The Party of the European Left elects Walter Baier as Spitzenkandidat

The General Assembly of the Party of the European Left has approved today its electoral manifesto for the next EU election.

The document, to which parties have contributed and improved in last months, defines and addresses five priorities for the next campaign: cost of living and housing, climate crisis, civil rights and diversity, peace and democracy, and public services and social rights.

Furthermore, the General Assembly has approved the proposal made by the Political Secretariat to appoint Walter Baier as top candidate for the next European election.

In the EU elections kick-off event taking place at night, Walter Baier, after holding a press conference together with Asta Vrečko, minister of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and coordinator of Levica, thanked all comrades for the support and especially Levica for hosting the event. ‘We have to reclaim European politics, this is our moment to make a European Union at the service of the people”, declared Baier before presenting the main manifesto’s proposals. Making the right to affordable, decent housing a right in European primary law, adopt a European directive to introduce a legal rent cap, reserve 7 % of European GDP to education, research and innovation and 2 % for culture, recognise femicide in the European legislation were the ones highlighted by Baier.

Reminding that Europe has become the fastest warming continent in the world, Baier urged that the fight against climate change should respect the working class, supporting the European Trade Union Confederation for a just transition. ‘If you want to have ecological rehabilitation you have to curb neoliberal policies’, he argued.

Opposing a new way of austerity, replacing the recently approved Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) with a new pact focusing on social and environmental restructuring, allowing for expansionary and counter-cyclical policies. ‘We are the ones who want to go forward, for a Europe of solidarity, equality and hope’.

Walter Baier in the kick-off event for the European election for the Party of the European Left
European Left Event in Ljubljana

The event, hosted by Valentina Škafar, continued with a support message by Jeremy Corbyn, and two roundtables. The first one, about civil rights, diversity and international order, involved Rafael Correa, former president of Ecuador, and Nataša Sukič, Vice-chair of the National Assembly, Levica. The second roundtable, with climate activist Carola Rackete and Simon Maljevac, Slovenian minister of Solidarity-based Future, considered the topics of public services and environment. Finally, a conversation with Isabel Schömann, deputy secretary General of European Trade Union Confederation, highlighted the role of collective bargaining and working unions in the fight for quality jobs to address the cost-of-living crisis.

Sira Rego, former MEP and currently Minister of Children of Youth in Spain, and Walter Baier concluded the night with a speech about the future.

Watch the pictures of the event in our Flickr and the video of the event here on our Youtube