and reductive specificities as well as uniformity-generating "models" and setups with no correspondence to reality.

1.3.27 Confronted with the crisis of capitalism, and the dangers it entails, it is up to the communist and revolutionary movement to develop the widest possible cooperation among progressive and revolutionary anti-imperialist forces, overcoming delays, fighting reformism and spontaneism, and vigourously fighting the dominant ideology.

1.3.28 The imperialist offensive can only be halted by the joint struggle of peoples, communist and progressive forces, and those countries that in the course of the struggle realize the need to complement anti-imperialist struggle with the goal of overcoming capitalism through revolution and building socialism.

1.4 Socialism: The Necessary and Possible Alternative

1.4.1 Socialism, with communism on the horizon, is the PCP's Programmatic goal. It expresses the superiority of the values of freedom and social justice that drive communists all over the world in their struggle against capital. But at this time socialism is also a real possibility - an increasingly necessary and urgent one. The PCP believes this, based on three main pillars. Firstly, on dialectical and historical materialism, the brilliant scientific discovery made by Marx and Engels that unveiled the general laws of social development, and the proletariat's role in it. It expounded the reasons for capitalism's transitory nature, and the requirement for it to be overcome through revolution, a requirement that Lenin further elaborated in the epoch of imperialism, and that the October Revolution brought to life for the first time in history. Secondly, on the October Revolution's universal historical significance, on the pioneering undertaking of building a new society in the USSR and on the other historical experiences of socialism. All those experiences - with their very differing degrees of revolutionary creativity, their greater or lesser consideration for national specificities, the greater or lesser effect of external factors - were the result of great class battles and of revolutionary crises that implied far-reaching anti-capitalist change. These experiences are inseparable from the fact that the proletariat had created its vanguard party, and were only possible due to the communists' dedication and prestige, and by the enthusiastic popular support and participation that they aroused. These experiences materialized into highly valuable gains and achievements, that showed, and still show, the superiority of workers' power, of the new society without exploiters or exploited, of socialism over capitalism. A huge contribution was made by the USSR - and later by the socialist camp countries - toward the major civilizational advances achieved in the 20th century. In a short span of time, backward countries became highly industrialized and socially advanced countries where historically unprecedented rights were achieved. The working-class movement's social and democratic gains in the capitalist countries, commonly identified with the "welfare state", the colonial empires' collapse and the national liberation movement's impetuous advance among the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America - are all inseparable from the existence and achievements of the USSR and the socialist countries. Whatever attempts may be made to deny or distort the truth, the victory over nazi-fascism will forever go down in history as feat toward which the Soviet people and communists in Europe and the world over made the most heroic and decisive contribution. The USSR's policies of peace and internationalist solidarity, and its achievement of strategic military balance between the USSR and the USA, and between the socialist camp and imperialism, were decisive in containing imperialism's aggressive nature, in safeguarding world peace, and for the advances made by the forces of social progress. Like so many others Portugal's 25 April [1974] revolution benefited from the atmosphere of detente in Europe and the world in the 1970s, and the Portuguese people received internationalist solidarity from the peoples of the Soviet Union and the other socialist countries. Humankind's march toward socialism and communism suffered serious setbacks at the end of the century, with the destruction of the USSR and the defeats of socialism in Eastern Europe. The study of their causes and consequences continues within the communist movement and the progressive camp. The PCP must dedicate further attention to them, to draw from them all the experiences and teachings they contain, so as to pursue the struggle with greater confidence. We have much valuable thinking already produced through the Party's collective discussion and reflection since the 13th and 14th congresses. The thesis put forward by the PCP - according to which (and contrary to what the fierce campaign waged by our opponents about the "death of communism" and the "irreversible decline of communist parties") what was defeated was not the communist ideas and goals, but rather a historically specific "model" that distanced itself, and even began contradicting, essential features of a socialist society always proclaimed by communists concerning workers' power, political democracy, social-economic structures, the Party's role, and theory - has turned out to be particularly fruitful. But, based on the analyses and guidelines produced by the 13th and 14th Congresses, we need to further our reflections.

1.4.2 In this context, we must not forget that socialist construction in the USSR, and later in other countries of Europe, Asia and Latin America, faced from the very outset encirclement and aggression by imperialism, continuous provocations and domestic destabilization operations, as well as sophisticated campaigns of ideological subversion and diversion. All of this imposed upon them heavy sacrifices, forced them to divert huge resources to the military sector, led to distortions and imbalances in socialist social-economic development and even to crises. All of this influenced the paths and solutions found in the socialism-building process, and contributed - to a considerable extent - toward the delays, mistakes and distortions that occurred, in violation of fundamental principles of socialism. Serious ideological, political and class concessions and capitulations occurred, especially from the mid-1980s that ended up determining - from the acute competition and confrontation between both systems - a temporary serious retreat on the road to social progress. Confronted with the complex problems that emerged in socialism-building in the USSR and in other countries of Eastern Europe, the PCP expressed understanding and solidarity toward the efforts and guidelines that claimed to seek to overcome those problems. At the same time, we alerted to the development of anti-socialist forces and to the escalation of imperialist interference - while trusting that enough forces existed to defend workers' power and gains while undertaking the necessary renovation of society. But some of the measures taken aggravated problems, to the point where a general crisis was generated. Class-based stances and close links with the working class were abandoned, concessions were made to imperialism's pressure and blackmail, social-democratic ideology penetrated deeply, communists' heroic historical legacy was rejected, highly responsible Party and State officials betrayed - all of this disoriented and disarmed communists and the masses in the defence of socialism, and made it possible for counter-revolution to develop quickly and win, reestablishing capitalism. This harsh reality does not however nullify the liberation-related meaning of the unprecedented undertaking of building a new society, without exploiters nor exploited, that began with the October Revolution. How valuable its achievements were, became even more obvious after the tragic consequences of those defeats. For those countries, with the horrible social retrogression caused by counter-revolution, it meant loss of sovereignty, exploitative invasion by transnationals and plunder of their resources, annexation by NATO and the EU, attacks on basic rights and freedoms, advancement of fascist forces and of anti-communism. For the world, with the skewed balance of forces that emerged, it was a counter-offensive by big business and imperialism against workers and against peoples. Events have dramatically shown that the disappearance of that powerful factor of containment that was the USSR left the world more exposed to capitalism's exploitative and aggressive nature, and made capitalism have more injustice and be more dangerous.

1.4.3 Thirdly, on the PCP's belief that at this time socialism is increasingly necessary and urgent. This is based on an analysis of the capitalist system and its current development trends. Capitalism has exhibited a sometimes unexpected ability to adapt and recover - but it is mired in unsolvable contradictions, and its historical limitations have become obvious. With socialism's defeats, capitalism launched a huge campaign to portray itself as the terminal system, with no alternatives. But the "end of history" myth - and with it, the "end" of communism, of communist parties, of the class struggle, of revolution, and others - did not last long. Capitalism's triumphant tone in the 1990s - when, with the defeats of socialism, it announced more freedom, more international security and peace, more social progress - did not survive the test of time. Neo-liberal prescriptions, and the theses justifying capitalist globalization - while still dominant - quickly became discredited. Capitalism has shown itself incapable of satisfying the interests and aspirations of workers and peoples, and is in addition endangering humankind's very existence. The contradiction between the huge potential of scientific and technological achievements, and the horrible retrogression that is plaguing the globe - unemployment, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental disasters - is in itself a major indictment against the capitalist system. The need for, and possibility of, socialism is embedded within the systemic contradictions of contemporary capitalism, that are tending to become exceptionally acute. The antagonism between capital and labour, with a fierce rise in exploitation and a speedy proletarianization of the petty bourgeoisie and the middle strata of the population. The lack of correspondence between the productive forces' level of development and the capitalist relations of production that hinder their development and divert its social utility. The contradiction between the (increasingly strong) social character of production and the (increasingly concentrated) private ownership of the major means of production. The huge centralization and concentration of capital, the formation of gigantic monopolies that - alone or in alliances - dominate whole branches of production, trade or finance, as well as capitalism's international regulatory mechanisms themselves, are expressions of actual socialization processes (that amount to an international-level state monopoly capitalism) that highlight the need for socialism as the necessary rational solution to capitalism's inhumane anarchy and competition. Solving the major problem that afflict all of humankind - starting with the problem of peace, but also the energy, environmental, poverty and other problems - requires the use of rational planning methods, that are inherent to socialism. Capitalism's support base is becoming narrower and narrower. All non-monopoly classes and strata are objectively interested in its liquidation. Today, it is humankind's very future that is threatened by the unbridled quest for maximum profits. The Marxist thesis - according to which by liberating itself the working class is at the same time liberating all the other classes and strata oppressed by monopoly capital - has never been so true as today.

1.4.4 No doubt the road to socialism has turned out to be more complex, with more obstacle-ridden, and slower than was predictable after the great liberating advances achieved on the path opened up by the October Revolution. It is also a fact that the communist and revolutionary movement has not yet recovered from the major setbacks of the 1990s. None of that, however, negates the fact that we live in the epoch of transition from capitalism to socialism - inaugurated by the October Revolution - and that capitalism does not solve, but rather aggravates, the serious problems of our time. Only socialism can respond to the most heartfelt aspirations of workers and peoples, only socialism can save humankind from the impending catastrophe caused by capital's insatiable greed. It is with this deeply-held belief that the PCP proclaims - for Portugal and for the world - that socialism is a real possibility and that it is the most secure prospect for humankind's development.


