European Left Manifesto

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 globalization 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.
For us, Europe is, within international politics, a space for the rebirth of
struggles for another society. The achievement
of peace and the transformation of the present
capitalist society will be the scope of this
undertaking. We strive for a society, which
transgresses the capitalist and patriarchal logic.
Our aim is human emancipation, liberation of
men and women from any form of oppression,
exploitation and exclusion.
We refer to the values and traditions of socialism, communism and the labour
movement, of feminism, the feminist movement
and gender equality, of the environmental
movement and sustainable development, of
peace and international solidarity, of human
rights, humanism and antifascism, of progressive
and liberal thinking, both nationally and
internationally.

 

We understand the role and the task of the Political Left in Europe as a
contribution to form a broad social and political
alliance for a radical policy change by developing
concrete alternatives and proposals for that necessary
transformation of the present capitalist societies.
In that we see our responsibility and ability to
address all those who are taking action for a more
equitable society as a condition for a self-determined
life of their own. We want to establish left wing
politics lastingly as an independent, self-confident
political project contributing to the implementation
of solidarity and democratic, social and ecological
alternatives.
For that reason the European Union as well as the whole European continent are
becoming an increasing important space
for alternative politics – besides the traditional
political level of nation-states, regions and
the municipalities and not being separated
from world developments.

 

Therefore we see the worldwide range of the “alter-mondialiste-movement”,
its growing exchange, mutual cooperation as well
as its influence within and on the traditional social,
labour, feminist, environmentalist and democratic
movements in terms of a new participation in the
conflict for a change.
All these movements confront the “private space”
of the strong world powers with a “public space”
inhabited by different subjects who want to reclaim
fundamental rights: peace, democracy, social
justice, freedom, gender equality and respect for
nature. The political Left is part of them. This gives
a new resource for a policy of transformation.
In the different European countries extraordinary cultural and political experience
and social struggles marked the original character
of the European social model. We look to these
political and cultural roots and not to the market
values which today define it, in particular through
the Maastricht treaty policies and the decisions of
the European Central Bank.

 

In Europe, in each of our countries, the people are suffering from the policies
of globalized capitalism implemented by
governments in the interest of big capital and
lobbies, which undermine solidarity and social
gains won by great struggles. There is a general
attack on pension systems, the dismantlement
and privatization of social security, the submission
of public services and such essential sectors as
health, education, culture and common goods
like water and other natural resources to market
rules, casualization and deregulation of the labour
market. There is an accentuation of anti-Trade
Union repression and a policy of criminalization
of immigration.
Everything is commodified. From labour to the whole life cycle. In present
Europe unemployment, precariousness, outward
militarization, as demonstrated in the Balkan wars,
Afghanistan and Iraq, and inward militarization
through repressive and liberticidal laws against
those who oppose neoliberal policies, are growing.
This process is alienating growing sectors of society
from politics and producing wars between the poor,
resurging of populism, racism and anti-Semitism.

 

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.

 

We want to build a project for another Europe and to give another content to
the EU: autonomous from US hegemony, open to
the south of the world, alternative to capitalism
in its social and political model, active against the
growing militarization and war, in favour of the
protection of the environment and the respect of
human rights, including the social and economic
ones. We stand for the right of citizenship for all
those living in Europe.
We want a Europe free from the antidemocratic and neoliberal policies of WTO
and IMF, refusing NATO, foreign military bases
and any model of a European army leading to
increasing military competition and arms race
in the world. We want a Europe of peace and
solidarity, free from nuclear weapons and weapons
of mass destruction, a Europe that rejects war as
an instrument to settle international conflicts.
That particularly concerns the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict, which should be solved according to the
UN resolutions.

