In The News
► EU Crisis News/Analysis/Events ◄
- June 18, 2017: New Political Transformation in 21st Century
Pablo Iglesias, leader of Spain's Podemos, is interviewed by Perry Anderson. They discuss the convergences and divergences of the anti-establishment movements that have emerged lately in Europe: the Portuguese left-wing government, the formation of Jean-Luc Mélenchon's French Insumisa in the Presidential elections, the Corbyn phenomenon in British Labour, the short Greek experience and We Can in Spain. Iglesias points out 'paradoxically, the historical defeat of the left in the twentieth century has given us the opportunity to construct a grammar of new political transformation.'
- June 10, 2017, Bullet No. #1430: UK Election: Labour Surge Gives Unions a Chance, Gregor Gall
For the vast majority of unions in Britain, the idea of the Labour Party fighting a general election with a dream leadership team of Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell was manna from heaven after the era of New Labour. From 1997 to 2010, many unions believed Labour governments were a case of 'power without principles.' The unions did manage to get Ed Miliband elected as leader in 2010, rather than his more centrist brother David, but that did little to shift the balance in the equation between power and principles come the 2015 general election.
- May 2, 2017, Bullet No. #1406: 'Things are serious': Update on the French Presidential Election, Stefan Kipfer
'C'est grave,' (things are serious) said the monsieur who sells me the papers every morning. A resident of Mantes-la-Jolie (a working class town at the western edge of the Paris region), he laments a lack of clarity on the dangers of the Front National (FN) not only among colleagues and neighbours but also parties and politicians. The situation in France is indeed serious. A week before the second-round vote, Marine Le Pen has made progress in the polls but still trails Emmanuel Macron by a margin of about 18 per cent.
- April 24, 2017, Bullet No. #1400: In the Shadow of Social Democracy: Right-Wing Challenges and Left Alternatives, Ingo Schmidt
We live in a paradoxical world. Much debate on the radical left revolves around multitudes of discontented groups - sometimes lumped together as the 99%, sometimes rebranded as precariat - struggling against an abstract empire and its 1% rulers. Capitalism and class - once serving as a compass to navigate left politics through the apparently chaotic sees of everyday life - have turned into subjects of theoretical debate with little to no connection to political praxis.
- April 12, 2017, Bullet No. #1396: The Return of Hope: For an Offensive Double Strategy, Michael Brie and Mario Candeias
The future has gone astray. The neoliberal utopia is exhausted just as are left alternatives. The decades of an initially conservative-orthodox neoliberalism from Margaret Thatcher to Helmut Kohl; its generalization under the governments from Tony Blair to Gerhard Schröder; and, finally, its authoritarian deepening and anchoring in the years of the crisis have caused social inequalities and dynamics, which are hardly under control. The structural crisis is not resolved and cannot be solved in the old framework.
- March 16, 2017, Bullet No. #1383: Reactionary Working Class?, Asbjørn Wahl
Large parts of the western working class now seem to gather around right populists, demagogues, and racists. They vote for reactionary and fascistoid political parties. They helped to vote the UK out of the EU and to make Trump president of the world's superpower number one, and they vote so massively for the far right political parties that the latter have government power in sight throughout several of Europe's most populous countries.
- March 9, 2017, Bullet No. #1380: Chronicle of a Crisis Postponed: Italy After the Referendum, Ingo Schmidt
Matteo Renzi assumed the role of Italian Prime Minister on February 22, 2014 as the self-proclaimed rottamatore - the ‘demolition man’ of an inefficient system. After successfully passing a series of laws by means of this very system that lowered social standards, he failed in the attempt at a constitutional amendment that would have accelerated future measures designed to further degrade social standards.
- March 6, 2017: Why the system will still win, Perry Anderson
The term ‘anti-systemic movements’ was commonly used 25 years ago to characterise forces on the left in revolt against capitalism. Today, it has not lost relevance in the West, but its meaning has changed. The movements of revolt that have multiplied over the past decade no longer rebel against capitalism, but neoliberalism -- deregulated financial flows, privatised services and escalating social inequality, that specific variant of the reign of capital set in place in Europe and America since the 1980s.
- February 15, 2017: The European Union: The Threat of Disintegration
The crisis of the EU is multifaceted and has visibly deepened during the last year. The British referendum on EU membership and the vote in favour of Brexit have only been the most explicit symptom of the disintegrative tendencies. The core-periphery rift in the euro area has continued. The arrival of a large number of refugees from the war-torn areas of the Middle East has resulted in acrimonious conflicts in the EU on the question who should take care of them.
- December 14, 2016, Bullet No. #1340: Referendums and Social Movements in Italy and Europe, Donatella della Porta
Matteo Renzi's recent attempt to constitutionally embed neoliberalism and simultaneously legitimize and secure his tenure as Prime Minister via a referendum on proposed changes to Italy's postwar constitution failed spectacularly after sustained mobilization by ordinary Italians.