2.0. Introduction

2.0.1. The formation of the Socialist Party government, backed in Parliament by an absolute majority, and the election of Cavaco Silva for President of the Republic, which materialized the old right wing ambition to take control of this sovereign body, represent, in the political-constitutional field, the assertion and consolidation of a power block which serves the powerful economical and financial groups.

2.0.2. The early legislative elections, held in February 2005, after the dissolution of Parliament, corresponded, although belatedly, to a broad popular longing and culminated  a vast process of resistance against the offensive led by the PSD (Social Democratic Party) and the CDS-PP (Social  Democratic Centre- Popular Party) of Durão Barroso, Paulo Portas and Santana Lopes.

2.0.3. The attachment of the Socialist Party to a right wing policy, aggravated by the attainment of an absolute majority, frustrated the possibility of making these elections not only change the government and defeat the PSD and the CDS-PP, but also of creating the conditions that would contribute to overcome the right wing policy and to build a true and effective alternative policy.

2.0.4. The three and a half years of socialist government are marked by a new, more intense and global, phase of the offensive to destroy social rights and to promote the interests of capital. Within the framework of the right wing policy that has been pursued and carried out during the past thirty-two years, the present government is not only carrying out policies to reduce and do away with rights and to impose steps backward in the social field; it has launched an offensive against the democratic regime enshrined in the Constitution.

2.0.5. The process of reshaping the structure and the role of the State according to the interests of monopoly capital and the attack against economic and social rights have impoverished political democracy and increasingly restricted citizens' freedoms and guarantees.

2.0.6. Based on a relationship of growing promiscuousness and commitment to the government and with a "strategic cooperation" offered by the President of the Republic to its activities, prominent sectors and structures of big capital have placed on their agenda and in their goals not just the demand for economic and social policies more favorable to their interests, but also a program of true subversion of the political and constitutional regime.

2.0.7. Three decades of right wing policy, of reconstruction of monopoly capitalism, translated into the aggravation of the living conditions of the workers and people in general, into the growing foreign dependence and subordination of the country and into a troubling impoverishment of the democratic regime. This raises, as a major issue of our political times and for the future of our country, the absolute need to break with these policies and to create a new course for our country.

2.1. The Evolution of the European Union

2.1.1. The recent evolution of the European Union is inseparable from all the economic, social and political processes that characterize the current stage of capitalist development. Side by side with the prosecution and reinforcement of its neo-liberal, federalist and militarist policies, the evolution of the European Union has been significantly marked, during the past four years, by the rejection in 2005 of the so-called "European Constitution" (in Holland and France) and by the rejection by the Irish people of the second attempt to have it imposed in a new version under the name "Treaty of Lisbon". This rejection represents a significant setback for big business and the big powers, in their projects to strengthen European capitalist integration. On a national level, it was a major defeat of the Socialist and Social Democratic Parties in their attempt to deprive the Portuguese people of their right to debate and voice their opinions regarding the real content and goal of a draft Treaty which the Portuguese Communist Party firmly rejected and will continue to oppose. The maneouvers to prevent further referenda in EU countries, together with those that preceded and followed the referendum in Ireland demonstrate the deeply antidemocratic nature of the European integration and the disrespect for the will of the people that is shown by its supranational institutions.

2.1.2. In the framework of a worsening structural crisis of the capitalist system the so-called "Lisbon Strategy" proceeded with the intensification of its agenda and priorities, systematized with the creation of the "national retirement schemes", the adoption of the directive on the liberalization of services and new steps towards the liberalization and privatization of public utilities (energy, water, transport, postal service, higher education), and the dismantling of public administration, the deregulation of the labor market, the decisions of the European Court of Justice to impose the liberalization of markets and  capitalist competition, namely challenging the national labor laws, together with a monetary policy serving the interests of the big financial interests and that increasingly transfers income from labor to capital. The liberalization of agriculture has proceeded, with the exemption of aids to  production decided during the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy of 2003, and the dismantling of the common market organizations (wine), thus increasing inequality in the distribution of support among producers, products and countries. A Common Fisheries Policy geared to destroying the sector and to the awarding the management of national maritime biological resources to the UE supranational institutions has been intensified. These are common policies that jeopardize those sectors which are strategic for our country and its food independence and security. A policy of bilateral, regional and multilateral trade relations was intensified with a view to liberalizing world trade, whether at the level of the World Trade Organization or by creating free trade zones and regions, which, despite contradictions, favour a strategic partnership with the USA. The Community Financial Framework for 2007-2013, adopted in 2006, established, under the imposition of the EU powers in their offensive against the workers and the people, a ceiling of 1% of Net National Income at EU level for the Community budget, thus penalizing the economically less developed countries - such as Portugal, which, in comparison to the previous Community framework, sees a drop of about 15% in funds - and conditioning the use of those funds to the materialization of the "Lisbon Strategy"'s neoliberal agenda. New steps have been taken towards a common justice and domestic affairs policy, depriving the sovereign member States of powers, adopting a vast number of security measures that, under the excuse of "fighting terrorism", challenge fundamental rights, liberties and guarantees of citizens. The EU has been implementing an immigration policy marked by a securitarian, selective, repressive and criminalizing attitude towards immigrants, reducing them to a cheap and disposable labor force without rights, as in the case of the recently adopted return directive The militarization of the EU has been enhanced and, adopting NATO's offensive concept, it confirms itself as its European pillar, with a "Security Strategy" based on the militarization of international relations and the violation of international law. The EU proceeded to strengthen and create new military capabilities and "military missions" that, as in the case Kosovo, aim at controlling markets and natural resources and sharing geostrategic areas.

2.1.3. With its policies and goals, the EU fully confirms itself as the class instrument of  transnational capitalism and the big powers, as is clearly visible in the fact that the priorities and decisions of its supranational institutions coincide with the interests of big capital and in the control of the decision-making processes by the big EU powers. An "integration" that in fundamental issues (as for example the Treaties, The Lisbon Strategy and «flexisecurity») has counted upon the agreement of the European Confederation of Trade Unions (ECTU). recent evolution of the EU confirms that, despite important and harmful advances towards its consolidation as an imperialist pole, it is not exempt from contradictions and resistance that originate in the confrontation between big capital and the huge number of salaried workers, in particular the working class and other social strata that are profoundly affected by the right wing policies. Contradictions that are also inherent to the clash of political and economic interests between the big powers and between these and the remaining countries. Such contradictions will inevitably grow, as the European Union increasingly violates sovereignty rights, national interests and cultural identities that have deep roots. When facing the contradictions and obstacles created by the development of the process of capitalist integration, the mentors of European capitalist integration, while concealing and fudging their existence, present false solutions and ways out, in an attempt to secure a dynamic of faits accomplis which will spearhead new and dangerous leaps forward. The host of mystifications and fallacies on which the pemanent ideological "Europeanist" onslaught is based - such as the thesis about "national egotism" versus "European interest"; or "the absence of European leaders with the political dimension of its founders"; or the EU as a "political dwarf"; or the "Community method" versus "federalism"; or of federalism as an alternative and different response to the directory; or the federalism disguised as "left-wing Europeanism"; or even the alleged "lack" of a "constituent basis in drafting a European Constitution" - attempt to evade the essential question: that the EU is, in the current international framework, an imperialist pole geared towards increasing exploitation and aggressive interventionism. The PCP reaffirms that it rejects and will firmly oppose any "solution" that - whether or not supported by the creation of a "hard core" - would reinforce the federal nature of the EU Institutions and, consequently, the domination of the big powers over the decision-making processes, namely by stressing demographic criteria at the expense of the representation of sovereign States and the principle of equality between them, by abolishing the rotating half-yearly presidencies of the European Council,  by putting an end to the principle of one permanent commissioner per country, by reducing the number of members of the European Parliament, by expanding  the co-decision and adopting decisions through a qualified majority, to the disadvantage of countries such as Portugal and their veto power in safeguarding their fundamental interests. The PCP reaffirms that it rejects and will firmly oppose any alleged "solution" that may represent greater possibilities of a neoliberal offensive against the workers and the people, and which would translate into a loss of social and civilizational rights, into an increase in social inequality, in the multiplication of asymmetries across countries and regions, into an increase in environmental problems and the growth of dependencies of countries such as Portugal. The PCP reaffirms that it rejects and will firmly oppose any so called "solution" that intends to consolidate a political-military bloc seeking a competitive dispute of markets, raw materials and labor force, whether or not it joins in liaisons, alliances or agreements with the other members of the Triad, Japan and the USA 

2.1.4. More than twenty years after the Single European Act, fifteen years after the Maastricht Treaty and ten after the Economic and Monetary Union (with the ECB, the Stability Pact and the Euro), the results of the referendums in France, Netherlands and Ireland clearly show the broad rejection of a "European integration" that disregards sovereignties, national economies and democracy, and attacks the social achievements of the workers, security and peace. The struggles of the workers and the peoples in defense of democracy, sovereignty and national independence and to safeguard the political, economic, social and cultural achievements in the various countries, are a contribution to the development  of a political consciousness regarding the class nature of the EU and the decisive level of struggle necessary to open the way for another Europe of cooperation, progress and peace. The coherent and steady rejection of this European integration demands, on a national level, the strengthening of those political forces that, taking advantage of the contradictions and obstacles and liaising the class struggle with institutional action, fight against its federalist, neoliberal and militarist dynamic. The important mobilizations and meaningful struggles that have taken place all over Europe show and reaffirm the need to strengthen the cooperation, namely of  left-wing forces committed to the workers' interests - clearly demarcated from social democracy, which is today submitted to neoliberalism - and the convergence of all those that fight for a new course for Europe, based on the goal of an anti-capitalist social transformation.

