European Union

Left Party to enter state government in West Germany for the first time

By Peter Schwarz, 17 June 2019

Following the recent defeat of the SPD and Greens in Bremen, the Left Party is securing both parties a majority and joining the state government to continue their despised policies.

German police threaten climate change protesters

By Harold Hambacher, 17 June 2019

Police are treating youth concerned about climate change like criminals.

Greens make gains in Ireland’s European and local elections

By Dermot Byrne, 10 June 2019

Irish results in the European elections showed setbacks for Sinn Fein and the pseudo-left groups.

German Social Democratic Party leader Nahles resigns

By Peter Schwarz, 4 June 2019

The crisis in the SPD leadership is the latest stage in the decline of a party that has gone through 15 party leaders since 1987.

As Trump lands in UK, US threatens break in NATO alliance over EU army

By Alex Lantier, 4 June 2019

US officials have indicated that if the plans of Berlin and Paris for an EU army proceed, Washington might not defend the EU against a hypothetical Russian attack.

Germany: Left Party suffers massive vote loss in European elections

By Gregor Link, 1 June 2019

The Left Party is rightly perceived, not as an opposition to the reactionary policies of the German government, but as part of them.

Following European elections: EU summit haggles over top jobs

By Peter Schwarz, 31 May 2019

The European heads of government met for a summit in Brussels on Tuesday to discuss the future leading personnel in the European Union.

The European elections and the resurgence of the class struggle

By Alex Lantier, 30 May 2019

The EU elections revealed the deep discrediting of the political establishment and its imperviousness to growing demands from the working class for political change.

“It’s been hell for the world”

US Army tweet provokes outpouring of antiwar sentiment

By George Marlowe, 28 May 2019

A tweet posted last week by the US Army unleashed a torrent of antiwar anger among thousands of veterans and workers who described how America’s wars had left them maimed, broken and suicidal.

European election debacle for Conservatives and Labour

By Robert Stevens, 28 May 2019

The ruling Conservatives have suffered their worst ever election result, while Labour suffered a debacle almost as bad.

Podemos collapses in European, regional and municipal elections in Spain

By Alejandro López, 28 May 2019

A major factor in the decline of Podemos has been the experience of workers and middle-class people with this party as it ran numerous town and city halls.

Ruling conservatives, social democrats collapse in EU elections

By Alex Lantier, 27 May 2019

In Germany, France, Britain and other countries across Europe, these parties that once formed a duopoly dominating the parliament failed to win 50 percent of the vote combined.

UK Prime Minister May to quit as Conservative leader June 7

By Chris Marsden, 25 May 2019

May came to lead the country in 2016 as a hated figure and leaves it as a despised political failure.

Nationalism, militarism dominate final European election debate in France

By Will Morrow, 25 May 2019

Pro-European Union parties attacked the far-right National Rally (RN) on the basis that its turn away from a European army would weaken French imperialism’s ability to assert its interests.

SGP European election candidate Andreas Niklaus speaks to Berlin bus drivers

“A war must be prevented at all costs”

By our reporters, 25 May 2019

Discussions revolved around the connection between the growing danger of a third world war, the policies of the federal government, and the cementing of austerity programmes

The bankruptcy of Lutte ouvrière’s European election campaign

By Alex Lantier, 25 May 2019

Despite growing social anger over the period since the 2002 elections, when it won 10 percent of the vote, the so-called “far left” expects to get only 1 percent.

Pentagon threatens Europe over EU army plans

By Alex Lantier, 16 May 2019

The letter came amid mounting tensions between Washington and its European imperialist rivals over US war threats against Iran.

Germany’s far-right AfD exploits famous artwork to promote Islamophobia

By Sybille Fuchs, 10 May 2019

The use of the painting and its interpretation by the AfD is an amalgam of historical falsification, outright lies and racist agitation, which can quite rightly be compared with the techniques used by the Nazis.

The extreme right in the European elections

By Peter Schwarz, 8 May 2019

The growth of the extreme right is the result of the systematic political, ideological and organisational support provided by the media, the establishment parties and the state.

The European elections and the revival of class struggle

By Ulrich Rippert, 29 April 2019

The ruling class and its parties in Europe and Germany are responding to the growing radicalisation by closing ranks, working closer together and moving even further to the right.

UK: May unable to stem Tory crisis over Brexit, but still propped up by Corbyn

By Robert Stevens, 26 April 2019

For Corbyn’s faction, the political function of these talks over Brexit is to side-line a discussion on the political crisis facing the government that could precipitate a general election.