- October 25, 2016, Bullet No. #1319: The Crisis of European Integration and the Challenges for the Left, Panagiotis Sotiris
The elephant in the room is now visible to everyone. All the developments of the past years, from the extreme violence and cynicism of the 'memoranda of understanding' imposed upon Greece to the decision of the British referendum in favour of Brexit, point to the same direction: the deep crisis of European Integration. It was supposed to be the most advanced example of economic and political integration and the first successful introduction of a single currency in such a broad area. It presented itself as a paragon of stability and human rights. Yet the reality is very different.
- October 22, 2016: Portuguese budget restores the meaning of ‘left’ in Europe, Goffredo Adinolfi
The government led by socialist António Costa and supported in parliament by the radical Left Bloco de Esquerda (BE) and Partido Comunista Português (PCP) presented the 2017 budget law Friday night. We are only at the beginning of an obstacle-strewn path, and yet, in spite of everything and contrary to all predictions, the majority continues to hold. Portugal’s government is now probably one of the few in Europe to give a practical meaning to the concept of the left.
- October 21, 2016, Bullet No. #1318: The Future of the Euro Area, Frederic Heine and Thomas Sablowski
The unequal development of the countries of the euro area since the outbreak of the crisis is causing increasing friction that threatens to tear the monetary union apart. Contrary to what many critics of the monetary union suggest, responsibility for this development lies not alone with its internal structure, but is rather a general feature of capitalist development.
- October 13, 2016, Bullet No. #1315: Brexit and the Crisis of the Left, Asbjørn Wahl
The British majority in favour of leaving the EU (Brexit) was surprising, even shocking, to many. The discussion runs high on both the result and the causes. The confusion seems to be extraordinarily high on the left, in Britain as in the rest of Europe. In reality, the result of the referendum reflects an EU in existential crisis, while the discussion reflects a Left in deep political and ideological crisis.
- August 24, 2016: Brexit and the EU implosion National sovereignty: for what purpose?, Samir Amin
Today, in the globalized neoliberal system dominated by financialised monopolies of the imperialist triad (United States, Europe, Japan), the political authorities in charge of the management of the system for the exclusive benefit of the monopolies in question conceive national sovereignty as an instrument enabling them to improve their 'competitive' positions in the global system.
- July 23, 2016: Brexit, Xenophobia and Left Strategy Now
In the latest in our series of blogposts which aim to critically analyse the Brexit vote and it's implications, James Gough, Senior Lecturer in Town and Regional Planning at the University of Sheffield, examines what the racism and xenophobia of parts of the British working class means for contemporary left strategy.
- July 10, 2016: Brexit: Why They Left
The Leave victory in the British referendum represents a moment of political confusion -- a hiatus in the opposition between social classes. No class appears capable of directing events. The ruling class has no clear plans for the future, and seems temporarily stunned.
- July 10, 2016: Can the Welfare State Survive?
After the most serious economic crash since the 1930s and the slowest recovery on record, austerity rules. Spending on the welfare state did not cause the crisis, but deep cuts in welfare budgets has become the default policy response. The welfare state is seen as a burden on wealth creation which can no longer be afforded in an ever more competitive global economy. There are calls for it to be dismantled altogether.
- July 9, 2016: A democratic revolt against a deaf and cocooned elite
The Leave vote on the 23 June referendum was essentially lashing out at 'the fat cats’ who have hijacked the British economy and at the main political parties' neglect of immigration issues, says columnist David Randall.
- July 8, 2016: How the left can win in Britain, Colin Leys
The basic problem is how Labour can win the 2020 election, or at least gain some more seats in it, but do so from a political standpoint that it will take a generation to make hegemonic. We must begin by recognising that there are severe limits to the progressive policies which global capital will tolerate. As many analysts have concluded, and Wolfgang Streek has most conclusively shown, in the globalised capitalist economy the real arbiters of policy in all highly-indebted nation-states (such as the UK) are the owners of large sums of investible capital.
- July 6, 2016: Collapsing Constructions: Reflections on British Exit
We shall have to wait and see whether German "Europeans" will learn anything from the outcome of the British referendum. There is not much hope of this. In their first reactions, they claimed that the land of Shakespeare and Adam Smith, Newton and Hobbes, Händel and Marx had never really belonged to Europe — unlike ourselves of course.
- July 5, 2016: After Brexit: Reckoning With Britain's Racism and Xenophobia
Theoretically, there was a progressive case to be made for Britain exiting the European Union via the referendum held on June 23, 2016. But the campaign for Brexit -- the infelicitous name given the political process -- was, from the very first, fought on the grounds of xenophobia and racism.
