National Sections of the L5I:

No to a neoliberal, imperialist and militarist EU - for a united socialist states of Europe

Printer-friendly versionPDF version

Real power does not reside in parliament in any capitalist state, even in the most democratic bourgeois society. But unlike elections to a national parliament, the outcome of the elections to the European parliament does not even determine the make-up of the executive, the European Commission – let alone its major political decisions. Even in formal terms, it is not a sovereign, highest body, but largely a decorative facade.

Whatever the right-wing Europhobes say, power still resides in the member states – more precisely in the large imperialist states and dominant powers like Germany and France. This reflects, the inherently undemocratic nature of the European union. It reflects that, despite the Euro and the European Central Bank, despite a common market, despite the European Courts of Justice and Human Rights, and a range of European social initiatives and policies, the European union is not a federal state, but rather a union of national states, dominated by the large imperialist powers.

Whatever, the exact results of the elections – they will have little, if any direct effect on the policies of the European Commission and the European Council of Ministers. Indeed, they may have more repercussions in some member state – for example. if Syriza becomes the strongest party in Greece or if UKIP does likewise on an anti-EU chauvinist campaign in Britain.

The fake character of the European elections is highlighted –albeit unwittingly- by the campaigns for the presidency of the Commission run by the Party of European Socialists (social democratic and labour parties) and the European Peoples Party (christian democratic and conservative parties).

Martin Schulz (PES) and Jean Claude Juncker (EPP) are personifications of a European bureaucracy and political establishment. Their views are a mixture of petit bourgeois “democratic” banalities, boring bureaucratic routine, and sheer mediocrity. Whoever, wins – they stand for a continuation of the very same imperialist policy. They stand for the Europe of the bosses with a lttle more or a little more or less “social” decoration. Whichever of them becomes President – they will not “lead” a European Union, who’s politics are determined not in Brussels but in Berlin and Paris; with some interference from London, Rome or other states.

Whoever wins – the social attacks will continue

Whoever wins, the attacks on welfare, on social services, on the working class throughout Europe will continue. Despite all pledges of “democratic reform”, social inclusion and transparency, in fact there will be further attacks on democratic rights. If a capitalist unification of Europe proceeds, it will only do so by monopolising more power in the hands of German imperialism, its increasingly junior partner French imperialism, plus its allies and dependents. This means a Europe even more dominated by German and other monopolies.

Capitalist attacks on the working class, the poor, even on important parts of the middle strata and petit-bourgeoisie, will continue, even though they have already been made to pay dearly for a crisis they did not cause. But whilst a collapse of the world market could be avoided, whilst the debt crisis could be contained (even at enormous social costs already), the roots of the global crisis, over-accumulation and super-abundance of capital could not be “solved”. Indeed, the measures taken by the EU (just as by the US and other imperialist states) have saved the system by perpetuating and even increasing the inner-contradictions with gave raise to the crisis in the first place.

Whilst some sections of European capital – Germany in particular – have been able to strengthen their position on the European and global markets, the EU as a whole is threatening to fall further behind the US and China in the struggle for global hegemony.

This itself will force another round of savage attacks and of political crisis and change in the EU in the coming period – whatever the outcome of the EU elections.

And it is such attacks on the social and political level, it is the further imperialist aggression such as is ongoing in Ukraine, that the working class and the young people need to respond to NOW.

The attacks by the ruling classes – in a number of cases themselves at odds over strategy and tasks – have led and will lead to a further undermining of social cohesion and of the support for the “European project” itself.

Whilst the development of the European economies, the increased integration actually demands a social and political unification of the continent, it becomes more and more clear, that the imperialist bourgeoisies are incapable of uniting the continent. In Eastern Europe, the struggle with Russia, is actually driving Europe apart.

Britain on the other hand acts more and more as an ally and agent of the US in the EU whilst posing as a “mediator” between the powers. Germany and France aim for such a strong, imperialist Europe – but at the same time - they need to “solve” their own antagonism, which would in practice mean that the French imperialists must reconcile themselves to German dominance. But even arrangement would imply forcing the weaker imperialist powers and the semi-colonial states of the EU into a much more overt, but also political and military subordination, not just an economic one.

This can only be imposed by conflict – by a policy, which will threaten the EU to be torn apart even more.


This has already given raise not only to mass resistance from working class as we could see in Southern Europe – it has also given rise to nationalist, racist and even fascist forces.

Whilst the degree of “punishment” of major, governmental parties or their allies at the European elections will vary from country to country – generally speaking, the far right and left-reformist forces will gain in the coming elections.