2.1.5. The PCP will continue to assume as its main priority the prosecution and strengthening of cooperation among all communists and other left-wing and progressive forces in Europe, respecting differences of context, assessment and proposals, placing at the forefront the need for common or converging action around those issues that most concern the workers and other sectors or social strata that are affected by the current "European integration". [The PCP will] put forth common activities and proposals at the European level with the firm belief that the necessary European and international dimension of the struggle will be all the more representative and significant, the more deeply rooted the struggle is, in each country. The PCP will continue deeply committed to developing the cooperation and convergence of all Communist parties, progressive and left-wing parties and forces, namely: in the safeguard, consolidation, strong intervention and assertion of the united, confederal and progressive nature of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament; in the development of common initiatives of a European scope; in the incentive and support for the struggle of the workers and of other sectors and social forces for social rights and achievements, against capitalist policies, for peace and against militarism and war, for democracy and national sovereignty, and against federalism and the domination by the big powers. 

2.1.6. For the past two decades, the Socialist Party (PS), the Social Democratic Party (PSD) and the Social Democratic Center-Popular Party (CDS-PP), in an instructive and permanent convergence of positions, have been responsible for conducting and for an increasingly profound integration of Portugal within the EEC/EU, taking an active role in defining its neo-liberal, federalist and militarist policies and guidelines. This convergence was responsible for handing over essential components of national sovereignty; for the submission to the institutions of the European Union and the big powers; for the acceptance of impositions and measures that are harmful to the country; for handing over strategic sectors of the national economy to foreign capital; for the notion of inevitability of European Union policies; for promoting the idea that the problems and difficulties faced by the country are the counterpart for the alleged "benefits" of community funds; for not giving voice to the Portuguese people on fundamental questions; for not using the margin for maneuver that, despite everything, Portugal has, if it used, among others, the so called  "subsidiarity principle" and its veto powers.

Also the Left Block, with its so-called "left-wing Europeanism", which conceals its  covert federalism, confirms itself as one of the political forces that favors the advance of the EU's supranational nature, devaluing and ignoring the key importance of preserving  national sovereignty as one of the main pillars for the development of the country  and as an indispensable tool in the struggle for a different Europe.

2.1.8. The European Union emerges as one of the main pillars of the class policy carried out in Portugal and as one of the main foundations and pretexts for the offensive against the  social-economic rights and conquests of the workers, which undermines the national interest and the project for patriotic and internationalist development enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution. A foreign policy based on the diversification of international relations and on cooperation, peace and friendship with all peoples, on the safeguard of national sovereignty and the promotion of the interests of Portugal and the Portuguese people, are the main orientations in what concerns the our Country's participation in a project of European cooperation. Confronted with the process of integration of the European Union, national sovereignty is a non-negotiable starting point and a central and decisive issue in the assertion of the interests of Portugal and the Portuguese people.  The defense and assertion of national sovereignty demand the institutional enshrinement of the possibility of reverting and amending agreements and treaties that govern European integration, adjusting the status of each country to the will of its people and its real situation, including the right to the sovereign decision of withdrawing from the EU. 

2,1. 9. There is no institutional architecture for the federal model (one or two Chambers, more or fewer commissioners, more or less power to the European Parliament, this or that voting system) that can overcome the inequality of power that results from the significant differences among member-States. The neoliberal and militarist dimensions are inherent to its nature of capitalist integration, inseparable from the federalist solutions on an the institutional level. Each new step forward in this process consolidates a political and economical power favorable to big capital and the big powers and strengthens their «super-State» to better exploit the workers and the peoples, in their political and economic relations of competition and convergence with the other members of the «Triad» of  capitalist globalization, Japan and the USA. These facts consolidate the idea that the EU cannot be reformed.

2.1.10. Another Europe is not only possible, but also necessary. The path towards another Europe can only be opened up and consolidated by an intransigent struggle against the capitalist integration configured by the European Union. By opposing each new step to further it. By presenting concrete alternatives for a break [with this process]. Through the convergence of left-wing and progressive forces, by raising the awareness and mobilization of the workers and the peoples, for progressive transformations towards a socialist future for Europe.

2.1.11 Against a federal European Union where an asymmetry of power that favors the great powers is being consolidated, we stand for a Europe of cooperation among States and peoples, that are independent and equal in rights, that respects the cultural identity and the independence of Portugal and all other countries.

2.1.12. Against a European Union where the interests of capital prevail and the differences among countries and regional differences are enhanced, we stand for a Europe of the working class and other working strata of the society, that promotes a development that is based on the sustainable relationship between nature and society, and on economic convergence and social progress, and strives for cohesion within each country and among all countries.

2.1.13. Against a militarist European Union, a political-military bloc with imperialist ambitions, that strategically converges with US imperialism, promoting and extending the intervention of the aggressive NATO alliance, we stand for a Europe committed to promoting peace and stronger relations in the European continent and all over the world, and for cooperation, with a view to ensuring development, with all peoples of the Planet.



4.0. Introduction

4.0.1. Since the XVIIth Congress, in a context of significant political and ideological demands, the Party has developed an intense and diversified activity and intervention against the right-wing policies of the Socialist Party (PS) / Sócrates, in defence of workers and the people, and the democratic regime enshrined in the Constitution. PCP's action was determinant in mobilizing the mass struggle, in articulation with institutional intervention.

4.0.2. PCP grew stronger, increases its political, social and electoral influence and affirmed itself as the great Party of the working class and all workers.

4.0.3. Although there are insufficiencies and hardships that need surpassing, the recent experience proves that it is possible to consolidate and increase the organization, elevate militancy, broaden the action and political intervention of organizations, and make the Party stronger - indispensable condition for furthering the struggle for a rupture with right-wing policies, for a left-wing alternative, for an advanced democracy and for socialism.

4.1. PCP between the XVIIth and the XVIIIth Congresses

4.1.1. Reality confirmed the importance and role of the Portuguese Communist Party, given the heightened class struggle, the increasing constraints upon freedoms and democracy, and the general offensive against historic victories and rights.

4.1.2. PCP was unparallel in the struggle against changes to labour legislation, for an increase in wages and against precariousness, particularly in the General Strike of May 30th of 2007 and the national rallies called by CGTP-IN; defended the rights and freedoms; defended the right to health, to education, to justice, to public water, to transports and accessibility, and to security; fought against the closure and privatization of public services, as well as the disfigurement of a public and universal social security; fought against the increases in living costs, including increases in the prices of essential goods and services; demanded the creation of jobs; defended the productive sector, national production, food sovereignty and scientific research; fought privatizations and defended the State's position in strategic sectors of the national economy; defended national sovereignty, fighting the so-called «Lisbon Treaty» and demanding a referendum; demanded the end to inequalities and discrimination between men and women, and committed itself to the victory of the Yes in the referendum on Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy; opposed the involvement of Portugal in the wars of aggression and imperialist occupations; fought attacks upon freedoms and democracy; proposed a rupture with the right-wing policies and called for a new policy that benefits the people and the country.

4.1.3. PCP intervened in important electoral battles, including the legislative, local and presidential elections, with positive results, and undertook large political mass campaigns, integrating multiple and diversified initiatives, from which we highlight the January 14th, 2007 rally, during the presidential elections, with the presence of more than 25 thousand people, which overflowed the Atlantic Pavilion.

4.1.4. In the framework of a dialectic connection between mass action, institutional action and general political intervention, the Party promoted a broad political initiative aimed at workers, populations and important sectors and social groups, particularly women, the youth, the retired, micro and small businesses, the small and medium farmers, stimulating the creation and strengthening of their movements and mass organizations and fostering their struggle. PCP developed important political mass campaigns, supported by propaganda material and special sales of Avante!, with regular presence in companies and workplaces and near populations, like the national actions «No to the increase of the retirement age», «Right to retirement, pensions cannot decrease», «Health is a right, not a business», «Enough injustice, change policy for a better life», «Labour Code: Enough exploitation», «Portugal needs, PCP proposes», «No to the European Union Treaty» and «Its time to fight, its time to change: strengthen PCP». PCP held an intense and diversified activity with political initiatives, hearings, debates, get-togethers, meetings, organization assemblies; it commemorated, with great expression, the anniversaries of the Party and Avante! (which celebrated their 85th and 75th anniversaries, respectively, in 2006); it held, with notable success, the Avante! Festival; it promoted National Meetings on issues like the legislative elections, health, education, agriculture, the retired, Public Administration, the popular association movement, civil protection, the micro, small and medium businessmen, the rights of women, culture, and the 20 years of Portugal's membership in the EU; it hosted, in Portugal, the International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, meetings of its working group and other multilateral initiatives; it invoked the 160th anniversary of the Communist Party Manifesto, the 90th anniversary of the October Revolution, the 60th anniversary of the defeat of nazi-fascism, the centennial of the birth of the musician Lopes Graça; it promoted actions valuing antifascist resistance, the 30th anniversary of the Constitution and the commemoration of the 25th of April.