- July 4, 2016: Most Germans want to reclaim some powers from EU, post-Brexit survey finds
A new poll shows nearly two-thirds of Germans want their government to reclaim some powers from the European Union after the UK voted to leave. The survey by Emnid for the N24 news channel found 62 per cent of the country’s citizens believe it should reclaim some of its powers, although the overwhelming majority are still in favour of membership.
- July 4, 2016: Brexit confirms: the neoliberal center cannot hold
Britain finds itself in a general state of pandemonium. The UK is in the midst of a full-blown constitutional crisis, Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned, and both the country’s governing party and the opposition are in the throngs of a fierce internal power struggle.
- July 3, 2016: Brexit earthquake has many ruptures
The Brexit vote was a momentous political earthquake and the seismic shifts that caused it have been long in the making. It has ruptured so many political structures — decades and even centuries old, national and international — so deeply it could be decades before its damage can be fully reckoned.
- July 2, 2016: How Not to Fix Europe
Europe needs mass movements that threaten its ruling elite, not technocratic fixes and a PR makeover.
- July 2, 2016: If We Leave
If Britain votes to leave the EU it will take several years to disentangle what’s to be kept and what discarded from our EU-saturated legislation.
- July 2, 2016: The EU Can't Be Reformed
Stathis Kouvelakis was a member of the Syriza central committee when that party won the January 2015 Greek election. He was then among those who decided to break with prime minister Alexis Tsipras, instead advocating that Greece leave the Eurozone and make a clear break with EU institutions. He teaches and lives in London, and here he gives Mediapart his analysis of the consequences of the UK referendum.
- July 2, 2016: Brexit: a disaster decades in the making
One week ago, against the advice of its political establishment, Britain narrowly voted to leave the European Union. Within a few days, that establishment was in the process of a full-scale implosion: the country is effectively without government or opposition, shorn of leadership, bereft of direction.
- July 2, 2016: Europe, EU: Crises and Crash?
Luxemburg Lecture by Étienne Balibar held in Berlin on June 24th 2016.
- July 1, 2016: How the Brexit Tragedy Challenges Economics
It would be a tragic mistake to read anti-E.U. sentiment across Europe as simple bigotry — racism and xenophobia are being nurtured by the economic pain produced by prevailing economic policies.
- July 1, 2016: I cannot stress too much that Britain is part of Europe - and always will be
This EU referendum has been the most extraordinary political event of our lifetime. Never in our history have so many people been asked to decide a big question about the nation’s future. Never have so many thought so deeply, or wrestled so hard with their consciences, in an effort to come up with the right answer.
- July 1, 2016: How the EU pushed France to reforms of labour law
The current struggle in France over labour law reforms is not just between the Government and trade unions – a European battle is waged. The attacks on social rights stem in no small part from the web of EU-rules dubbed 'economic governance', invented to impose austerity policies on member states.
- July 1, 2016: Keep Calm, Mike Constable
- July 1, 2016: Making sense of the Brexit tide of reaction and the reality of the racist vote
The Leave / Brexit vote in the referendum came in the end as a surprise, a narrow win for Remain was expected. This may be because the core Leave vote was in the run-down white working class communities of the now desolate English and Welsh industrial zones. A population trapped in conditions of long-term unemployment and poverty who no one really pays much attention to anymore.
- June 30, 2016: The euro crisis and the future of European integration
The crisis which hit Europe in the spring and early summer of 2010 is proof that all the talk about recovery from the crisis which broke out in September 2008 is totally off the mark.
- June 30, 2016: I walked from Liverpool to London. Brexit was no surprise
Thatcherism devastated communities throughout industrial England that have never recovered. Their pain explains why people voted to leave in the EU referendum.
- June 30, 2016: We kicked around the working class. With Brexit, they're kicking back
In the end, what was meant to be a referendum about the economic benefits of remaining in the European Union proved to be about everything but. There will be countless analyses of the results and of the reasons that motivated the British people to vote to leave the European Union, but I fear that very few of these analyses will even come close to addressing the true underlying forces at work.
- June 30, 2016: Seeing the whole picture after the referendum
The UK referendum vote to leave the European Union has upended politics from one end of the continent to the other--nowhere more so, of course, than Britain, where Conservative Party Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, and a scheme to unseat left-wing Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn is in the making. SW is publishing views from the left on the meaning of the vote and next steps. The latest contribution comes from Charlie Hore, a member of revolutionary socialism in the 21st century.
- June 30, 2016: Why African-Caribbeans should vote for a Left Exit from the EU
I wish to argue in this article that, it is in the long term interests of African-Caribbeans living in the UK to vote for Britain to leave the European Union (EU). The main thrust of my argument is that the EU is an imperialist project which is actively and unashamedly extracting the resources and exploiting the labour of the people of Africa and the Caribbean through trade and other means.
