Publication State / Democracy - Political Parties / Election Analyses Situation on the Left in Europe After the EU Elections: New Challenges

International Workshop of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation July 21-23, 2014



RLS Papers


Cornelia Hildebrandt,


January 2015

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The challenges facing the left in Europe have changed dramatically since the last EU elections. The real estate and banking crisis of 2008-‘09 has long since grown into a fullfledged economic, political and social crisis, carrying with it – especially in the countries of southern Europe – the dangers of social catastrophe. Unemployment, especially among young people, has for almost two years solidified at a very high level –almost 60% in Spain and Greece. The privatization of public utilities and the dismantling of public services are being pushed ahead by the ECB, the EU Commission and the IMF (the Troika), as are wage and salary cuts; these measures are the conditions for the issuance of new loans designed to stave off state bankruptcy, and, even more than that, the bankruptcy of banks. Within the European Union, social, political and economic divides are growing between and within countries and regions. The social peace is being disturbed, and political conditions are producing increased tension. Even the expulsion of countries is being considered. [...]

The goal of the workshop is to analyze the new relationship of political forces in Europe within the EU and its member countries, and to draw conclusions for the European Left Party in particular countries and regions, and also for the strengthening of the Europeanization of struggles. The goal is to “tell it like it is” – to present the strengths and weaknesses of European left parties, and discuss their strategic options for future struggles. This includes the deepening of the knowledge around concrete challenges faced by the left in particular countries of Europe.