4.1.5. The process of preparation and realization of a National Conference of PCP on economic and social issues, held in November in 2007 under the theme «For a new policy at the service of the people and the Country» was - given the participation of thousands of party members, the hearings of dozens of representative structures of sectors of the economic and social life, and, mainly, the evaluation and consolidation of a vast heritage of analyses and proposals for the main problems of the country - a moment of extraordinary importance in the projection of the need for a rupture with right-wing policies and the affirmation of an alternative policy.

4.1.6. Following the intense development of the mass struggle, PCP held on the 1st of March of 2008, the Freedom and Democracy March, action with more than 50 thousand participants and that constituted not only a moment of significant party affirmation, but also an opportune response to the decay of the democratic regime, to the attacks on freedoms and democracy, to the antidemocratic character of the law on parties and party financing, in itself inseparable from the general right-wing offensive on the economic and social levels.

4.1.7. The grandiose homage to comrade Álvaro Cunhal which constituted his funeral translated a profound recognition of his life and political, ideological, cultural and party intervention, and was the expression of a broad sentiment of identification with the values and ideals of April and the popular influence of PCP.

4.2. Conditions in which we struggle, demands and potentials

4.2.1. PCP, given its nature, objective and intervention, faces a continued attack from the forces tied to big capital that aim to weaken and liquidate PCP. A long-time objective they will not achieve.

4.2.2. The fascist regime with its repressive action did not achieve it, nor could it avoid the growth of the Party, the broadening of its influence in Portuguese society, especially among workers. Throughout the long years underground, PCP organized its activity based on the Leninist principles of organic functioning and ideological, political and financial independence. These principles were determinant in ensuring the class nature and independence of the Party, and in proceeding with determination in the struggle against fascism, for liberty and democracy. And they were decisive in their contribution towards the cohesion and strength of the party, for the April Revolution and its great achievements, for the struggle in defence of the Revolution and the improvement of living-conditions of the people.

4.2.3. Big capital has always sought to realize its class hatred against PCP. The current legislations on parties, their financing and electoral campaigns, are an expression of its objective to weaken and destroy PCP. In a correlation of forces that is favourable to big capital, with the complicity and material authorship of the Social-Democratic Party (PSD), Democratic and Social Centre-Popular Party (CDS-PP) and PS, big capital sought to impose upon PCP the model of those parties, to interfere in its internal life, and disavow its members of sovereignty to make decisions about the functioning and activity of their party. These laws create illegitimate and abusive difficulties and restrictions to fund-raising and are aimed towards PCP, the only party that holds mass initiatives, which are simultaneously important sources of revenue, as demonstrated by the systematic attacks upon the Avante! Festival. It is imperative to pursue the struggle to repeal these laws, namely denouncing their objectives to the popular masses as an integral part of the Party's intervention in defence of freedom and democracy.

4.2.4. In the attack upon the democratic regime, the offensive against PCP is a central element that develops with the participation of diverse forces, united by their anti-communism. In a context of a worsening economic and social situation, the increasing resistance of workers, and the determinant role played by PCP in that fight, anticommunism has gained new relevance and virulence in the arsenal of the big bourgeoisie and the forces that serve it. It is anticommunism that gives ideological sustenance to the reactionary offensive against the Party.

4.2.5. In addition to the daily occultation and distortion in the main mass media - that aims to silence and diminish the intervention and proposals of PCP, feed prejudice and hinder the growth of its influence - there have been increasing attempts to systematically prevent the exercise of the most basic democratic rights by the Party, by the Portuguese Communist Youth (JCP), and by mass organizations. Expression of this offensive are the abuses of authority and the manipulation of police forces to repress or condition the right to protest, to political and union activity, to strike; economic blackmail; illegal layoffs and suppression of the rights of those that struggle; attacks upon the right to propaganda, with its systematic destruction; the attempt to impose unlawful regulations; and the increasing encroachment of the judiciary in political life.

4.2.6. The assaults opon democracy and proportionality of the electoral laws, which until now PS and PSD did not have conditions to approve, are held as a priority objective in the offensive against PCP.

4.2.7. Arguments such as "politics is discredited" and that "it is necessary to bring citizens and politics closer" aim to obfuscate the responsibilities of PS and PSD for the situation in the country, and to create the conditions for their perpetuity in power, with recourse to an enforced «bipolarization» and electoral trickery.

4.2.8. PCP will continue to fight in the defence and deepening of the democratic regime and to assume an intervention in the electoral processes as an important battle front that can contribute to the affirmation and increase of support to the Party's proposals and project. While we attribute importance to the electoral dimension as one of the significant elements of influence of the Party, we do not loose sight that it corresponds to merely a limited fraction of the expression of the real strength of the Party.

4.3. The actuality of the communist project and the identity of the Party

4.3.1. The situation of Humanity in this XXIst century clearly demonstrates that capitalism is unable not only to resolve its incorrigible contradictions, which condemn millions of human beings to obscurantism, hunger, disease and exploitation, but that it increases it exploitative, oppressive and war-mongering character. At a time when the advances and achievements of science, technology, knowledge and the arts, allow, if placed at the service of Humanity, levels of development and emancipation never before experienced, the communist project and the need for struggle for a society free from exploitation of Man by Man regains reason to be and actuality. It is in this national and international framework that PCP, party that takes pride in its history of struggle against fascism, for democracy and freedom, reaffirms its determination in realizing its liberating and humanist project.

4.3.2. The identity of the Party is indissolvable from its project and is defined in its Program and Statutes, as the basis of its organization, intervention and objectives. These are fundamental characteristics of the identity of the Party: Its objective to build a new society, free from exploitation of Man by Man, without antagonistic social classes, discriminations, and social inequalities and injustices, in which democracy is realized in its political, social, economic and cultural dimensions, in which the popular masses intervene creatively in all aspects of life, in which the well-being of the people is increasingly elevated - socialism and communism; Its class nature, as a party and as the vanguard of the working class and all workers, which is reflected in its composition and in its close ties to the working class, all workers and the people in general; Its theoretical founding, Marxism-Leninism, a materialist and dialectical conception of the world, a scientific instrument of analysis of reality, a guide to action, a critical and transforming ideology, an open system, contrary to dogma and opportunistic revision of its fundamental principles and concepts which, in connection with life, is being constantly enriched and renewed; Its organic structure and working principles that are grounded upon the creative development of democratic centralism, which includes as its basic characteristics a profound internal democracy, a single general orientation and a single central leadership; Its character as a patriotic and internationalist party, where national tasks and international duties are articulated and indissolvable;

4.3.3. In order for the Party to accomplish its objective, it must be independent of the influence, interests, ideology and politics of the forces of capital. Its class independence is indispensable to the affirmation of the Party's identity, revealed and affirmed in its objective and in its revolutionary theory and practice. The independence of the Party affirms itself also by the adoption of organic principles that guarantee a profound internal democracy, a single central leadership, a single general orientation, cohesion, and connection to the masses. The cohesion of the Party presupposes a commitment to its principles and to collective work as an essential aspect of internal democracy and a factor of unity and discipline - distinctive elements of PCP's style of work. The autonomy and independence of the Party's political action demand that it rely on its own forces, its organization, its press, its cadres and members, its funds, heritage and means of propaganda. In a framework of disproportionate means between PCP and other Parties, where the silencing and discrimination against the Party increase, where antidemocratic laws and regulations aim to limit freedom of organization, expression and intervention of PCP, having its own means is of fundamental importance. Internal unity is one of the determining factors of PCP's organic strength, influence and capacity for mobilizing the masses. Not permitting factions or organized groups within the Party, refusing that its members publicly express opinions that are contrary to the orientation of the Party, not accepting that members decide which decisions to abide and not abide, are decisive elements of the Party's discipline and solidity.

4.3.4. The Program and Statues of PCP are current and indissolvable instruments to affirm, understand, study, apply, and develop, in connection with daily intervention and struggle. By defining the Party's identity and having their genesis in PCP's history and experience in struggle, they hold revolutionary value and are a guarantee of its independence. The Statutes, which were altered in the XVIIth  Congress, respond to the needs of party life. They contain revolutionary organic principles, proved in practice and under constant improvement. The Party's Program, approved in the XIVth Congress, is valid for a long historic stage and proposes, to the people and the country, an advanced democracy that aims to resolve many of the grave problems that currently exist, and points towards socialism as the future for Portugal.

4.4. Strengthening the Party, decisive task

4.4.1. The XVIIth  Congress initiated the realization of the new phase of the general movement to strengthen the Party's organization under the banner «Yes, it is possible! A stronger PCP». With the objective of achieving a profound advance in the aggregation, collective organization, structuring, and capacity to intervene it defined the fundamental orientations for the reinforcement of the Party, to be achieved in an integrated manner. The XVIIth  Congress constituted an important stimulus to party affirmation, which translated into a reinforcement of the Party's activity. The general movement to strengthen the party organization translated, over these last years, in a line of work of the organizations and militants that, with their strong commitment, permitted the achievement of the most significant advances in the last to decades in the reinforcement of the party organization. The period since the XVIIth  Congress proved, in practice, that it is not only necessary but possible to have a stronger PCP. There was real progress in the leadership, organization, and party affirmation and a coherent, brave, intense, and diversified party activity. The persistence of insufficiencies, hardships, and delays, and the fact that we are still far from fulfilling our needs in diverse matters, do not cancel the significant achievement of the steps taken.