- June 30, 2016, Bullet No. #1277: After 'Brexit': A Social-Democratic Re-Founding of Europe?, Ingar Solty
In light of 'Brexit' and within 24 hours after the publication of the final results in the British referendum on EU membership, Sigmar Gabriel, Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) chairman, German vice-chancellor and Minister of Economic Affairs in the Merkel government, and Martin Schulz, EU Parliament President, published a new strategy paper analyzing the origins of the deep legitimacy crisis of the European Union amid the Europe-wide rise of the nationalist Right and outlining political pathways to overcome this legitimacy crisis in order to prevent the EU's disintegration.
- June 29, 2016: Brexit, the anti-Grexit
Far be it from me to minimise the dramatic consequences the UK’s vote will have for the British as well as for Europe. But I am struck by the way in which the French and foreign newspaper headlines present us how things are "After Brexit…"
- June 29, 2016: Brexit is a rejection of globalisation
The age of globalisation began on the day the Berlin Wall came down. From that moment in 1989, the trends evident in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s accelerated: the free movement of capital, people and goods; trickle-down economics; a much diminished role for nation states; and a belief that market forces, now unleashed, were unstoppable.
- June 29, 2016: EU Basics - Your Guide to the UK Referendum on EU Membership
From 20 June 2016: The British people should be clear about just what they will be voting on at the EU referendum this Thursday. What does it actually mean to stay in the EU? What does it mean to exit?
- June 29, 2016: Bursting Bubbles and the Fallout from Brexit
Neil Irwin had an Upshot piece trying to work through some of the fallout from the vote to leave the European Union. It is worth elaborating on a couple of the points in this piece. First, Irwin seems to give financial markets undue credit in having a clue.
- June 29, 2016: We thought the best thing about Brexit would be avoiding TTIP - but the fight isn't over yet
The European elite’s contempt for the people of Europe has manifested itself with brutal clarity in their imposition of austerity on the populations of Greece, Cyprus, Romania, Latvia, Ireland and Portugal, as well as their drive to conclude the TTIP negotiations in the face of such widespread public opposition.
- June 29, 2016: After the leave vote: we can beat back racism and austerity
The British state, its ruling class, its economy and its political system have all been thrown into chaos by the vote to leave the EU. Some 52 percent opted for exit, on a turnout of 72 percent, higher than any general election since 1992.
- June 29, 2016: If you've got money, you vote in
... if you haven't got money, you vote out.
- June 29, 2016: Scottish Socialist Party, Sinn Féin, Momentum and Left Unity on Brexit referendum result
In the aftermath of the Brexit referendum which ended with a vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union, Links has republished a variety of statements reflecting the views of key left forces in England, Scotland and Ireland.
- June 29, 2016: Brexit and the diseased liberal mind
The enraged liberal reaction to the Brexit vote is in full flood. The anger is pathological – and helps to shed light on why a majority of Britons voted for leaving the European Union, just as earlier a majority of Labour party members voted for Jeremy Corbyn as leader.
- June 28, 2016: Discussing the meaning of the Brexit vote
The UK referendum vote to leave the European Union was a political earthquake that rocked not only Britain, but all of Europe and the world. Already, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced his resignation, though it won't take effect for months; a new plot against the Labour Party's left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn is taking shape.
- June 28, 2016: Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
So what started as a gamble by David Cameron on an outlet for domestic British discontent, to be used as a lever to bargain with Brussels for a few more favors, has metastasized into an astonishing political earthquake about the dis-integration of the European Union.
- June 28, 2016: Revolutionary politics, class, imperialism and the UK Brexit referendum
What explains the desperation of British capitalism and Conservative Party in the lead up to the Brexit referendum on 23 June? Opinion polls have shifted in favour of a Leave vote and, while the accuracy of the polls is always in doubt, a shift towards Leave seems evident from widespread vox pop views in the media, in the panic of the Remain camp and in the financial market setbacks for sterling’s download exchange rate.
- June 28, 2016: Britain left the EU decades before the referendum
I advocated a Remain vote but there is something in me that welcomes the outcome of the UK’s EU referendum. While I continue to believe that the case for European integration is overwhelming, I have to accept that this case was simply not made in the campaign. And if you are constitutionally incapable of defending your case, you deserve to lose.
- June 28, 2016: Switzerland withdraws longstanding application to join EU
The upper house of the Swiss parliament on Wednesday voted to invalidate its 1992 application to join the European Union, backing an earlier decision by the lower house. The vote comes just a week before Britain decides whether to leave the EU in a referendum.
- June 27, 2016: European Labor
From January 2014: Political and Ideological Crisis in an Increasingly More Authoritarian European Union by Asbjørn Wahl.
- June 27, 2016: The Left Needs to Develop an Alternative Plan for Europe
Economics professor Costas Lapavitsas says Britain's vote to leave is a direct result of the EU's lack of democracy. The question of the referendum touched upon a real, deep class divide in Britain, which came to the fore on this question.
- June 27, 2016: A victory for democracy, a dangerous step towards fascism, or much ado about next to nothing?
