Press release

For a Europe of solidarity, openness and social welfare

News Image
Published on: 12.07.2018

Joint statement of the:

  • President of the European Left Party (EL), Gregor Gysi
  • Chairman of the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ), Mirko Messner
  • Chairman of the Slovenian Levica (The Left), Luka Mesec

The European Union is at a turning point that will have a significant impact on future generations. Throughout Europe, right-wing populist and right-wing nationalist parties are on the rise. The ‘Axis of the Willing’, consisting of Germany, Austria and Italy, is a repetition of history we will not accept.
We are fighting against these developments both at the European level and in the individual states and see ourselves as the counterpart to the right-wing in Europe. By closing borders (within the EU), national attempts are made to shift the problem having its roots in global capitalism, which has made the social question a global one. Yet, this question can not be answered purely on national level anymore.

As left-wing parties, we see three approaches to a solution-oriented policy:

  1. The fight against the causes of flight, especially war, hunger, ecological disasters,which in many ways have their origins in the politics of the global power centers, the financial market-driven economy and resource-looting corporate strategies.
  2. A redistribution from top to bottom – linked to a European investment program.
  3. The development of social welfare at european and global level.

“By retreating to the national level problems are not solved. On the contrary, by cancelling the welfare promise they are being created. Essentially it needs a Social Europe, consisting of enforceable social rights for every person living here, a European minimum wage, a European system of unemployment insurance, an investment program but also the targeted fight against tax evasion.” (Gregor Gysi, President of the European Left)

“The Austrian right-wing conservative government is accelerating its deconstruction of social achievements at the expense of the poorer population, jeopardizing proven public health facilities, making working hours flexible at the expense of wage-earners. On the other hand, it favors the accumulation of wealth and power in the hands of a social minority. It is an acute threat to the welfare state in Austria, which has been under attack for a long time. At the same time it runs fear propaganda against those who flee from war and misery to Europe and operates as a European policy battering ram against human and asylum standards. The bridges that it builds together with the Austrian German national “Burschenschaftern” (student fraternities) are not bridges of solidarity and humanity, but bridges between the liberal center and the nationalist extreme right in Europe. On the other hand, we are resisting, together with involved and concerned groups, and we want to make this visible in the coming European elections.” (Mirko Messner, Chairman KPÖ)

“Slovenia is a neighbor of Italy, Austria, Hungary and Croatia. Far-right parties or factions are holding or sharing power in all of them. We are encircled and that has detrimental effects on Slovenian political landscape. The biggest right wing party developed into Orban-like illiberal far-right, while the parties of polical center and social democrats are moving to the right and have wrapped the country with razor-wire. Our party, Levica (The Left) is now not only the sole left-wing party, we are also pretty alone when values of freedom, openness and human rights have to be defended. This is just one – minor, but illustrative – an example of how Europe is sliding into darkness. That is why the European Left needs a bold and unified appearance at the upcoming European elections – we have to turn the table at the European level!” (Luka Mesec, Chairman of LEVICA)