4.4.2. While the reinforcement of the organization is profoundly tied to the realization of the role and political action of the Party towards its elevation, the work achieved has contributed to broaden the understanding of the importance of defining objectives, of planning and programming measures to reinforce the Party, of adopting specific measures and controlling its execution, of the concrete contributions of cadres and militants in leading and undertaking this work. The establishment of orientations, deciding annual goals and controlling their execution, namely those expressed in the Central Committee resolutions of November 11-12th of 2005, of January 12-13th and December 14-15th of 2007 about the reinforcement of the Party, are indissolvable elements of the advances we've verified.

4.4.3. The strengthening of PCP is a goal for all time, rooted in the current needs and in a confidant perspective towards the future. For April, for Socialism, the Portuguese Communist Party is the party the workers, the youth, the people and the Country need. The XVIIIth Congress addresses the youth, the workers, the Portuguese people to support PCP and widen its influence, to join PCP and take their place in the party collective and the struggle.

4.4.4. The situation of Portugal and the world further justifies and demands a stronger PCP. Analysing the current situation, the increasing demands we will face over the next few years, the XVIIIth Congress, with a global and integrated conception, calls for the general action of strengthening the Party and appeals to the Party collective, all its militants and organizations, to realize this objective of a stronger PCP that achieves expression in the diverse levels of organization and party intervention.

4.5. Leadership

4.5.1. The positive response given by the leadership was based on the strengthening of collective work, on the participation and initiative of thousands of cadres, the main dynamic element of intervention of the party collective. It demanded leadership ability, strategic affirmation, planning, tactical flexibility and the combination of large political action on the national level with the initiative of party organizations. Despite the continued insufficiencies, the advances are significant. The XVIIth Congress created a new dynamic that needs to project into the future. The XVIIIth Congress is called to take decisions and define orientations, to reply to a new demand of affirmation and reinforcement of the Party, its organization and project, in a stage of resistance associated with initiative and advances, in which the Party must be prepared to accomplish its irreplaceable role even under the harshest conditions.

4.5.2. It is indispensable to proceed and deepen the reflection and adoption of measures related to the leadership structures and their functioning, in articulation with the cadre policy and their political and ideological development, with the financial means, with the propaganda and political intervention. Simultaneously, it is essential to continue a style of work based on the principles of the Party, namely: the collective work and leadership, associated with individual responsibility, in close connection with the organizations, militants and masses; the reinforcement of party discipline, assumed as the natural mode of action; the rigour in the activity and functioning; criticism and auto-criticism; planning and programming, associated with the ability to respond with flexibility; and the regular control of execution, instrument of evaluating and perfecting action.

4.5.3. The Central Committee held 21 meetings, fulfilled its role of higher leadership of party work, with emphasis on its decisions during particularly important moments. We note registering the need to increase the contributions and frequency of pronouncements of its members on specific matters. The Central Committee elected by the XVIIIth Congress should maintain the characteristics of that which now ceases its mandate, namely with regard to its competencies and dimension, which can have some reduction. Regarding its composition, in the framework of renewal and rejuvenation, the Central Committee, reflecting the identity, nature and principles of the Party, should maintain a large majority of workers and employees, with a strong working class component. It should also ensure the participation of Party cadres - Party Functionaries or not - responsible for large organizations and sectors of party activity, coming directly from companies and workplaces, and other cadres integrated in mass movements, with pronounced intervention and diversity of knowledge of important areas of social, economic, cultural, technical, intellectual, scientific life, as well as a reinforcement of the participation of women and youth.

4.5.4. The structure of the central leadership based in the Political Bureau and the Secretariat (that ensure the leadership of the executive work), together with the Central Control Committee (CCC) in its specific functions, has proved adequate. A single general orientation and the role of the Central Committee and the executive organisms in its definition, as well as in the general leadership of the party activity in the framework of its competencies, are elements that should be continually underlined.

4.5.5. The Leaderships of the Regional Organizations (DOR) confirmed their important and positive role in the leadership of party work in its sphere of responsibility and in articulation with the work of the central leadership and party organizations. The 21 existing DOR are composed by 820 comrades. While we sustain a positive evaluation of broad leaderships (with their respective executive organisms) we should contradict the tendency towards excessive widening.

4.5.6. The intermediate leadership organisms (local commissions, leadership organisms of professional and workplace sectors, among others) had a positive development, namely in assuming their specific responsibilities and fostering party activity, in particular in the actions together with workers and the popular masses. Their strengthening constitutes a priority, in order to proceed with the elevation of their role and specific responsibilities, their collective work, attributing individual responsibilities to members (ensuring that each have their tasks), and elevating their intervention around specific problems in their areas of activity, with large self initiative in the framework of the general orientation of the Party.

4.5.7. The central leadership's support structures involve commissions, study and work groups, departments and sections. In their diversity of composition and functions, they had a pronounced role in contributing towards the elaboration of collective orientations and towards the articulation of the central leadership on specific areas and sectors, and with regional leaderships. The current and future demands require a more profound global evaluation of their dimension, characteristics, composition, functioning, and the definition and specification of orientations without threatening the Party's initiative, given the availability of cadres and financial means.

4.5.8. The coordination of companies and sectors of national or pluri-regional dimension corresponds to a need to foster party activity and articulate orientation between organizations of several districts. The experience is positive, but there is still an excessive weight of union matters and some overlapping of functions and contents with other structures. We need to proceed towards a deeper global evaluation and making improvements derived from the necessary and existing possibilities. 

4.6. Cadres

4.6.1. The class nature of the Party and the political and organizing goals its aims to achieve determine the content and the fundamental principals that orient its cadre policy. The measures approved in the XVIIth Congress led to an ample discussion about cadre policy and to the need to increase their responsibilities, accompaniment and development, with incontestable progress.

4.6.2. The organization and distribution of responsibilities of new cadres has progressed since the XVIIth Congress, with emphasis to the success of the general action held in 2006, that resulted in giving responsibilities to more than 1400 cadres, 712 of which with less than 35 years of age. Among the cadres with responsibilities there is an important number of comrades that previously belonged to the youth organization (JCP) and had had attributed tasks in that organization. There are still insufficiencies in knowing cadres, in giving responsibilities and accompanying cadres, resulting in constraints in the organic development, as well a continued need in giving responsibilities to workers, youth and women.

4.6.3. Among cadres we emphasize, given their dedication and political and revolutionary action, the Party Functionaries, full-time cadres, with great availability, indispensable for the development of the organization, orientations and activity of the Party, and the affirmation of its principles and objectives. Currently, the Party has around 350 functionaries, two thirds of which performing political and organizing tasks (including all of those than chose this option, including retired comrades that remain active). Its number is limited by the financial possibilities of the Party. The verified renewal and rejuvenation continues to be insufficient.

4.6.4. Basing the essential of cadre's development on the Party's functioning and activity, the political and ideological courses and training actions also assume great importance and deserved particular attention, which allowed a considerable qualitative jump in this area. At the central organizational level, at the Party School, there were around 40 courses with an approximate participation of 700 comrades. In the Regional Organizations, there were 150 courses and other training initiatives that involved around 2100 comrades. The preparation of monitors for the regional and local courses was essential for this result, which constituted a significant advance.

4.6.5. The demands of the situation raise the need for cadres capable of facing with firmness and confidence the violent offensive of big capital, of responding to the challenges created by the objective conditions for the development of the struggle, and demand an audacious cadre policy that responds the varied tasks and the reinforcement of the Party. We consider as orientations regarding the cadre policy: The integration of cadres in the life of the party, turning militancy in the organisms at the many levels and in the base organizations into an irreplaceable school of development of new cadres. This integration is indispensable, along with the necessary specialization, in order for cadres to develop a concept of the party collective, a broad vision of the action and of the struggle, habits of regularly accounting for their activity in the leadership organisms or in the organizations to which they belong, and as a factor that promotes a work style with political, ideological and ethical reflections. Developing the knowledge, accompaniment, assistance, evaluation and giving responsibilities to the Party cadres. The work with the current cadres, the distribution of responsibilities, and training of future cadres demands audacity and at the same time that one avoid ill-thought solutions. It is necessary to give assistance to cadres that assume greater responsibilities, in order the help them surpass any hardships, and to give them space to study and further understand political problems, and for their personal life. Attention to worker, female and young cadres, giving them responsabilities at different levels of the organization is an essencial priority. Greater attention and speed is necessary to find solutions to cadre problems, of a political/party nature. A fraternal relation, constructive criticism, and solidarity in personal problems should be promoted. Political and ideological, cultural and human formation of the cadres, preserving and developing their ideological solidity, creativity, initiative and ability for leadership and intervention. In order to reach a higher level in this work, while considering the ideological training and preparation as a permanent process, it is necessary to institute an annual plan of cadre training, valuing the Party School, fully using its potential, and distributing responsibility to the DOR, local commissions, section leaderships, and base organizations for realizing central programs and demanding greater self-initiative, articulated with the general training work. Reading and studying (individually or as a collective) are of great importance and should be promoted and given incentive. The cadre policy regarding Party Functionaries, aimed towards and increasing rejuvenation, integrating more working class cadres, dedicating more attention to their preparation and promoting the elevation of their political, ideological and cultural level. The availability of cadres should continue to be considered an element of great value and indissoluble from their correct distribution, according to the work and organization needs of the Party. The strengthening of the Party demands, together with the regular daily work at all levels, undertaking a national survey of Party cadres and a general action of distribution of responsibilities, accompaniment and training of cadres.