International finance backs Socialist Party in Spain’s April 28 elections

By Alejandro López, 26 April 2019

European Union sources are warning of prolonged political instability and looking to the PSOE and Podemos for an answer.

Germany: SGP European election campaign wins support for Julian Assange in Stuttgart

By our reporters, 26 April 2019

Teams from the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party, SGP) recently spoke with workers and youth in Stuttgart, inviting them to its April 27 election meeting and distributed WSWS material calling for freedom for Julian Assange.

European election: SGP holds its second campaign meeting in Frankfurt-Main

By our correspondents, 20 April 2019

In Frankfurt, SGP Chairman Ulrich Rippert highlighted the importance of the International Committee of the Fourth International and its perspective of a United Socialist States of Europe.

040 SGP candidate interview on German TV

13 April 2019

Six-month Brexit extension resolves nothing for UK

By Robert Stevens, 12 April 2019

At best the European Union have kicked the can down the road, with no guarantees of a resolution.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

5 April 2019

Gold miners have voted to continue their four-month strike after management rejected a deal proposed by mediators.

British MPs again fail to reach agreement on alternative Brexit motions

By Robert Stevens, 2 April 2019

None of the four non-binding “indicative votes” on an alternative to Prime Minister Theresa May’s negotiated withdrawal agreement for Brexit secured a majority vote by MPs Monday night.

Class struggle and socialism are the only answer to the Brexit crisis

By Chris Marsden, 1 April 2019

The answer to the Brexit crisis is a united mobilization of the millions of workers coming into struggle against Europe’s governments.

“No deal” Brexit threatened after May’s EU withdrawal agreement rejected for third time

By Robert Stevens, 30 March 2019

Labour’s nominally “left” leader Jeremy Corbyn is working to ensure that the gravest peacetime crisis in the history of British imperialism is resolved through the worm-eaten parliamentary system, with the working class left as spectators.

Xi signs strategic EU-China deals amid growing EU-US tensions

By Alex Lantier, 29 March 2019

Rome’s endorsement of China’s Belt and Road Initiative in the face of explicit US disapproval points to deep tensions between US and European imperialism.

Parliament rejects all alternatives as May’s offer to resign fails to stem Brexit crisis

By Robert Stevens, 28 March 2019

May’s pledge to resign is her last card in the attempt to convince the Tories’ hard-Brexit wing and the Democratic Unionist Party to back her European Union withdrawal agreement.

European Union intensifies internet censorship

By Justus Leicht and Johannes Stern, 27 March 2019

Two months before the European elections, the European Parliament has pushed through a directive to enforce the use of so-called upload filters in social media, thus further censoring the internet.

British parliament to make “indicative votes” in an attempt to overcome Brexit impasse

By Robert Stevens, 27 March 2019

MPs may indeed have formally taken control of the next stage of the Brexit crisis, but any positions arrived at in today’s votes are not legally binding on the government.

Answer Brexit with the struggle for socialism throughout Europe!

the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 23 March 2019

Far from trusting their fate to Merkel, Macron, Juncker and Tusk, those protesting today must ally themselves with the European working class now waging political and social battles against the EU and its member state governments.

European Union leaders grant May extra time to pass Brexit deal in UK parliament

By Robert Stevens, 22 March 2019

The EU has agreed a plan allowing a delay of Brexit to May 22 on condition that UK MPs approve the deal the EU agreed with Prime Minister Theresa May by the previous official exit date of March 29.

Fiction and reality: The Italian Five-Star Movement’s citizen income scheme

By Marianne Arens, 22 March 2019

The “reddito di cittadinanza” (citizen income) is a vanity project of the co-governing Five-Star Movement that will not change Italy’s stark social inequality.

Macron to deploy French army against “yellow vest” protests

By Anthony Torres, 21 March 2019

This is the first time since the 1954–1962 Algerian war that the army is to be mobilized in policing operations on French soil against the population.

Corbyn props up May government after more Brexit vote defeats

By Robert Stevens, 16 March 2019

Ever since May took office as a minority dependent on the DUP, she has headed a government of permanent crisis, with her survival dependent on Labour leader Corbyn’s suppression of the class struggle amid a rising tide of anti-Tory sentiment.

German Left Party backs European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 21 February 2019

In advance of its congress this weekend, the Left Party (Die Linke) has removed all criticism of the European Union from its European election programme.