 

We – left-wing political forces of this continent – want to help the rise of a
new force for change. We – parties and political
organizations of communist, socialist, democratic,
environmentalist, feminist inspiration, against
neoliberalism and for a social change – want to
give birth to a new political subject:
the Party of the European Left (EL).
We aim to embody this hope which will enable us to tackle in fresh terms
the question of globalisation, world peace,
democracy and social justice, the equality of
genders, a self-determined life of handicapped
people, sustainable and balanced development,
respect for specific cultural, religious, ideological
features or sexual orientations.
We see the necessity for a deep-rooted social and democratic transformation
of Europe. Yes, the time has come to intensify
struggles that challenge the dogma of
the sacrosanct “market economy with free
competition”, the power of the financial markets
and multinationals, and, instead, to make our
citizens active agents of the policies carried out
in their name.

Faced with the recession and the growth of unemployment, the “stability pact”
and the European Central Bank orientations must
be challenged so as to work towards another
economic and social policy and social priorities
in favour of full employment and training, public
services and a bold investment policy, for the
environment. The taxation of capital flows must be
imposed. Priorities must be changed – in favour
of human beings, not money.
We undertake to work everywhere
in Europe to advance the rights of wage-earners in
their work-places. We consider that public services
are an indispensable means for guaranteeing the
right of equal access of everyone to education,
water, food, health, power and transportation.
We are in favour of modernized, decentralized and
democratized public services which ensure social
rights for everyone.
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 EU’s present strategic choices.

The EL 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.
We want to act so that the elected institutions, the European Parliament and the
national parliaments as well as the representative
committees (the Economic and Social Committee
and the Committee of the Regions) have more
powers of action and control. Today, whatever
may be our overall opinion of the «Constitutional
Treaty» being discussed, we are opposed to a
Directorate of Great Powers. Nor do we accept their
wish to impose ultra-liberal economic criteria and
militarisation on us leading to substantial social
regression.
We will unceasingly strive to widen the action, participation and control of the citizens
at all levels and at every stage of the building of
Europe.
Finally, at the heart of the crisis of the European Union is Democracy. For decades
the European Union has been constructed from
above, with disregard for its great diversity of
cultures and languages – without its people and
often against them.
But already something is beginning to change. The great social, trade union, working
class and civic struggles against the war have
begun to change the situation. In just a few years
they have greatly contributed to a broad rallying
in support of peace, equality of human rights,
respect for the planet. As political forces of social
transformation, we want to contribute to this new
dynamic that is resolutely attacking neo-liberal
policies. The Social Forums have been essential
moments of debate, of confrontation and of
building popular and civic alternatives to
the present neo-liberal Europe. The social
movements, the social and citizens’ struggles
have their own dynamics, their independence of
analysis, of proposals and initiatives.
We are in favour not only of defending the rights
of workers and trade unions against all kinds
of discrimination, but in favour of extending
workers’ rights, including for unemployed and for
workers in precarious jobs, extending democracy
at the working place and in economic life, at all
levels, including the European one.
 
We stand for an alternative way of social, ecological, sustainable development
and the restructuring of the economy based on
the protection of the environment and climate,
founded on the precautionary principle, through
the use of environmentally-friendly technologies,
through lifelong social solidarity, through
creating new jobs and through support for
disadvantaged regions of the earth.
We will promote an enhanced role of the Committee of the Regions and the Social and
Economic Committee as substantial institutional
organs of democratic and regional policy in the
EU, taking part in the decision making of the
European institutions.
In the EU various interests are in conflict with each other. For us this creates
a new political space for class struggle and for
the defence of the interests of workers and
democracy, of the European society with its
organizations and institutions and, among them,
the European Parliament.
The ELP takes the obligation of contributing to ensure that the great changes it
professes become reality – within a context of
the constant broadening of peace, democracy
and social justice.
Text adopted by the founding Congress,
Rome, 8-9 may, 2004

Let us fight together
for a new society, for a world of justice
free from exploitation and war.
Together we say that another Europe
is possible. The future is here.
History never ends.

For further information please contact:
Party of the European Left asbl
Square de Meeûs 25
B-1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 (0)2 502 26 06 / +32 (0)2 502 2616
Fax: +32 (0)2 502 01 73
info@european-left.org
www.european-left.org
With the financial support of the European Parliament