Who we are - What we stand for - What we do
Ending the crisis
The ongoing crisis is hitting already struggling people hardest and EU leaders' reaction to it also represents a threat to European democracy. For the GUE/NGL, extreme institutionalised austerity is deepening the crisis and shifting power from national capitals to the unelected European Commission and European Central Bank.
The consequences are disastrous. We urgently need a reversal of this policy and rapid steps towards sound economic and social policies that will deliver growth, solidarity and job creation and ensure that taxpayers no longer have to foot the bill for careless financial gambling.
Our MEPs are at the forefront of campaigning for an international financial transaction tax; for public control of the banking sector; and for the closure of tax havens. We are working for a social union that places needs before profit and ends the destructive speculation that has provoked so much hardship and social discontent. Politicians must stop serving only the powerful and work with citizens to secure a future for Europe. Democratic supervision by elected representatives, as well as popular consultation, is the only way to reform the architecture of the EU.
Environment & climate
GUE/NGL believes that it is vital that strong measures to tackle climate change are effectively integrated into all EU policy areas. At the global level we work for ambitious targets to tackle climate change and measures to help developing countries cope with global temperature increases. Developing a sustainable economy is a fundamental part of the path out of the current crises but right-wing forces systematically privilege the short-term interests of industry and trade. As a red/green group, we continue to press our case for renewable energy and recycling, quality public transport, the protection of biodiversity and air and water quality.
As the economic crisis is affecting women more than men, women’s rights and gender equality holds particular relevance in the group's work right now. In broad terms we work for gender balance and women’s empowerment.
Concretely this means fighting the gender pay gap, equal participation in decision making - including company boards -, working for a comprehensive and overarching EU strategy on violence against women rooted in a gender equality perspective - including female genital mutilation - domestic violence, trafficking and sexual violence. We also seek recognition for women’s reproductive rights and the right to claim asylum on grounds of gender-based persecution.
Employment and social policy
"Good work", workers' rights and better work-life balance should be the driving concepts of EU employment policy. We seek a new direction and will continue the struggle against policies that increase precariousness or attempt to place workers from different Member States in competition with each other in terms of their pay and working conditions.
A shift in focus towards combating poverty - especially child poverty - and social exclusion and putting forward proposals to alleviate the problems faced by the disadvantaged and vulnerable informs our work on social policy.
EU agriculture, trade and energy policy must take international development into account, especially the Millennium Development Goals. GUE/NGL is committed to a true policy of development rooted in self-determined social and economic development and the fight against poverty. The right to food, safe drinking water, energy, food sovereignty and the protection of natural resources should be recognised globally as fundamental rights. We also believe in the right to produce or import essential medicines without having to pay rights to pharmaceutical companies.
The GUE/NGL considers that EU foreign and security policy must be based on a long-term vision of the EU’s responsibility regarding the construction of a peaceful world.
This involves a dynamic of partnership and cooperation with third countries while prioritising human rights standards.
As a group we are particularly active on issues related to the Middle East and have consistently demanded an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and a just and peaceful two-state solution.
On the issue of militarisation, we continue to oppose the establishment of a powerful EU military-industrial complex and the role the EU plays as a driving force for armament within and outside Europe.
Rights & freedoms
At the forefront of the no-fortress Europe campaign, EU and national immigration policy is a key concern for the left. Freedom of movement for people is a fundamental right and Europe has a responsibility towards those affected by harmful EU trade policies in particular.
GUE/NGL MEPs highlight infringements of civil liberties and press for human rights standards to be put ahead of economic interests throughout the world.
Within the EU, we have successfully campaigned against non-transparent and disproportionate data collection attempts by governments and agencies for "law enforcement" purposes.