Europa United is presenting an information article on each of the main groups and parties that make up the European Parliament. This is designed to help you find out as much information on who is seeking your vote in May 2019. In this information article, we look at the European United Left / Nordic Green Left.
The sixth largest Group in the current Parliament, the European United Left / Nordic Green Left is formed of a merger in 1995 between the Nordic Green Left group of parties and the Confederal Group of the European United Left. It now comprises Green, Pirate and Independent MEPs.
… a socially equitable, peaceful and sustainable European integration process based on international solidarity.
Its President, Gabi Zimmer, of Germany’s The Left is supported by four Vice-Presidents and a Treasurer. Its 52 MEPs are drawn from 26 Parties in 13 of the EU’s 28 member states.
The GUE/NGL’s position on the political Left is underlined by the ideologies of its member Parties, which range around a classical Left-wing centre of gravity.
• Democratic Socialism
• Soft Euro-scepticism
• Communism (minority)
• Hard Euro-scepticism
Gabi Zimmer – Germany F
Paloma López – Spain
Dennis de Jong – Netherlands
Patrick le Hyaric – France
Neoklis Sylikiotis – Cyprus
Kateřina Konečná – Czech Republic
Views and Priorities
The GUE/NGL fights for more and better jobs and educational opportunities, social security and social solidarity, sustainable economic development, responsible use and management of natural resources, cultural exchange and diversity and a consistent and strong peace policy, which it believes should be the ultimate goals of the European integration process. The Group seeks more direct democracy and active participation by citizens.
To achieve these objectives, the GUE/NGL advocates sweeping social, economic and environmental reforms. While championing individual rights and participation in direct democratic processes, the Group promotes just, fair and sustainable foreign and trade policies, as well as responses to global challenges such as human rights violations and climate change.
The GUE/NGL seeks a European employment policy centred on the promotion of workers’ rights and better work-life balance. It should feature a minimum wage and a minimum income, European action against unequal free trade through visas, a training-related social security system, an end to social and fiscal dumping, taxation on capital at the same rate as on employment, defence of migrant workers’ rights and those of asylum seekers and a fund for human, social and ecological development. The group consistently calls for adequate funding for the Youth Guarantee scheme to support sustainable jobs for Europe’s young people.
The Group seeks controlled free trade and the free circulation of goods, and opposes all international trade agreements that are shaped by the interests of big business. Human rights, workers’ rights and environmental protection criteria should be prerequisites for imports. It advocates sustainable development and calls for a trade policy centred on development.
It demands a shift in focus towards combating poverty – especially child poverty – and social exclusion, and puts forward proposals to address the plight of the disadvantaged and vulnerable, including access to education.
The GUE/NGL works actively to ensure universal right to healthcare regardless of an individual’s economic and social situation, with attention to women’s access to healthcare and reproductive health and rights, and to protect victims of violence. It fights against privatisation of health care services.
It believes that consumers need more accessible mechanisms for redress and advocates full certification of country of origin markings that ensure products, including genetically-modified produce, are not harmful to health.
The Group seeks to protect the environment and save small rural communities through sustainable and just agriculture policies. It believes that the opportunity is being missed to promote a farmer-friendly form of agriculture, food quality, security and sovereignty. It defends market regulation to ensure fair prices for production and regulation suited to individual country needs.
The GUE/NGL demands urgent, pragmatic reform of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy to address its social, environmental and economic shortcomings, in consultation with fishers to take into account the practicalities of each country, fishery and fleet. It should also protect coastal regions and islands with active fishing sectors.
The Group works for ambitious global targets to tackle climate change and to help developing countries adapt. It champions renewable energy, including wind and wave power, and solar energy, and backed a proposal for sustainable indirect land use in favour of bio fuel production and use of renewable energy. It also fights against privatisation of water assets.
The GUE/NGL considers that transfer of EU citizens’ financial data, such as via the SWIFT banking system and US and UK spying activities, is an infringement of fundamental rights.
As a Group, GUE/NGL champions left-wing democratic socialism, communism and soft Euro-scepticism, reflecting the positions of its member Parties.
The graph illustrates this by comparing the political positions of the Group’s member parties and the ideologies of each. The left-hand bar shows Party-level political positions, while the right-hand bar looks deeper, to the sets of ideologies championed by Parties within the Group. Both are weighted by the number of MEPs representing them.
In the left-hand bar, we see that by far the most important Party-level position is Left – far-left, with notable and Left and Far-left representations on either side. The Left – far-left is dominated by Germany’s The Left, which has seven MEPs, joined by Spain’s Podemos, with five, and five other Parties with 12 MEPs between them. The Far-left comprises the Portuguese Communist Party and Greece’s Syriza, with three MEPs each, and four independent MEPs, while The Left contingent comprises six Parties with eight MEPs.
The complexion of the right-hand bar is more varied around the Left – far-left, with both The Left and Podemos, the two largest parties in the Group, supporting Left – far-left ideologies, such as anti-capitalism and left-wing populism. Communism is the main Far-left ideology, attributable to four parties with 11 MEPs between them, and lesser support for Marxism and Marxism-Leninism. Democratic socialism is the main Left-wing ideology, supported by The Left and Podemos. Six Parties are Euro-sceptic, largely explaining the the Right – far-right ideology representation.
The GUE/NGL Group Secretariat office addresses is:
PHS 5C29 – 5C039 European Parliament Rue Wiertz 43 B-1047 Brussels
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