Common Platform for the 2019 European elections
Build a different Europe
The Party of the European Left: for a progressive exit from the crisis. Vote left in the European Elections.
The European elections in May 2019 will be a crucial step for the future of the peoples.
The times are changing and the threat of a more neoliberal and conservative European Union (EU) is real. The forces of the left represent the only alternative to the new neoliberal-conservative central bloc and the real alternative to the far right.
The EU is still in a deep crisis – Macroeconomic imbalances increased over the last years and not the opposite. There is a real political changeover whose most significant elements are the rise of the far Right, the electoral abstention and the deep crisis of the Social Democracy, as well as the reshuffling of the political and electoral balance in a number of EU member states, in most cases on the expense of “traditional” establishment parties.
The rise of the far right is the most alarming and challenging development. We have to acknowledge that the discontent with and the protest against the austerity policy producing big social contradictions and being economically counterproductive, are advantageous for the right. The political changes, however, don’t contain only risks but also opportunities which have to be taken by the Left.
The Left has to become a strong counterpart and a political alternative to the nationalism and racism of the far right and to the neoliberal politics as well.
Austerity policies, functional to a neoliberal dogma that is imposing criminal measures in our continent, are at the core of the problems we are facing and additional problems were produced, namely the social and fiscal dumping, which became a rule across EU.
Workers’ rights, welfare state and collective bargaining were the major targets of these policies, which are likely to continue, as there’s no political will to promote them again.
The power of big capital dominates Europe through EU institutions and national governments. Future European cooperation should be under the democratic control of the people but not at the service of the financial markets and big corporations.
Confront and change the European treaties, which are based on the principles of competitiveness, competition, deregulation, and liberalisation. This is the only available democratic path.
Democracy is in danger
Public services and institutions that can guarantee and expand citizens’; rights and freedoms form the backbone of democracy. Recovering sovereignty of the people in these domains and promoting real cooperation and solidarity amongst the different countries are crucial steps to promote a new social order, fairer and sustainable for people.
The worldwide financial crisis and European crisis of the public debts served as the pretext for going further into neoliberalism, for imposing barbaric austerity plans, and social and democratic regressions. In country after country, we have seen lowering our wages and pensions, slashing public services, privatising and plundering. The result is rocketing unemployment and precariousness, and lack of trust in democratic institutions.
The lack of responses to the concrete problems of the European residents has contributed to the increase of the far right, besides the lack of a collective humanitarian and solidary response to the refugees has helped to promote a more racist and xenophobic EU. The presence of men, women and children, from all over the world is now a structural feature of European societies. Once again we must affirm a strict NO to any form of discrimination, ensuring social rights for residents and immigrants, preventing the latter from being the scapegoat of the system.
The increase in gender inequality in Europe is still a structural problem, in which sexism produced by patriarchal system permeates every social sphere, thereby limiting and undermining the quality of life of women.
We propose another way, i.e., building Europe on a new solidarity basis where people sovereignty should be respected. Our goal is to renew hope: a new ambition for cooperation and solidarity at the European level in the service of our peoples and the peoples of the world. The electoral platform presented by the Party of the European Left seeks to trace the outline of a democratic, social, ecological and peaceful solidarity basis society.
We hold the right of European citizens to work live study and travel freely between each other’s states as sacrosanct.
1- A new model of economic and social development
We can no longer accept either the so-called structural reforms that are reducing the welfare state and workers’ rights, or the current proposals to deepen economic and monetary union from European institutions that do not respond to key issues of reducing inequality, poverty and unemployment.
We are fighting to terminate austerity policies. Instead, we wish to forge an alternative economic and social policy being able to create jobs, redistribute wealth and cover all social needs.
Our strategy is as follows.
a) We consider necessary, in a general framework of democratisation of the EU institution, to change the mission of ECB including employments goals and override its autonomy towards a real democratic accountability. Abolition of the fiscal pact and stop austerity plans in order to prevent social and economic catastrophes. To implement this, a public investment program in socially important areas shall be priority.
b) Relaunch economic activity to meet social needs whilst respecting the environment and fighting precariousness and unemployment, especially amongst young people and women. We consider fundamental to put in place a reduction of the working time while maintaining the same compensation and we are going to put forward proposal in this sense, through a continuous interaction with trade unions.
c) We support all the struggles and forms of economic and social alternatives that the experiences of social cooperatives and self-management of the recovered factories have been producing.
d) Guarantee that welfare systems ensures full level of dignity for all residents, securing adequate level of salaries and universal access to pensions and introducing general and concrete measures against increasing uncertainty and poverty, that are one of the sources of right-wing growth.
e) We reject this European integration model based on a division among a centre and different and poorer periphery. We don’t want countries developed and others undeveloped inside Europe. It is a capitalism terrible circle. We work for all countries in Europe to develop in a cooperative way.
f) EU Budget must be used towards solidarity and redistribution. The best way to facilitate this is to pass it through the democratic control of financial markets and the public, democratic ownership of banks. A financial transaction tax has to be implemented. In order to find resources for real social and redistributive policies a tax reform with a minimum tax for big companies is necessary and also measures against tax evasion. Tax heavens have to be closed. We put forward a proposal of public “country by country reporting” defining obligations of full transparency for the strategies of the big companies acting in Europe.
g) Economic empowerment of women through the promotion of policies to encourage a better work/life balance, and public plans for education and re-education in equality. In order to achieve this, an expansion of public employment policies is essential, as is the promotion and development of social policies.
h) Debt should not be a national problem. Therefore we ask for a European conference on public debt where to finalise and put in place structural and long-term solutions for its restructuring and reduction.