There are a number of ways of looking at the result of the Brexit referendum. Firstly, there’s the economics. On this, it has appeared to me all along that both sides have exaggerated the probable effects, the Remain camp as part of a scare campaign which reached ludicrous proportions.
- June 27, 2016: Brexit a bold but perilous experiment in de-globalization
In voting to leave the European Union, Britons have embarked on a bold but perilous experiment. They are turning their backs on expert opinion. They are ignoring the advice of the mainstream elites who argue further economic integration is both inevitable and necessary.
- June 27, 2016: A club of ghouls: the need for rupture with the EU
After Greece, the road to a democratic, social United States of Europe passes through ‘Brexit’ and a toppling of the post-democratic tyranny that is the European Union, argues Leigh Phillips.
- June 27, 2016: The Road to Britain's Retreat
The 1941 Atlantic Charter pledged a future of human rights and democracy in the postwar world. India was purposely omitted.
- June 26, 2016: After Brexit: RISE ready to support new drive for independence
The UK has voted for exiting the European Union. The immediate consequences will be faced most by the hundreds of thousands of immigrants and refugees in Scotland and across Britain who face a more racist and intimidating environment that has been whipped up by some of the leaders on both the Remain and Leave side of the referendum campaign.
- June 26, 2016: Why the British Said No to Europe
The majority vote by Britons to leave the European Union was an act of raw democracy. Millions of ordinary people refused to be bullied, intimidated and dismissed with open contempt by their presumed betters in the major parties, the leaders of the business and banking oligarchy and the media.
- June 26, 2016: The Brexit vote
I'm stunned. And it is likewise with just about everyone I know who’s reacted so far on social media, not to mention countless others. It’s the near unanimous reaction by everyone who supported Remain, as it was so utterly unexpected.
- June 26, 2016: The Day After: James Galbraith on Brexit
The groundwork for the Brexit debacle was laid last July when Europe crushed the last progressive pro-European government the EU is likely to see – the SYRIZA government elected in Greece in January 2015.
- June 26, 2016: After Shocking Vote, Can U.K.'s Radical Left Navigate a 'Left Exit' from EU Neoliberalism?
Britain has stunned the world by voting to leave the European Union, putting an end to a 43-year relationship. British Prime Minister David Cameron led the campaign to "remain" in the union, and responded to the vote by announcing he would resign by October.
- June 26, 2016: Brexit is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions
The decision by UK voters to leave the EU is such a glaring repudiation of the wisdom and relevance of elite political and media institutions that – for once – their failures have become a prominent part of the storyline.
- June 25, 2016: Hilary Benn seeks shadow cabinet backing to oust Corbyn
Jeremy Corbyn faces a coup this week by members of his shadow cabinet, led by Hilary Benn, the Observer can reveal. It is understood that the shadow foreign secretary called fellow MPs over the weekend to suggest that he will ask Corbyn to stand down if there is significant support for a move against the leader.
- June 24, 2016: Grieve now if you must - but prepare for the great challenges ahead
Britain has voted to leave the European Union: here is a statement that continues to shock leavers and remainers alike. Earlier this month I wrote that “unless a working-class Britain that feels betrayed by the political elite can be persuaded, then Britain will vote to leave the European Union in less than two weeks.”
- June 24, 2016: EU Referendum: a disastrous outcome
Left Unity deplores the Leave outcome of the EU Referendum. This referendum came from pressure from the far right – driven by anti-immigration sentiment, fuelled by racism. This has been the most reactionary national campaign in British political history, resulting in an open emergence of the extreme right.
- June 24, 2016: The dispossessed voted for Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn offers real change
for decades now, there has been disquiet among most Britons that our economic system is designed for the benefit of the few over the many. And in the referendum on Britain’s membership with the European Union, the many – and some of the few – voted in favour of Brexit to try to change that.
- June 24, 2016: Political Elites' Program of Austerity Set the Stage for Brexit
At 4 am, following the UK referendum on EU membership, Nigel Farage, the leader of the Eurosceptic UK Independence Party, gave a tentative victory speech. Bullish and beaming, but couching his cheer in caveats that not all areas had declared results, flanked by young men in suits jeering and pogoing, Farage announced that if the Leave campaign had won, “We will have done so without a single bullet being fired.”
- June 24, 2016: EU voting map lays bare depth of division across Britain
England and Wales look like one country on Friday morning, plumping by about five or six percentage points to leave the EU; Scotland, where very nearly two in three voters and every counting area wanted to stay in, looks like another land entirely.
- June 24, 2016: Sinn Féin calls for vote on Irish reunification if UK backs Brexit
Britain’s departure from the EU should lead to a border poll on a United Ireland, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland, Martin McGuinness, has said. The former IRA chief-of-staff said that if Britain voted to leave the EU then there was a “democratic imperative” to allow people on the island of Ireland to vote on reunification.
- June 24, 2016: After the Referendum: What's Left?