Brexit divisions lead to intensified discussions on Conservative and Labour Party splits

By Robert Stevens, 16 February 2019

Theresa May suffered a further defeat in Parliament over her Brexit policy, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was further undermined by a sizeable rebellion by the party’s Blairite right wing.

European Parliament backs US-led coup in Venezuela

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro Lopez, 2 February 2019

The European powers’ support for a brazen US coup in Latin America underscores that they are no less ruthless in their assertion of their predatory imperialist interests.

Facebook’s censor Nick Clegg outlines plans for European elections

By Robert Stevens, 2 February 2019

Facebook will play a major role in determining what voices Europe’s population are allowed to hear.

Germany and EU support US-engineered coup in Venezuela

By Peter Schwarz, 30 January 2019

Berlin and Brussels are backing the Venezuelan coup because they are pursuing their own imperialist interests in Latin America.

Another 170 immigrants drown in the Mediterranean

By Marianne Arens, 22 January 2019

With the statement “The ports are and will remain closed!” Italian Interior Minister Salvini summed up the EU’s contempt for human rights in its policies towards refugees.

UK: Corbyn endorses second referendum after May stonewalls on her Brexit plan

By Chris Marsden, 22 January 2019

With just 67 days before Brexit is scheduled to take place on March 29, Corbyn has once again folded his hand and united with his right-wing.

Spain: Socialist Party government arrests Catalan activists

By Alejandro López, 22 January 2019

Akin to an anti-terror operation, plainclothes police wearing balaclavas swooped in on the individuals and whisked them away in unmarked cars.

British PM May to reveal “Plan B” as Brexit infighting continues

By Robert Stevens, 21 January 2019

The various options being debated are solely concerned with securing the strategic interests of British imperialism.

Factional warfare hots up after collapse of May’s European Union Brexit deal

By Robert Stevens, 19 January 2019

Led by the Blairite wing of the Labour, Pro-Remain politicians calculated that the decks would now be cleared for them to campaign for a second “People’s Vote” to overturn the 2016 referendum.

Theresa May’s Conservative government survives no-confidence vote

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 17 January 2019

What should have been a day of reckoning for May turned out to be a humiliating verdict on every capitulation made by Labour leader Corbyn to his party’s right wing since he became leader in September 2015.

UK parliament to vote on Brexit deal today

By Chris Marsden, 15 January 2019

The fight over Brexit revolves around the best means of advancing the interests of British imperialism for control of global markets.

The global crisis of capitalist rule and the strategy of socialist revolution

By Joseph Kishore, 17 December 2018

Whatever the national peculiarities, the political crisis of class rule in every country is driven by the same global processes.

Corbyn, Brexit and the struggle for the United Socialist States of Europe

By Chris Marsden, 17 December 2018

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has cast himself as a guarantor of national stability, denouncing the inability of May and the Conservatives to “end the chaos.”

UK: May staggers on as more than a third of Tory MPs oppose her

By Robert Stevens, 13 December 2018

The vote against her by her hard-Brexit wing, combined with the loss of support from the 10 Democratic Unionist Party MPs, confirms that May’s days are numbered.

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Tymoshenko tours Washington to garner support for presidential bid

By Jason Melanovski and Clara Weiss, 11 December 2018

The ultimate goal of Tymoshenko’s visit to Washington was to promise to continue with the United States’ militarization of the country and the Black Sea.

Parliamentary debate on Brexit deal begins after three defeats for May government

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2018

Whatever happens in the Brexit crisis, Britain is in the grip of a historic crisis of rule that threatens to unleash social upheavals.

Hackers reveal British government’s interference in Spanish politics

By Alejandro López, 6 December 2018

Pitched as a defense of democracy against “misinformation,” the Integrity Initiative does the opposite, spreading fake news against Russia to defend the interests of the UK and its imperialist allies.

France's “yellow vest” protests expose Jean-Luc Mélenchon's pro-capitalist populism

By Alex Lantier, 6 December 2018

Jean-Luc Mélenchon's attack on socialism and his proclamation of the political irrelevance of the working class reflect his hostility to growing social anger among workers.

Third “yellow vest” protest in France defies government crackdown

By Anthony Torres, 3 December 2018

As protests spread across Europe, after the most violent police crackdown in downtown Paris in a half century, a historic political crisis is erupting.