2- A new model for ecological development
Capitalist production develops technology and combines it together with various social and economic processes in order to make profit. This is causing most of the ecological problems we have at the moment. Search of profit becomes a search of the weakest and less protected, such as environment and workers of developing countries. Well-being of the nature and humans should always come before the profits of the capital. As European Left we are devoted to this and we need to:
a) Prevent the privatisation of natural resources and make public the production and distribution of energy; as well as combat energy poverty by creating a fundamental right of access to energy and water, and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels.
b) Localise and convert industrial production in Europe, develop short production and consumption circuits in order to minimise the use of resources; we need a low-cost and green solution to tackle energy poverty.
c) Fight climate change by developing true renewable energies and energy savings, improvement of public transport, and fighting against new so-called market solutions to carbon emissions.
d) Ensuring food sovereignty by developing economically and ecologically sustainable agriculture. The choice of production and investment should be made according to criteria of preservation of local ecosystems and protection of biodiversity. We reject the dominant unsustainable production and the consumerist model, both of which are capitalistic.
e) Protecting the sea and making non-explorative use of marine resources. Fight against marine pollution and protect oil, mining and gas reserves.
f) The common goods refer to resources that are life’s necessities. In that sense, everyone should have an equal right of access both to natural resources (land, air, water and energy), cultural resources (including information and digital platforms), education and social protection. We all share responsibility, for both current and future generations, and as so we need to democratize it and reject the neoliberal appropriation of the social and economic rights.
g) Fight against free trade agreements because they are a major threat to the international cooperation as they favouring the exploitation of raw materials mainly in Africa and Latin America.
3- Power to the people
A socially and environmentally sustainable, democratic, solidarity-based and feminist Europe cannot be built on the existing European Union Treaties. We must build a new Europe to win power for the people, workers, and residents. The following points are part of this objective.
a) Strengthen the fight against corruption through independent control.
b) Regain power over finance by respecting popular sovereignty and promoting citizens’; involvement in EU decision-making
c) Workers’ rights, trade union freedoms, securing and extending of social rights, strengthening the collective bargaining power of trade unions, concrete measures to combat social dumping, The European Left supports introducing a social protocol in the EU Treaties as proposed by Trade Union Network Europe, to protect fundamental trade union freedoms, rights and collective agreements. A social protocol should clarify that fundamental social rights override economic freedoms, with a clear aim to eradicate social dumping in the EU internal market.
d) Promote digital democracy, Internet neutrality and freedom of speech. Legally protect whistle-blowers and journalists denouncing economic, financial and tax crimes. Guarantee the right for a free and pluralist press. Impede the mass media propriety concentration and, through this, the spread of a dominant thinking.
4- For a Europe of rights and liberties
Our goal is to guarantee the fundamental human rights of all people living in Europe, men and women, by universal access to these rights, through public services and social security systems, managed by the public. The fundamental rights of citizens may not be dependent on the markets. They should not be left in the hands of private companies and financial markets. Their purpose is human emancipation, not profit. In addition, these rights should be at the heart of public investment, state budgets, local authorities, and contributory systems.
Inequality, wars, poverty and clime change are forcing millions of people to leave their country looking for a better prospective of life, but often finding the death in that huge and silent cemetery that today is the Mediterranean Sea. Europe has been guilty and absent: as well as the national egoisms it is refusing to put in place answers based on openness and solidarity, such as the reform of Dublin system or the definition of channels for legal migrations. We believe that building a new Europe means also rediscover those values of humanity that today seem forgotten. Moreover, welcome and hospitality policies and recognising migrant rights are not just a matter of mercy and goodness, but remains a fundamental part of any redistributive action.
We urge the implementation of the following;
a) Compliance with the sense of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, particularly Article 21 on non-discrimination, and its modification to include the prohibition of discrimination based on gender identity.
b) The right to universal access to comprehensive healthcare and health protection for all.
c) Decriminalisation of abortion and free access to it in all member states, as well as free choice of motherhood and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health. Sex education and contraception must be included in all European programmes relating to education and health.
d) Right to universal public and free education. The educational process should be free and secular throughout the educational stream. The school must make of the formative evaluation the pillar of future responsible citizens. Standardized tests, used under the pretext of objectivity and impartiality, are simplistic and privilege basic knowledge useful only to the labour market. They are to be abolished. As an alternative it is necessary to describe the evolution made from the beginning, passing through the moment when one makes the assessment, until the arrival, without scores or notes, along the obligatory schooling.
e) The right to social services and care for disabled persons as well as the promotion of independent life.
f) Promote LGBTQI rights and the end of discrimination: introduce legal gender recognition, civil marriage and child adoption rights for LGBTQI couples.
g) Full protection for the rights of the child
h) Defend Migrants’; and refugees’; rights and put an end to the fortress Europe, establishing safe European corridors both for legal migration and receiving asylum seekers. To build links with sending countries, promote a real cooperation, shared responsibility and solidarity solutions to foster economic and social integration.
