Now The People! — United for solidarity, climate, justice and peace

First published at Now The People!.

The crises that have hit Europe in recent years have exacerbated the social and climate emergencies that already existed. The explosion in prices has benefited a handful of profiteers while widening inequalities and plunging more households into precariousness. The effects of climate change on Europe have become much more visible, with a whole series of climatic disasters: floods, droughts, fires… The Covid pandemic showed the structural underfinancing of our public services, under attack from years of privatisation and austerity and the dangers of ever-increasing delocalisations and free trade, which threaten democracy, the environment and our sovereignty.

These crises have once again demonstrated the absurdity and dangerousness of the current European neoliberal treaties and that the direction taken by the EU was leading us straight into the wall. Despite this, and after having recognised the ineffectiveness of their rules, the leaders of the European Union are stubbornly sticking to an ultra-liberal logic based on austerity, privatisations, an all-market system and free trade agreements, putting corporate interests before peoples and worker’s rights. Europe is at a crossroads, and now is the time to decide whether we wish to persist with this brutal and dangerous logic or radically transform our system by ending austerity, strengthening our public services, implementing real ecological planning and making sure that the transition holds major polluters accountable, benefits everyone and leaves no one behind.

The result of their policies is clear: they lead to suffering and destruction and pave the ideal way for the far right to advance its ideas and hate speech. In a growing number of countries, the far right is in government or on the doorstep of power: this trend should raise our alarm. Across Europe, this is synonymous with a dramatic challenge to rule of law, media pluralism and democratic freedoms. It leads to the undermining of the rights of women, LGBTQIA+ and disabled people, but also to the migrant and racialized communities, which are the forefront targets of the far-right. This trend goes hand in hand with a blatant lack of solidarity, particularly with those fleeing their countries towards the EU. Together, we must fight for democracy and resist the culture of hate and fear, leaving no space for fascism in any of its forms.

In a world marked by tensions, conflicts, and the erosion of international law, the current trajectory is alarming. Russia’s unacceptable war of aggression against Ukraine showed that peace and the respect for international law can never be taken for granted. The Russian troops must withdraw from Ukraine and the EU should ensure that international law is upheld in peace talks. In the meantime, we must show solidarity with Ukraine, including through debt cancellation strategies to help rebuild the country.

As for the illegal occupation of Palestine by Israel, it has persisted for decades, blatantly disregarding international law, defying countless United Nations resolutions. Since October 7, violence has escalated, with the horrendous attacks of Hamas and the indiscriminate bombings of Gaza by Israel, leading to thousands of people being killed. Every life is valuable, and our relentless pursuit is to secure an immediate ceasefire, free hostages and lift the blockade, since the deprivation of vital supplies, including water, food and electricity represent a war crime. We then need to ensure lasting peace for all those who are affected by this enduring conflict and to promote a two-state solution to guarantee security for both Israelis and Palestinians. In this turbulent international landscape, we stand resolute in our quest to promote peace, uphold justice, and ensure the safety and well-being of all.

In this context, we believe that Europe needs a strong fighting Left that won’t compromise its values and will fight for an alternative project. A project for economic and social justice in which everyone would contribute according to their income and where wealth is redistributed. A project to really combat global warming and its severe consequences and to protect nature while supporting working-class people in the transition. A project where austerity rules no longer prevent investment in the ecological transition and in public services that must be protected from competition and market logic. A project where feminism and the fight for equality and against patriarchy would be transversal and present in all spheres of society. A project where democracy would be deepened, our rights and freedoms would prevail and where minorities and refugees would gain new ones.

We strongly believe that another path is within our grasp, and we will make every effort to get there, alongside trade unions, NGOs, social movements and civil society organisations to speak with a clear voice: the voice of workers, of all those left behind, and those who want to fight for the planet. It is with this will and collective strength that we will campaign together for the next European elections. Together, we will build a Europe that champions the interests of the many, not the few.

La France insoumise (France Unbowed, France), Vansterpartiet (Left Party, Sweden), Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance, Finland), Enhedslisten (Red Green Alliance, Denmark), Bloco de Esquerda (Left Bloc, Portugal), Podemos (Spain)