There is nothing to celebrate today. The vote by a small (but significant) majority of people in the UK to leave the EU is not a victory for working people, for migrants, for socialists or left activists of any stripe.
- June 23, 2016: Remain and reform is wishful thinking - the left should vote leave
On Thursday, despite a wobble over the horrible killing of Jo Cox and Ukip’s appalling poster, I shall be voting to leave the EU – the same way I voted in the 1975 referendum. However, there is no straight line from one to the other. I have been for many years a strong supporter of the EU and am slightly surprised to be making this choice.
- June 23, 2016: I am voting for Lexit because the EU isn't the socialist project you think it is
In January 2015, the radical left party Syriza was elected, with its leader Alexis Tsipras declaring “Greece is leaving behind destructive austerity.” Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, baldly responded that “To suggest that everything is going to change because there's a new government in Athens is to mistake dreams for reality… There can be no democratic choice against the European treaties.”
- June 22, 2016: EU referendum: how should the Left vote?, John Hilary
On New Year’s Day 1973, the UK joined the European Union – or, as it then was, the European Economic Community (EEC). Two years later, in June 1975, a national referendum confirmed the UK’s membership. At some point before the end of 2017, the British people will again be given the chance to vote in a referendum on whether we wish to remain in the EU. So which way should the Left vote?
- June 22, 2016: An anti-capitalist perspective, requires a breach with the EU
We need to bear in mind the national particularities. But even given the national particularities, there are underlying processes on the European continent and the existence of the European Union – [that] doesn’t replace national politics, but it does give a synchronisation to the national politics. There is a European political entity.
- June 22, 2016: Why the City loves the EU
While the Conservative Party may be divided over the UK’s membership of the EU, the financial sector, and the City of London in particular, has made considerable gains out of the fuss kicked up by the UK government these past few years.
- June 22, 2016: The Socialist Case for Leave
Tomorrow, the United Kingdom will hold a referendum on whether to remain a member of the European Union. While the reformist left, centered around Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and the Green Party, are largely for staying in, those identifying as radicals or revolutionaries widely consider the EU to be an antidemocratic, unreformable institution.
- June 22, 2016: The internationalist case against the European Union, Alex Callinicos
For the first time in a generation Britain will vote on its membership of the European Union, probably in the autumn of 2016. How to vote in that referendum is a difficult choice for anyone on the left. Since the 1990s the anti-EU camp has been dominated by the chauvinist and racist right, initially on the Thatcherite wing of the Tory party, but now enjoying separate and increasingly powerful representation in the shape of the UK Independence Party.
- June 22, 2016: The progressive argument for leaving the EU is not being heard
It is now nearly nine years since the problems of three hedge funds heralded the arrival of global financial and economic chaos. Britain’s EU referendum this week is the latest manifestation of that crisis.
- June 21, 2016: Why socialists should support a British exit, Neil Davidson
Britain's referendum vote on June 23 over whether to stay or leave the European Union (EU) is a dead heat according to polls. The campaign has produced a storm of debate--all the more so after the horrific murder of Labour MP Jo Cox by an assailant with connections to fascist organizations who reportedly yelled 'Britain first' while committing the killing.
- June 21, 2016, Bullet No. #1272: Part of the Union?
Can socialists take a principled position in relation to the UK's European Union membership referendum on 23 June, or should we wish ‘a plague on both your houses’? Christina Delistathi puts the case to ‘leave’, Charlie Hore for a ‘remain’ vote, and Rob Owen for a ‘radical abstention’.
- June 20, 2016: transform! Newsletter June 20
#BrexitDebate Britain at a Turning Point; Spain: Unidos Podemos
50 Steps to Govern Together; France A Struggle on All Fronts; Departing Towards a New Left in Austria? The state of the race – and why Bernie Sanders is and should be staying in and more...
- June 20, 2016: Neoliberal governments and health inequalities: a fantasy paradigm, Alex Scott-Samuel
While it can be politically expedient for governments to engage with health inequalities, in a neoliberal world they struggle to realistically propose actions which will substantially reduce them – such as tackling power inequalities, patriarchy-sustaining institutions or class inequality. A dominant ‘policy paradigm’ prioritising economic growth restricts even their ability to imagine alternative, equitable scenarios.
- June 20, 2016: Britain is in the midst of a working-class revolt
For the last five days I have been driving around England and Wales, filming scores of people as they talk about which way they’ll vote in the European Union referendum.
- June 19, 2016: Whoever wins the EU referendum, working class people will be faced with a renewed offensive on their, Sean Vernell
Most UCU members in my workplace seem to favour remaining in the EU. Many cite the virulently racist nature of the leave campaign as justification to vote to remain. For many the thought of Boris Johnson, who is increasingly morphing into Donald Trump, leading the country is a frightening one. Whilst I too share these fears I don’t except that the Remain campaign led by Cameron et al is less racist or less dangerous to working people.