Speed up asylum processes as well as resettlement and family reunification programs and condemn unilateral violations by member states which refuse to apply such programs.
i) A Europe of the Peoples can only encourage the artistic creation, the popular education, including in a critical spirit; it can only be enriched by a spirit of openness, hospitality and solidarity. It will prioritize the widest access to culture and art for all residents, without exclusion.
j) Promote the rights of elderly people and guarantee pensions for everyone.
k) Guarantee the right for impartial and true information. Develop communication rights, to avoid multinational companies or dark Internet as the only owners of communication channels.
l) We defend any personal belief but we want to promote a complete separation between state and religion and work for a secularisation of public policies.
5- For fair trade with the world
We are in favour of fair global cooperation. However, we insist on fairness and justice for people and the environment. Our insistence regards in particular the following:
a) International trade agreements which threaten agriculture, industry, audio-visual broadcasting, workers’ rights, the environment, and culture must be rescinded.
b) The suspension of EU Association Agreements with countries that massively violate human rights and/ or occupy disputed territories, notably Israel and Morocco which oppress and violate the rights of the Palestinian and Saharawi peoples to have a State.
c) The necessity of a Mediterranean cooperation and agreements for the benefit of the people. The Union for the Mediterranean, which has the stated objective of promoting peace, stability, and prosperity, has contributed to destabilisation in the region due to the neo-liberal policies that have been imposed by the EU as conditions for being part of the Union.
d) We denounce the free trade agreements with several countries of Latin America, and the Caribbean because they are not based on the interest of the peoples.
6- For a Europe of peace
We defend peace and political dialogue against violence and military coercion. The European Left is promoting peace among people and between societies. We defend internationalism in contrast to imperialism, which creates divisions between countries and peoples in an artificial way; we seek to unite against the capitalistic, neo-liberal crisis which victimises great numbers of people, including workers, and therefore society in general.
The historical profile and geopolitical situation of our continent demand a concept of independent peace and security as well as the creation of sustainable, good-faith relations wherever possible in the Near East, Middle East, and North Africa.
The historical role of our continent is that of an intermediary, working for the balance of interests without being the executor of military/industrial complexes in the US and the EU. The interests and experiences of non-allied and neutral countries within the EU must be taken into consideration when developing a contemporary and lasting concept for security and peace in Europe.
a) We don’t want NATO in European soil therefore NATO alliance needs to be override. NATO is nowadays an obsolete alliance that continues to generate imperialist military interventions, instead of “safeguarding peace”. What Europe needs is a new, comprehensive peace and security system in dialogue and not “cold war style” confrontations with Russia.
b) We defend the values of peace, tackling the causes of fights. This leads to a common, integration-oriented refugee and migration policy, as well as addressing the real root causes of migrant flaws namely the war and poverty. We call for an immediate stop of EU production and exports of war weapons.
c) Oppose the military treaties and their consequences; reject the EU armaments (PESCO and FRONTEX) and we insist on social investments rather than military operations expansion hidden under the “defence cooperation and security of the EU and its residents". We completely refuse the Union of Defence and the escalade towards militarisation.
d) Condemn the criminalisation of NGOs and humanitarian activists
e) The EU must require the immediate withdrawal of Turkish occupying forces from Cyprus and the concrete commitment of Ankara in the resumption of the negotiations as soon as possible on the agreed basis of bicommunal, bizonal federation, from where things were left off at Crans Montana and according to the framework of the UN Secretary-General.
f) We want a Europe which is willing to reflect constructively on its relations with Turkey. which is willing to keep its door open to Turkey, but at the same time demand the termination of Erdogan’s imperial plan of the islamization of social and political life. Turkish state must respect human rights and the freedom of expression, instead of tightening repression against democratic forces in the name of an anti-terrorist policy aimed at attacking the Kurdish people, its representatives, deputies, organisations and, in general, against all the country’;s democratic forces, which are working for democracy and peace in Turkey and the region. We will continue to stand against the imperialist wars in the Middle East and their inhuman consequences. Europe must be protagonist in the immediate drawing and implementation of a viable peace road-map in Syria, instead of examining the expansion of its military presence in this war-torn country. It should also play the same role in the case of Yemen, instead of remaining silent for the on-going war crimes.
g) Resist any armaments policy designed to militarise the EU, and instead develop policy to ensure nuclear disarmament and the dismantling of the anti-missile shield. Divest from weapons and devote such funds to education for peace.