Bank of England warns “no-deal” Brexit would be worse than 2008 crash

Labour pledges to rescue British capitalism

By Robert Stevens, 3 December 2018

The "worst case" scenario presumes there would be custom checks on the UK’s border for goods, with the UK unable to reach new trade deals with the EU or other countries until 2023.

French riot police assault mass protests in Paris

By Alex Lantier, 26 November 2018

The French Interior Ministry claimed that 106,000 people participated in over a thousand protests across France, including 8,000 demonstrators on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

EU summit backs Brexit withdrawal declaration

By Peter Schwarz, 26 November 2018

The 26-page political declaration, which has no legal force, outlines future relations in trade, fisheries, travel, security and financial services.

No to the draft in France and Europe!

By Parti de l’égalité socialiste, 23 November 2018

Faced with plans to reintroduce military service across Europe, the decisive question is the construction of an anti-war movement in the international working class.

British prime minister tries to minimise cabinet rebellion against draft Brexit agreement

By Robert Stevens, 14 November 2018

So acute is the crisis facing May’s government that sections of the ruling class and the state apparatus are factoring in the possibility that a general election might be unavoidable, and that a Corbyn government is becoming a distinct possibility.

EU responds to US midterm elections with calls for military build-up

By Alex Lantier, 8 November 2018

European ruling circles have concluded that US-European conflicts reflect a deeper crisis than they first believed.

European Union and Rome fight over Italian budget

By Marianne Arens, 20 October 2018

In the conflict over the Italian budget, the EU Commission takes the side of the banks, stock exchanges and credit agencies, while the government pursues a course of militarism and attacks on immigrants and workers.

EU summit marked by Brexit threats and ultimatums

By Chris Marsden, 22 September 2018

Theresa May's address was met with silence and her implied threats were stonewalled, as the main players within the EU combined the next day to declare her proposals to be “unworkable.”

The German army’s new policy doctrine: Preparing for World War III

By Johannes Stern, 28 August 2018

The grand coalition and the entire German ruling elite are planning the massive rearmament of the army in preparation for major military operations.

As Greece exits bailout, EU demands further austerity

By Robert Stevens, 21 August 2018

The conclusion of the bailout is a vote of confidence from financial markets that the pseudo-left Syriza government will continue looting the people to pay off the banks.

German government launches camp system for refugees

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 August 2018

With the inhumane camp system, the coalition government of Christian Democrats and Social Democrats is implementing the refugee policy of the far-right Alternative for Germany.

The Trump-Juncker agreement: A manoeuvre in the global trade war

By Nick Beams, 26 July 2018

The threat by Washington to impose a 25 percent tariff on auto imports has not been removed, but only suspended while negotiations go ahead on broader trade relations.

EU and Japan sign trade deal

By Nick Beams, 19 July 2018

The deal was five years in the making but the impetus to have it finalised was increased by the US trade war measures that have targeted both parties.

Concerted efforts to save May’s government and the chance of a “soft Brexit”

By Chris Marsden, 11 July 2018

US President Trump has made no secret of his hostility to the EU and desire to weaken what he considers a rival trade bloc, including by supporting Brexit and imposing sanctions.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resigns to prepare possible Conservative leadership challenge

By Chris Marsden, 10 July 2018

Unlike David Davis, who stressed that he remained loyal to Theresa May, Johnson quit in a manner designed to inflict maximum damage to the prime minister.

Allies no more: Trump escalates threats against Europe

By Andre Damon, 10 July 2018

This week’s NATO summit, planned as a showcase of European rearmament, has been overshadowed by increasingly unbridgeable divisions between the US and Europe.

Social Democrats back conservative parties’ plan for concentration camps in Germany

By Johannes Stern, 4 July 2018

Leading SPD politicians have welcomed the reactionary agreement by conservative parties for concentration camps for refugees.

More than 200 people drown in the Mediterranean at the weekend

By Marianne Arens, 4 July 2018

Since the beginning of this year, the number of people drowning while attempting to enter Europe has risen to over a thousand.

European defence ministers sign on to European Intervention Initiative

By Peter Schwarz, 3 July 2018

The initiative aims to enable European powers to intervene militarily and wage wars with a “coalition of the willing.”

European Union intensifies campaign of terror against refugees

By Johannes Stern, 2 July 2018

The EU summit at the end of last week marked a dangerous turning point in post-World War II European history.