- June 19, 2016: The EU vote: this is what a social crisis looks like
The dense thicket of confusion that is the EU debate arises from the fact that many people start from the ideology or policy of the opposing camps. That’s understandable, but it's ultimately a narrow and misleading frame of reference. This is because the dominant voices on both the Remain and Leave side are right wing or Tory. Both sides contain much racist argument, the predominant voices are pro-market.
- June 19, 2016: EU referendum: how should the Left vote?
On New Year’s Day 1973, the UK joined the European Union – or, as it then was, the European Economic Community (EEC). Two years later, in June 1975, a national referendum confirmed the UK’s membership. At some point before the end of 2017, the British people will again be given the chance to vote in a referendum on whether we wish to remain in the EU. So which way should the Left vote?
- June 18, 2016, Bullet No. #1271: The Resistible Rise of the Far Right in Europe, Walter Baier
The rise of the radical right in Europe raises many questions. The key here is the crisis of European democracies. To counteract this development, the Left is confronted with great challenges: overcoming mass unemployment and nationalism, and defending democracy. The victory of the candidate of the Greens, Alexander Van der Bellen in the second round of Austria's presidential elections over the far right contender is certainly a reason for relief.
- June 17, 2016: 6 Reasons for Brexit
Sorry, but I can’t let this one go. Despite quite a bit of helpful feedback from readers I still find myself both alarmed at the prospect of Brexit and puzzled by the motives of those who want to vote to leave the EU.
- June 16, 2016: London says #Lexit
The Left Case Against the EU.
- June 16, 2016: Brexit is the only way the working class can change anything
I have lived in working-class communities all my life, and now that I research and write about those communities as a working-class academic, my motivation has always been to make sure that an authentic working-class woman’s voice tells our stories.
- June 16, 2016, Bullet No. #1270: The EU Referendum: The Case for a Socialist Yes Vote, John Palmer
What attitude should socialists take to the referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union (EU)? It is possible to trace the roots of the movement for European unity and integration to the inter-war decades. A number of loosely linked groups -- some led by radical federalists including socialists, liberals and supporters of the League of Nations -- argued for a federal, united Europe.
- June 15, 2016, Bullet No. #1269: Why Should Labour Support the Undemocratic European Union?: The Case to Leave, Maurice Glasman
The origins of the European Union (EU) are, in many ways, inspiring and almost miraculous. Co-operation in the iron and steel industries between France and West Germany was built on an economic strategy that gave not only dignity, but some power to workers, through the balance of power in corporate governance which gave a parity to capital and labour. It recognised a mutual interest between nations that had engaged in two abominable wars in the previous forty years.
- June 12, 2016: When France moves, all of Europe shakes
Massive strikes and protests are rocking France, with the threat of greater shocks to come as a hated labor law "counterreform" comes to the French Senate for discussion on June 14.
- May 26, 2016: Eurozone's So-Called Recovery Masks A Dark Secret: Mercantilism
Broad opposition in Europe to the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership has prompted its supporters to summon the “protectionist” spectre. In response to the criticism of TTIP by US presidential candidates and progressive politicians in Europe they, according to media reports, are talking up the end of “free trade” that has allegedly brought so many benefits (to so few).
- April 28, 2016: Plan B: Is a democratic re-founding of the European Union possible?
The recent agreement that gives “special status” to the United Kingdom inside the EU is the clearest demonstration that the Troika is more interested in assuring capital’s benefits than assuring people’s benefits.
- April 28, 2016: Mapping the European Left, Dominic Heilig
The European party system is changing rapidly. As a result of the ongoing neoliberal attack, the middle class is shrinking quickly, and the decades-old party allegiance of large groups of voters has followed suit. The European far right has been able to capitalize on this development; in many countries, populist and radical right-wing parties have experienced an unprecedented boom, as Thilo Janssen’s RLS-study on “Far-right Parties and the European Union” shows.
- April 27, 2016: When the Plan B is the Plan A, Josep María Antentas
The conference for a plan B, which was held in Madrid from 19 to 21 February 2016, is the most important international policy initiative in the Europe of austerity, following on other meetings of this type, whose profile and audience were more restricted. It aimed to articulate political and social alternatives and to project strategic debates on a European scale. As necessary as it is difficult, the international arena has been a space for struggle, exchanges and reflection in the chiaroscuro period that followed the year 2011.
- April 19, 2016: A Socialist Case for Leaving the EU, Neil Davidson
Faced with the impending referendum on British membership of the European Union (EU), and the reactionary arguments which dominate on both sides, socialists might be forgiven for echoing Mercutio’s dying cry in Romeo and Juliet of “a plague o’ both your houses” and opting for abstention. It is certainly true that the radical left cannot join either of the highly fragmented “official” camps, both of which espouse anti-working class politics of one variety or another.