4.7. Organization

4.7.1. The organization, in the framework of the Party's own means, is a guarantee of its independence. Its evaluation is indissolvable from the notable action developed by the Party.

4.7.2. According to the last organization count, the Party registers 58 928 members. This accounting results from the application, for the first time, of the criteria defined by the XVIIth Congress, following the contacts and clarification of the situation of signed-up members, which refers that "the effective party size at the several levels is counted by the Party members that by their own initiative or initiative of the party organizations update their data, thus proving their willingness to continue as Party members".

4.7.3. This action achieved an essential part of its objectives with positive reflections on party organization. While we have yet to clarify the situation of some 44 thousand files -although these are probably, to a large degree, people whose contact is lost -it is predictable that a few thousand confirm their quality as Party members.

4.7.4. The number of comrades that integrate organisms and pay dues has estabilized, with a slight decrease and oscilation in several regional organizations.

4.7.5. The social composition continues to reveal a strong majority of workers and employees (around 72%), with a working class composition of 42%, which indicates a slight reduction, and around 30% employees, whose weight increases. Intellectuals, technicians, students, and small and medium businesspeople slightly increased. Regarding the age distribution, without including JCP members that are not Party members, 15,9% are under 40 years old, 49,3% are between 41 and 64 years old and 34,9% are older than 64. There was an increase in the number of militants less than 40 years old and also of those with more than 64 years. The age structure of the Party confirms the positive tendency of many thousands of militants that having joined the Party in different stages stay in the Party organization reaffirming their commitment to its ideal and project. The number of youth is still insufficient, although it is a positive element that 33% of new militants are younger than 30, and 58% are younger than 40 (upon registration). The participation of women was significantly reinforced, reaching 29,7% of Party members.

4.7.6. Regarding the Party structure, there are 2505 organisms or organizations that meet in full assembly, indicating a slight increase. There are 727 organisms based locally and 383 company and workplace organisms, indicating an increase, which continues to be insufficient.

4.7.7. The years since the XVIIth Congress were marked by progress in the reinforcement of the party organization, as expressed in: the manner of treating the reinforcement of the Party; the organization and action with the working class and workers (responsibilities, organisms, priority to integration by workplace, intervention); holding organization assemblies (more than 630); defining and fostering base organizations; recruiting new militants, one of the highest levels in the last two decades (more than 7 thousand), with an important youth component and a high number of women; the action and content of the intervention of party organizations.

4.7.8. Insufficiencies and obstacles persist, namely: in attributing responsibilities to cadres; in structuring; in the base organizations; in the level of organization and intervention in companies, workplaces, and with diverse social sectors; in the regular assuming of tasks; in the integration of militants in organisms; in the regular payment of dues and in structuring with that objective.

4.7.9. The Party is, in fact, a great organized force, a great militant collective. The demands they face impose the need for a stronger PCP, only possible with a more regular discussion of problems and matters of organization, and in achieving a permanent and integrated activity at all levels. For the reinforcement of the Party organization, following the general objectives of the Party, we consider as orientations: The reinforcement of the organization and intervention near the working class and workers, in the companies and workplaces. Continuing the steps already taken, this is an essential issue that demands: consolidating and widening a large nucleus of cadres, including Party functionaries that have as their task the responsibility for sector and company organizations; giving special attention to companies with more than a thousand workers and/or of strategic importance; creating new professional and company sectors and new cells; increasing the number of militants organized in structures tied to their companies and work places, promoting the transference to these organisms of Party members that are company-employed, younger than 55 years old, and giving priority to the insertion of new militants in these organisms; contributing to the organization and worker's struggle and the broadening of the intervention, influence and capacity of Party mobilization. The XVIIIth Congress reaffirms that achieving these objectives is a task of all organizations and all militants, underlines the need for regular control of execution of their application, and decides the realization, over the next years, of a national initiative on these issues. The work together with diverse social sectors and groups -intellectuals and technicians; micro, small and medium businesspeople; small and medium farmers; immigrants; youth and supporters of JCP; women; retired and pensioners; the disabled-demands, given the new developments and potentials, the consideration of measures regarding cadres, structures, contents, and initiatives. The reinforcement of structuring, energizing of base organizations and the realization of organization assemblies. Broadening the number of base organizations -cells -and energizing their functioning, responding simultaneously to the need of each militant to have their space to participate and to the central role that cells have in the Party work and its ties with the masses, is a task of great importance. Following the steps given during its nominal definition and the evaluation of its effective functioning, we must proceed to a more rigorous definition, taking in account the number of members, the active comrades and the framework or organism capable of energizing each one of them, in order to ensure their regular functioning and an increased political intervention. Holding organization assemblies should be fostered, with particular attention with regard to base organisations, continuing to surpass resistances, namely regarding realization of assemblies of small organizations, and broadening the experience of their current realization. The stimulus to militancy and participation of militants, widening the consciousness that the strength of the Party is determined by the actions of its members in the context of the party collective. It is particularly important that a party member can assume more than singular, isolated tasks, but assume regular tasks, according to their possibilities and availabilities, however small. The integration of Party members in organisms, perfecting the forms and structures of their connection, contact and party participation. This objective requires the reinforcement of existing organisms and the creation of new organisms. Priority attention needs be given to the integration of militants that intervene in the mass movement and all those that can contribute to irradiate the orientation of the Party. The ties to militants, based in their participation in meetings and in structures of personal contact, including those that are dedicated to collecting dues and selling the Avante!, are indispensable and irreplaceable. However, we need to more completely make use of means of contact like mail (used for some time), the SMS (which has become more generalized over the last few years), and electronic mail (which needs greater use). We must proceed with clarifying the situation of those that are signed-up in the Party, with each organization guaranteeing the completion of this task, while at the same time we need to more regularly update the information about Party members. Handing out the Party membership card is an opportunity for that update. Pursuing the recruitment of new militants, as part of our regular and general work and in special actions (at various levels), giving priority to the working class, youth and women, as well as activists that stand out in mass movements, and the adoption of measures to ensure the integration of new militants. The promotion of a style of work that places at the centre of attention, of the organizations and militants, Party intervention and responding to the problems and aspirations of workers and people, in the area where they are active, taking in mind that the strength of the Party is its ties to the masses, the influence of the masses, and our capacity to mobilize them.

4.7.10. The Party has 302 work centers that, under very diverse conditions and degrees of use, constitute a basis of the greatest importance for party activity. It is necessary to evaluate their situation, their territorial distribution, and guarantee that their conditions contribute to the work of the organization and the widening of the prestige and influence of the Party.

4.8. Political action, ties to the masses and broadening the influence of the Party

4.8.1. The ties to the masses, the profound knowledge of the situation, problems and aspirations of the workers and people, the contribution to their enlightenment, organization, unity and struggle, realizing the vanguard role of the Party and aimed at broadening its influence is a central issue in Party work, in the activities of organizations and militants, which is realized through different orientations and initiatives.

4.8.2. The activity of communists in the broad-based movements is characterized by a posture of constructing unity, of independence, of reinforcing the capacity of struggle of those movements, of elevating social and political consciousness of those that participate in them. The participation of communists in these movements is of great importance, in giving them energy and confidence, and also constitutes a very significant component of the Party's ties to the masses, their problems and aspirations. Through the development of the struggle in which they participate, through their just demands, many people without a party affiliation or influenced by other parties find in broad-based movements the terrain that allows these people to gain social and political consciousness, confidence and determination to broaden the struggle towards the objective of transforming society. It is an expression of the transforming strength of the mass struggle. The main task of many Party militants is their participation in broad-based movements, in particular in the unions and workers commissions, powerful instruments of struggle of the working class and of all workers against exploitation, for better wages and for their rights. The fact that many comrades intervene in movements that fight for diverse social demands, mobilizing varied social groups, opens a wide field of influence, full of potential. This work, with the contacts and knowledge that it fosters, constitutes an important source of recruitment for the Party.

4.8.3. The organization is the most determinant instrument to energize and reinforce political action and the mass struggle, and to widen the political and ideological influence of the Party. The organizations of the Party, by their knowledge of the problems and aspirations of workers and other classes and social groups, by their structure and connection to the masses, are in good condition to assume, indeed, the vanguard of the struggle. The militants of the Party, with their conviction and enlightened and determined action near those that surround them, with whom they work and interact, constitute a valuable potential of intervention and influence. The XVIIth Congress identified diverse constraints in connecting with the masses, namely the existence of structures disconnected from life and the social and political environment where they develop their activity, and others with heavily institutional work. The situation has improved, but constraints persist.

4.8.4. The press, information and propaganda assume particular importance in the ties to the masses, as well as party initiatives, namely political and political-cultural events or just get-togethers.

4.8.5. The broad-based political work allows for action with other people around common objectives, giving strength and consequence to the struggle for those objectives, and is also a contribution for these people to learn about the PCP's opinions and proposals and become closer to the Party. The organizations have a ample potential for broad-based work before them, which has decisive importance for the convergence of efforts in the intervention on the most diverse issues, and which can contribute significantly to broaden the influence and prestige of the Party and towards its intervention on national problems.