In France or in Britain – the FN and UKIP could achieve a major electoral success on a far-right or populist – “anti-European” campaign. In countries like Hungary or Greece open fascist forces could gain massive electoral successes.

Whilst the bourgeois mainstream – the conservative, liberal and Green parties and social democracy as the party of the labour aristocracy and union bureaucracy – aim to conceal the social decline and promise social light at the end of the economic tunnel, the far right presents nationalism, racism and a return to the “independent” capitalist state as the solution to the European crisis. This is both reactionary and utopian. The working class must not only campaign against the racist, fascist and populist propaganda of these forces – it must also present a truly progressive alternative to the bosses Europe, to the imperialist EU.

This cannot be the left-reformist utopia of a “Social Europe”, of a welfare state l and “social partnership” between labour and capital but on a continental level. On this viewpoint “our” European capitalists can be socialised but still go on to win the battle of economic competition with their American and Asian rivals.

This “vision” clearly reflects the social situation of the “better off”, labour aristocratic parts of the working class and many of the middle strata of society. But such a programme is itself utopian, as it treats the current crisis not as a result of capitalism and its inner contradictions, but of “wrong policies”- i.e. adopting Transatlantic or Anglo-Saxon neoliberalism.
We propose to all working class parties, to trade unions, to social movements, to youth, women and immigrant organisations, united action on a national and European level in defence every gain the working class has made, and indeed to impose further pro-working class and democratic reforms. However we reject the idea, that a Europe can be build on a capitalist basis that is socially equal, just, democratic, anti-racist, non-militarist, etc… We reject every idea the European Union – an inherently imperialist, un-democratic, militarist project – can be reformed into an institution serving the interests of the working class. We oppose any expression of confidence or support for it whatsoever whilst at the same time avoiding nay suggestion that a fragmented state of “independent” nations would be any better.

Nevertheless, the growth of these parties in the pools and the likely electoral success of the European Left Party which might almost double the number of MPs in Strassbourg, demonstrates, that we are not only seeing a polarisation of the right – but also a move to the left of important, often more class conscious section of the working class, generally benefiting left-reformist parties. So he European Left Party is likely to increase its share of the vote on most countries and almost double the size of its parliamentary faction in Strasbourg.

Where such parties of the European Left Party have mass support amongst the working class or organise large section of its vanguard (like Syriza in Greece or the Left Party Germany), we give critical support to them at the ballot box. We clearly reject their reformist politics, but at the same time, we support them against the open bourgeois or even mass social-democratic parties who have been engaged in neo-liberal governments or ever led attacks on the working class.

Where more left wing, new formations or anti-capitalist parties stand (like the NPA) in France, we give critical support to them, whilst we criticise their centrist politics and argue for a revolutionary programme and leadership.

Given the different national terrains, however, there is no “single” electoral tactic valid for every country. In any case, revolutionaries need to combine intervention in the elections by reaching out to all the sections the working class, who aim to fight “their” ruling class without hiding their criticism. But most importantly, they need to present a programme of common struggle, proposing a mass mobilisation both to the supporters of working class parties and the unions and social movements as well as their leaders.

At the same time, we also need fight not only for common action, but also for an alternative programme of the working class in Europe, for a European action programme. Such a programme must culminate in the struggle for mass action, for indefinite general strikes, which can really stop the offensive. It must argue for organs of self-organisation of the working class and the poor in the workplaces and communities, for councils of action, which can organise and unify such struggles on a democratic basis. It must argue for workers governments, based on such organs of struggle. Where such governments or even governments of “left parties” or coalitions win a majority on the promise to put a stop to neo-liberal attacks, we need to defend them against the inevitable attacks from the ruling classes, from the bourgeois media, the state apparatus and the European imperialists.

We need to defend them and demand from them a real break with the capitalist system and its state machine – the expropriation of large scale capital under workers control and the creation of a democratically planned economy, the disarmament of counterrevolutionary forces and the replacement of the bourgeois repressive apparatus by soldiers councils and an armed workers militia.

If such governments should come into being, they might be able to again power in a single country – but it would be almost impossible for them to maintained against a European counterrevolution. But even more clearly, it would be completely impossible to overcome the European crisis in one country on the economic and social level.

Europe cannot become socialist on a one by one country basis – socialism can only on a continental, international, indeed a global level. Therefore the struggle for a United Socialist States of Europe – whether the intermediate steps to achieve it - is key to revolutionary strategy and tactics in Europe.

It is the only viable alternative to the EU, it is the only progressive and realistic alternative to a Europe of the imperialists.

No to neo-liberalism, imperialism and war!
For a united socialist states of Europe!