The Socialist Unity Network

European Left Party launched

Jim Jepps

The founding conference of the Party of the European Left has taken place in Rome.

It's initial statement begins

"New hope is springing up in Europe. A new vision is inspiring growing numbers of Europeans and uniting them to join in great mobilisations to resist the imposition of a capitalist one-way street that is an attempt to trap humanity in a new social and cultural regression. The condition of peoples, social subjects and individuals is marked by insecurity, uncertainty and precariousness. A new resistance against capitalist exploitation is strongly emerging. There is a new option for a change crisscrossing the lives of men and women who are more and more affected by the disasters produced by the capitalist globalisation policies.

"The new forms of power on a worldwide scale bring about a crisis of nation states, of the alliance systems and post-World War II world orders. The theory of permanent war, as presently depicted in the Bush doctrine, the vortex of terrorist violence that war is nourishing cause inequalities to grow and spaces of democracy to be reduced. "


It sets out its vision of what is wrong and what is needed by stating that

"The social democratic concept of the Third way in Europe has failed, because it did not resist this development and did not have any alternative, thus promoting it. That creates possibilities and lays a bigger responsibility on the Left that wants to change the present world. But we cannot trace the same traditional path as in the 20th century which brought great achievements but also great defeats and tragedies to the forces with a revolutionary inspiration.

"To change society we have to widen our action. In Europe the construction of an alternative, radical, environmentalist and feminist left is a challenge for the new cycle which is now opening. The plural nature of movements can be crisscrossed by this new political force because we want to build a new relationship between society and politics."


It states its views on the EU clearly by stating

"Today ten countries are joining the European Union and others have expressed the desire to join. But there are significant political and social forces both within these countries and in the countries that are already EU members, who view enlargement with reservations or outright hostility. These tendencies are reinforced by the impasses caused by the EUs present strategic choices.

"The ELP also responds to the challenges for countries that are now outside the EU such as the Balkan states and other Eastern European countries caused mainly by their transformation and therefore to the arising dilemma of independent development or joining the capitalist European integration as mid-term strategy for dealing with all conflicts inside the societies connected to these changes of past and present time. The EL is ready to stand together with all democratic forces in these countries in favour of democracy, peace and social justice, social and economic development and to strengthen the democratic institutions."

The new left party must recognise that

"With this international approach we declare :

"The Left is willing to take on responsibility in Europe and the world for the shaping of our societies, to work out political alternatives, to promote them among the public and to win the required majorities.

"Liberal internationalisation and globalisation are no phenomena of nature but the result of political developments and decisions. Therefore we stand consequently against the neo-liberal policy of dealing with these challenges, against war and militarization. Just now courage and confidence must be given to the people that the world is not a commodity, that a new world of peace, democracy, sustainability and solidarity is possible."


The European Left consists of the following parties:

Communist Party of Austria

Party of Democratic Socialism, Czech Republic

Estonian Social-Democratic Labour Party,

French Communist Party, France

Party of Democratic Socialism, Germany

Coalition of the Left of Movements and Ecology - Synaspismos, Greece

Workers-Party, Hungary

Communist Refoundation Party, Italy

Socialist Alliance Party, Romania

Communist Refoundation, San Marino

Communist Party of Slovakia

Communist Party of Spain

United Alternative Left of Catalonia, Spain

United Left, Spain

Swiss Party of Labour, Switzerland


This new realignment of one current of the hard left in Europe is a significant development and for any internationalist it will be clear that this re-groupment is a genuine attempt to bring the left together on an international scale. Whilst we have to recognise that there are many such currents and each with its strengths and weaknesses this major grouping is one that we should not ignor.


June 2004

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For Socialist Unity ~ For Internationalism ~ For Peace ~ For Justice ~ For Unity ~ For Socialism