4.8.6. The institutional activity of the Party, namely the work developed by elected local officials and the deputies in the Republican Assembly, the European Parliament and the Autonomous Region's Legislative Assemblies, is also part of the contribution towards creating ties with the masses, for energizing the struggle and for widening the influence of the Party.

4.8.7. The intensification and widening of political activity, of ties to the masses and influence of the party, essential issues that are before all organizations and militants, needs to be conceived in a global manner, and is expressed according to general orientations and objectives across many fronts and areas of intervention. The orientations for this line of work are: The evaluation by all organizations on the various fronts and areas where connections and influencing the masses is realized, the definition of objectives, plans and work guidelines, taking leadership measures and promoting the control of execution that is indispensable for its realization. The commitment of communists to the strengthening and development of the mass struggle and broad-based movements, with each organization assuming its responsibility in invigorating the struggle, giving the necessary relevance to its discussion in meetings, appointing cadres, and taking the necessary measures for broadening and intensifying the worker's and people's struggle, based on their concrete problems. The increase of efficiency, dissemination and impact of information, propaganda, press and party initiatives, realizing their specific role for the reinforcement of the ties to the masses and the influence of the Party. Holding discussions in a manner that stimulates that each militant assume the initiative to engage in daily political action and contact with those with whom he/she relates, as one of the essential elements of connection and influence of the Party and its capacity to clarify and mobilize. The energizing of political work in broad-based movements, promoting dialogue and common action with other people and democratic sectors, which in the present situation assumes particular importance, namely the work with other democrats that participate or support the CDU (Unified Democratic Coalition) electoral candidacies, action that requires organization and planning, and considering holding initiatives and establishing regular individual contacts to hear their opinions and let the Party's positions be known. Consider and develop work in official institutions, considering their own demands, such that it always be conceived, coordinated and synergized with the energizing of the mass struggle and in order to fully take advantage of their contents, forms and very diverse means to stimulate popular participation and widened the influence of the Party with workers and the Portuguese people.

4.9. Information and propaganda

4.9.1. In a context of increased attempts to silence PCP, where promotion of anticommunism and other political forces is favoured (mainly by the large mass media companies), leads us to give greater attention, structuring, coordination and organization to the tasks of propaganda and information, together with a persistent struggle against the growing limitations to freedom of information and propaganda, and for equal treatment by the media. The tasks of propaganda and information, due to their nature, and the identity and objectives of a revolutionary party, are inseparable from its political and institutional intervention and the mass struggle. Based on the decisive role of the organization, the presence of political propaganda near workers and populations confirms itself as one of the most important instruments of connection of the Party to the masses.

4.9.2. An analysis of the work developed throughout these last four years entails recognizing the valuable contribution of our information and propaganda work in affirming our Party's positions and initiatives, in a context of increasing ideological struggle and limitations of our means and cadres. This does not mean there have not been numerous deficiencies, difficulties and delays in the implementation of orientations and lines of work that have been identified in the last congresses and that retain actuality.

4.9.3. Based on the work of the Propaganda Department, the Press Cabinet, and the regional organizations, the last four years were marked by an intense and diversified intervention that ensured, among other aspects, the realization of electoral campaigns, large national campaigns, local and sector intervention, important aspects of the content of the Avante! Festival, use of air time, together with contacting the mass media to disseminate the Party's positions and initiatives and correspond to their solicitations. PCP's internet website, integrating various components among which Radio Comunic, constitutes today an important instrument of diffusion of the general activity of the Party, namely its press, initiatives and proposals.

4.9.4. The alterations and accelerated changes that affect the media system and that have a great influence upon the national political life, far from implying a decreased role of the Party's information and propaganda, impose, as we identified in previous congresses, its strengthening, its improvement and qualification, its expansion, along the following orientations: The need for a greater responsibility and training of cadres in this area, the development and creation of regional structures of propaganda and information, an adequate management of the means, a permanent ability to accompany the possibilities created by information and communication technologies, a greater articulation between the central structure and the regional organizations, and energetic and creative ability to take initiative and follow through, a more rapid and concerted response in the conception, production and distribution of materials; The realization of central work regarding the relationship with the mass media, supported by structures and cadres that ensure the adequate response to the activity needs of the Party's central communication, and guaranteeing the necessary complementary work to the organizations and their own activity and initiative; The development and support towards an effective decentralization of the communicational initiative and work, namely at the level of base organizations, as an element for more ready intervention, closer to events and peoples and, therefore, more effective; The deepening of concepts and principles that have oriented the communication activity of the Party (coherence between form and content; differentiating political propaganda from publicity; decentralized initiative with the presence of unifying and national elements; valuing the organization and militants as a decisive factor in communication), and the progress in research and innovation of means and forms of propaganda and information; Using the classic and proven forms of information and propaganda like cell bulletins, documents on concrete issue or the placement and public exhibit of materials, without dispensing the study of the ongoing qualitative changes on the horizon in order to ensure an active and effective intervention that takes into account the diversity and differentiation of the people to whom it is directed, their levels of literacy and the degrees of access to the new information technologies; Valuing and developing the presence of the Party on the internet, using the potential of the existing means and its growing mass character, and taking new initiatives. Fighting antidemocratic conceptions and policies that, under the most diverse pretexts, increasingly aim to restrict and condition the right of freedom of expression and party propaganda, while never abdicating at any moment from the free and legitimate political initiative of the Party.

4.9.5. Political-cultural initiatives are an important component of the activity of the Party, particularly the Avante! Festival. The Avante! Festival, festival of April, of the people and youth, has confirmed itself as the largest political-cultural initiative in our country, maintaining an increased capacity of attraction by its program and atmosphere. A preferential target of campaigns against the Party, which assume insidious anticommunist forms and needs renewed combat, the Avante! Festival constituted a large demonstration of the capacity of realization of communists and their Party, translation of their fundamental characteristics, example of militancy, energizing and mobilizing element of its organization, expression of struggle and resistance against right-wing politics, a high point of affirmation of democratic values and the communist ideal. The Avante! Festival, vigorous collective undertaking, with its unequalled characteristics, permanently improved and innovated, affirms itself as a great national and international initiative.

4.9.6. The editorial activity influenced by the Party, which has known different stages, faces today, in a new editorial and publishing sector reality, strong constraints. In the editorial production we highlight the edition of classic works of Marxism-Leninism and of selected works of Álvaro Cunhal, with recognized utility. The Avante! Editorial, which must value and give incentive to its own activity, can benefit from a greater articulation with the party dynamic and, simultaneously, respond to needs of editorial intervention and political and ideological action of the Party. The Party organizations and their ties to the masses can be a privileged form of dissemination and distribution of its editions. Considering the available resources, the possibilities generated by technological developments, and the potential of collective, militant, creative and audacious work, it is possible to surpass the present difficulties, with a new editorial dynamic that intervenes more in the political and ideological struggle.

4.9.7. The Party press, the Avante! and the O Militante, constitute essential and irreplaceable elements of the life and activity of the Party. Each one in itself and both together play a fundamental role in the diffusion of the Party's opinions, analyses and orientations at the national and international level; in the battle of ideas and towards the political and ideological formation of our militants; in informing the truth about what is happening in our country and in the world; and, still, as instruments of organic reinforcement of the party and its influence with workers and populations. In this context, their reading and study by communist militants and their diffusion and sale to the working masses continues to be a decisive factor towards an increased capacity of intervention and social, political, and electoral influence of the Party. Despite undeniable progress achieved lately, it is necessary to recognize, however, that the importance of the Party press as an indispensable contribution to the reinforcement of the activity and struggle is far from being duly recognized and considered by the party organizations - and that, therefore, the orientations and lines of work about this matter defined by the XVIIth Congress remain not only current, but even more necessary. The campaigns of dissemination of the Party press confirm the enormous existing potential, and the party collective should consider its diffusion a tasks of the highest importance, aimed at the essential objective of reinforcing the Party's ties to the masses.

4.10. Ideological Struggle

4.10.1. The general offensive undertaken by the forces of capitalism has been accompanied by an intense ideological campaign aimed at perpetuating the dominant position of big capital, and the forces and interests that represent it. Components of this campaign are: The promotion of capitalism as an ideal system for which there is no alternative, masking its crisis with the permanent occultation of its limits, the mystification about its exploitative, oppressive and aggressive nature, and presenting its social setbacks and attacks upon individual and collective rights as expressions of «modernity» and adjustments to the «demands of modern times»; The development of intense action of promoting reactionary and obscurantist conceptions of a fascist or fascistic character, of fighting liberty and democracy, of promoting war, of justifying and defending the crimes of imperialism, of whitewashing fascism and promoting anticommunism - ideological basis of the reactionary offensive against the Party and the development of prejudices that hinder the unity of workers, of the popular masses, and the convergence of democratic and progressive forces; The promotion of feelings of resignation and inevitability regarding the dominant policies and their consequences, aimed at devaluing alternative solutions, at stimulating conformity before injustice and inequality, at spreading feelings of worthlessness of engaging in struggle and collective action, and deviating the desires and energies of a determined action with the objective of rupturing with the current policies.