- April 11, 2016: The End of Europe
The process of European unification is undergoing a deep crisis, certainly the deepest since it started at the beginning of the 1950s. In less than a year, the EU faced two major tests—first the Greek quarrel, then the refugee crisis.
- April 2, 2016: Six myths about the European Union
Left wing supporters of the European Union (EU) predict disaster if Britain votes to Leave. They say workers’ lives would get harder and racism would rise. But what would really happen? Socialist Worker looks behind six myths.
- March 31, 2016: Neoliberal Austerity Fuels the Rebirth of Fascism in Europe
As Roberto Savio remarked recently, “there is no single European country (with few exceptions like Spain, where the [Partido Popular] can encompass all right wing positions), where right wing and xenophobic parties have not grown since the 2009 crisis, and often are the tipping point in national parliaments.”
- March 27, 2016: The growth of the far-right in Europe
Germany held regional elections in three states this week and for political analysts the major talking point was the success of the far-right, anti-immigration party the Alternative for Germany, known as the AfD.
- March 24, 2016: The struggle for the solution of the debt and the Euro, Francisco Louca
The world economy is stagnant. The international system is in transformation and crisis. In transformation, because new centres of profitability of capital and therefore of political power arise, with the Chinese economy being the most powerful while that of Brazil is experiencing a sharp fall. In crisis, because this mediocre growth maintains a high rate of unemployment in the more developed countries and because the difficulty of recovery of the rate of accumulation precipitates austerity measures and modification of the distribution of income between capital and labour, with effects which are socially regressive and economically recessive.
- March 19, 2016: The Privatising Industry in Europe
Privatisations of state-owned assets have become a central plank of EU/Troika agreements with debtor nations such as Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Portugal, but there has been little examination of their track record nor an examination of who really benefits. This report puts a spotlight on the legal and financial corporate giants making millions out of the new wave of privatisations across Europe.
- March 3, 2016: Europe and socialist strategy
Much of the discussion on the left in Britain about the EU referendum hinges on a tight focus upon an assessment of the balance of forces or “tactics”. Whatever the merits of that, and the judgements made, it would be a typically British insularity and empiricism to imagine that that restricted focus does not take place within the context of strategic commitments, political allegiances and, well, pan-European political projects.
- March 2, 2016: EuroMemorandum 2016
The EuroMemorandum 2016 critically analyses recent economic developments in Europe and emphasises the strong need for an alternative economic policy that is based on the principles of democratic participation, social justice and environmental sustainability. The year 2015 was marked on the one hand by the inability of the EU to emerge from the crisis which began in the financial sector in 2007/08 and which shifted into the sphere of public finances in 2009/10, and on the other by a dramatic rise in the number of people taking flight from their homes and from their homelands, because of wars and terrorist attacks.
- February 21, 2016: La gauche et la monnaie européenne : face A, face B
En politique, les erreurs théoriques se paient cash. La gauche a cru pouvoir sauver l’internationalisme en s’accrochant à un projet européen mené de bout en bout par les banques et les multinationales. Elle s’y est cassée les dents. En Grèce, elle a préféré abandonner sa propre politique plutôt que de renoncer à changer l’Euro. Quelles leçons en tirer? Face A, Face B.
- February 16, 2016: Yanis Varoufakis launches pan-European leftwing movement DiEM25
Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has launched a new pan-European umbrella group that aims to pull together leftwing parties, grassroots protest movements and “rebel regions” from across the continent.
- February 15, 2016: If there is another economic crash, Europe's far right is ready for it
The last economic crisis never ended, and another one may loom. Europeans have endured years of unemployment and underemployment, stagnating or falling living standards, and cuts to state services on a scale ranging from steep to decimation.
- February 9, 2016: The DiEM25 manifesto: Democracy in Europe Movement 2025
On 9 February, activists and arguers from across Europe gather in Berlin’s Volksbühne to launch DiEM25, a manifesto for a democratic European Union. openDemocracy's founder introduces the manifesto and explains why it is so vital for Europe today.
- February 8, 2016: UK can push for 'a real social Europe' by staying in EU
Staying in the European Union is in the best interests of Britain, with the referendum campaign a chance to push for more public ownership of local services, Jeremy Corbyn will say on Saturday. The Labour leader is expected to stress that he will push for changes in Brussels beyond migration and welfare that would strengthen workers’ rights and end pressure to privatise public services.
- January 31, 2016: Europe's unelected government
Jean-Claude Trichet, president of the ECB, while the Memorandum to be imposed on Greece was being drawn up in May 2010, threatened to cut access to the liquidities needed by Greek banks if Greece asked for reduction of the debt.
- January 28, 2016: We need a new movement for democracy in Europe
The threat to democracy has always been the disdain the establishment has for it. Democracy by its nature is very fragile and the antipathy towards it by the establishment is always extremely pronounced, and the establishment has always sought to undo it.