4.10.2. The political and ideological response by the Party is a fundamental element to broaden its influence, to arm its militants and organizations with arguments to fight back the campaigns against PCP, to elevate the disposition towards struggle and the political consciousness of the masses, as expressed in the orientations for ideological struggle and in the measures, structures and initiatives to be realized. Orientations for the ideological struggle are: Spreading the orientations, positions and proposals of the Party, its project of rupture with the right-wing policies and the building a left alternative, the Party Program, its eminently patriotic and internationalist character, the actuality of its identity and values, the struggle against capitalism underlining its nature, contradictions, limits and the failures of its thesis of sustainability during the last few decades of its propaganda, and affirming the communist ideal and project of building a new society, a socialist society. The fight against a reactionary, obscurantist, fascist and fascistic ideology that, based on an open affront to the values of democracy and liberty, promotes anti-party campaigns, openly proclaims the criminalization of those that resist, advocates anticommunist prejudice, proclaims the elimination of people's rights, promotes racism, xenophobia and war; The fight against a social-democratic ideology, in its most diverse expressions, that, by each others actions and in their convergence, aims to affirm solutions that perpetuate the interests of capitalism by promoting anticommunist prejudice, denying the class struggle, devaluing the role of workers and their struggle, and spreads an anti-party culture that tends to increasingly turn away populations from an active intervention in political life and hinders the construction of true alternatives. The fight against anticommunism that, based on historic falsification - namely, adulterating and subverting the meaning and causes of the defeat of attempts of building socialist societies in the USSR and Eastern European countries - aims to criminalize the actions of communists in general, distort and falsify the positions and project of PCP, seeking to accumulate prejudices and hinder the approximation and attraction that the proposals and intervention of the Party foster among workers and the population in general.

4.11. Funds

4.11.1. Party of the working class and all workers, PCP ensures its material resources with dues, contributions from militants and their elected officials in institutions, fund-raising actions, and a rigorous and thoughtful management of its property.

4.11.2. Our own material means for political intervention are decisive for the Party and for maintaining its political and ideological independence. In contrast, other parties [PS, PSD, CDS-PP e BE (Left Block)] live mainly from State financing, whose amount was quite reinforced under the current Party Financing Law. This law, sponsored by PSD, CDS-PP and PS, along with greatly increasing state subsidies, as the Party always denounced and life is proving, has as its central objective creating serious difficulties to parties that, like PCP, live mainly from their own income. The limit established for income derived from «fund-raising initiatives» and the limit to the total value received from cash contributions represents an unprecedented attack on the Avante! Festival and other political-cultural initiatives, and to the freedom of action and initiative of PCP. The Political Accounting and Financing Entity (ECFP) has marked its intervention by an unacceptable intromission in party life and organization, by authoritarian conceptions and practices, by demanding arbitrary procedures. PCP has been the main target of the attacks and public campaigns of ECFP. The struggle to repeal the Financing Law must proceed, integrating itself in the Party's general struggle against right-wing policies.

4.11.3. The XVIIth Congress set the objective of «guaranteeing financial balance without recourse to income from managing our property and by reducing dependency of central subsidies on behalf of regional organizations». The adopted measures were insufficient to achieve these objectives. The positive evolution of revenues and the effort to contain or decrease expenses were below our needs. We highlight the increase in revenues from dues (+13,77%), from militant contributions (+ 49,05%) and from elected officials (+ 33,83%). With the increase in prices, the item «supplies and external services» increased (+18,06%), and «other operational costs» decreased (-12,53%). The costs with cadres increased 3,53% reflecting an effort of containment. Revenues increased more than expenses. Homologous rates of variation were, respectively, 21,25% and 18,86%. Our own revenues between 2000 and 2003 corresponded to 92%. Between 2004 and 2007, they corresponded to 91.2% of the total, confirming that the finances of the Party essentially result from the effort of its organizations and militants. The balance between 2004 and 2007 presented negative results, with an operational result of -2.101.707 euros, more than 500 thousand euros/year. Only with recourse to extraordinary revenues, through property management, did we deal with the situation.

4.11.4. The current situation is unsustainable, demanding the improvement of orientations and a strong intervention towards their realization. Regarding work on funds, orientations are: Widening the understanding by all organizations and militants of the decisive importance of Party funds and a coherent practical intervention with this understanding. Improving the consciousness and, in some cases, changing the attitude and work style to surpass constraints that give rise to the insufficient use of real possibilities of reinforcement of our financial capabilities is indispensable. At the same time, reflection, discussion, intervention, collective work and control of execution should be intensified and reinforced at all levels of leadership, including central leadership, in order to eliminate a number of in still existing incomprehensions, political subestimations and deficiencies in financial activities. Guaranteeing adequate organization and structures, an elevated rigour in management and financial control, and an efficient control of execution. A need for giving cadres the responsibility and creating structures to accompany financial issues, financial control, energizing the collection of funds, executing and controlling organization budgets at the many levels. A demand that work in the financial area have as its basis a budget that states as its objectives an increase in revenues, that plans and establishes limits to expenses, and allows a collective involvement in the control of execution of decided measures. Establishing the objective of effective financial equilibrium, which will be achieved with the commitment at all levels in realizing measures that contribute towards a reduction of expenses, giving incentive towards achieving an increase in revenues (essential component of the objective of financial equilibrium) and a decrease in the dependency of regional organizations from central savings. An increase of revenues from dues, which depends solely on the Party's own forces, is indispensable and demands an increase in the number of Party members with their dues up-do-date and an increase in its amount, having as reference 1% of one's wage (or revenue), giving more comrades the responsibility for due collection in all organizations, having as reference 1 comrade for each 20 Party members and fostering the payment by bank transfer or ATM. The increase of other revenues. The increase in contributions from elected officials and Party members nominated for public office, elevating the understanding about the significance of the statutory principle of not being favoured nor disfavoured in the exercise of those tasks, constitutes an important form of increasing revenues. The collection of special contributions from militants, sympathizers and other democrats, valuing the campaigns of «A Day of Wage» and others that the organizations have promoted, should be broadened. An increase in disseminating and selling the Avante! and O Militante, instruments of explanation and Party intervention, organizing newsstands, sale brigades and lists of buyers, represents a real possibility of increase in revenues. The promotion of initiatives and opening the Party's Work Centers, energizing their functioning towards collecting revenues, together with political affirmation and a connection with the masses, should also be ensured. The maintenance and conservation of our property and taking full advantage of that which is not dedicated to political activity is likewise of great importance. The management, containment and even reduction of expenses, particularly those that being structural costs do not directly imply political activity, namely a decrease in the relative weight of Party functionaries without organization tasks, in order to contribute to the indispensable financial equilibrium, the sustainability of the Party and the maintenance of its political intervention.

4.12. International Activity

4.12.1. In an international framework marked by an intensification of the imperialist offensive, PCP intervened with greater frequency in the political and ideological battle, through its public positions on international issues.

4.12.2. The international activity of PCP was characterized by a strong commitment to the reinforcement of relations with the communist parties, including the process of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties, which was held in Lisbon, in 2006, but also with other progressive and left-wing forces worldwide.

4.12.3. Seeking to broaden its relations to other parties and movements, with the perspective of consolidating the anti-imperialist front, PCP intervened in the Social Forums, in the peace movement, and in the anti-globalization movement.

4.12.4. In Europe, although negative tendencies in various parties persist and difficulties arise from the European Left Party process, PCP organized two initiatives on European issues where most parties with whom we hold relationships participated. Together with the importance it attributes to the European context, PCP oriented its activity in relation to all continents. We highlight the delegations, led by the General Secretary to South Africa, Angola, Brazil, China, Cuba, Spain, Greece, India, Czech Republic, Sweden and Vietnam. Many delegations participated in numerous congresses, conferences and seminaries, festivals and solidarity initiatives.

4.12.5. The low number of delegations that, on a bilateral level, visited our country is a negative element. However, on the multilateral level, several dozen delegations participated in the International Meetings of Communist and Workers Parties, in the European initiatives and in the seminar on Africa, and held regular presence in the Avante! Festival.

4.12.6. We highlight, during this period, a greater dissemination abroad of our Party's positions and analyses, on national and international issues.

4.12.7. The activity of PCP should continue to be marked by its contribution towards reinforcing the international communist and revolutionary movement and its unity in action; by its intervention in the anti-imperialist front, namely the peace movement; by the development of solidarity actions with peoples in struggle; by a more active intervention in the battle of ideas and by the projection of socialism as an alternative to capitalism.

4.13. Final Note

4.13.1. The XVIIIth Congress of the Portuguese Communist Party reaffirms its determination and commitment of this great party collective in the struggle against all forms of exploitation and for the emancipation of workers and the people.

4.13.2. The great achievements of the April Revolution implied an extraordinary progress in Portuguese society, still under attack by a prolonged and harsh counter-revolutionary process. The values of April, entrenched in the workers and people, project themselves as realities, objective needs, experiences and aspirations for a future democratic Portugal. The defence of the ideas and achievements of April are part of the struggle for an advanced democracy.

4.13.3. The liquidation of exploitation of man by man is a historic task, achievable only with a socialist revolution. It is for that objective that generations of communists and workers have fought, and it is for that project that Portuguese communists fight in this Portugal of the XXIst century.

4.13.4. PCP, party of the working class and all workers, deeply tied to the problems, interests and aspirations of the Portuguese people, of women and the youth, a patriotic and internationalist party, the great party of resistance to fascism and of the April Revolution, is the party capable of giving impulse to the struggle for revolutionary transformations our society needs and demands, in the road to socialism and communism. The strengthening of PCP is indispensable for trailing this road.

4.13.5. For April, for socialism, for a stronger Party!

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