European Union adopts far-right refugee policy

By Johannes Stern, 30 June 2018

Hundreds of people fleeing poverty and war have drowned in the Mediterranean over the past week as a result of the EU’s reactionary crackdown on refugees.

Europe’s unions pledge unity with big business as trade war escalates

By Robert Stevens, 30 June 2018

While framed around Brexit, the underlying impulse of the joint statement between the union federations and business groups is the developing trade war between the United States and the European Union.

EU backs anti-immigrant deal after Italy threatens to torpedo Brussels summit

By Alex Lantier, 29 June 2018

The EU has largely adopted the anti-refugee positions of far-right regimes in Italy, Austria and several Eastern European countries.

Ahead of Brussels summit, EU steps up attacks on refugees

By Alex Lantier, 28 June 2018

As the European Union opens a two-day summit in Brussels today, it is launching a fascistic assault on refugees ultimately aimed at the entire working class.

EU citizens must register, carry ID cards, in post-Brexit Britain

By Steve James, 27 June 2018

As the Home Office scheme currently stands, EU citizens will be required to carry identity cards, which have never been enforced in Britain.

Italy strands rescue ship Lifeline as EU refugee summit collapses

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2018

This is only one of the horrors taking place in Mediterranean waters between Italy and Libya, as the EU moves to block refugee flows.

Cross party campaign holds pro-EU march in London

By Robert Stevens, 25 June 2018

The pro-European Union march was presented as a “grassroots” movement to conceal its main agenda of facilitating the interests of powerful sections of big business.

Britain’s Tory government offers concession to pro-EU MPs to advance Brexit bill

By Robert Stevens, 21 June 2018

With the May government beholden to its pro-Brexit wing, there is a stepped-up effort to use Labour as the political vehicle for preventing Britain’s exit from the European Union.

Thousands protest against Italian government’s closure of ports for refugee ships

By Marianne Arens, 19 June 2018

The unspeakable tragedy playing out in the Mediterranean will only be made worse by the new restrictions on rescue ships.

Italian government turns away ship with 629 refugees aboard

By Marianne Arens, 12 June 2018

A decree by the new right-wing Italian government has prevented a ship with more than 600 refugees from landing in Italy. It is the result of the entire EU refugee policy.

Brexit constitutional stand-off reaches UK Supreme Court

By Steve James, 9 June 2018

The escalation of tensions risks becoming a conflict not only between England, Scotland and Wales, but between London and Brussels.

Extreme right takes power in Italy

By Peter Schwarz, 2 June 2018

The new Italian government sworn in yesterday in Rome is the most right-wing since the fall of the fascist Duce Benito Mussolini in 1945.

Conflicts intensify between Europe and US

By Peter Schwarz, 25 May 2018

The German foreign minister, who was in Washington for an inaugural visit on Wednesday, was rebuffed on every controversial issue.

EU summit: Anger over Trump hides European tensions

By Peter Schwarz, 19 May 2018

The US imposition of punitive tariffs on steel and aluminium, and the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement, are regarded by the European powers as a major blow.

German Chancellor Merkel announces major rearmament program

By Christoph Vandreier, 17 May 2018

Facing a deepening conflict with the United States, Berlin is seeking to use its armed forces to pursue its geo-strategic interests around the world.

European Union tries to salvage Iran nuclear accord from US unilateralism

By Jean Shaoul, 17 May 2018

The European powers are furious because Trump’s threats cut across their attempts to exploit Iran economically and fear sanctions presage a war that will destabilise the Middle East

House of Lords Brexit revolt hits Conservatives and Labour

By Paul Mitchell, 10 May 2018

Theresa May’s Conservative government suffered another defeat in the House of Lords on Tuesday, as peers voted for an amendment to the European Union withdrawal bill.

UK: May government declares against customs union as Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 25 April 2018

Support for the customs union from a sizable cross-party faction is a stalking horse aimed at ensuring the UK remains in the Single Market and possibly reversing Brexit entirely.

EU foreign ministers push for regime change in Damascus following Syria attack

By Peter Schwarz, 17 April 2018

Although the attack on Syria was in clear violation of international law, the EU foreign ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg explicitly endorsed it.

Russian government blocks messaging app Telegram

By Clara Weiss, 17 April 2018

The attack on encrypted communication is part of the international drive by governments to censor the Internet and expand mass surveillance.

Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont released from German prison

By Ulrich Rippert, 7 April 2018

Puigdemont may not leave Germany until further notice, had to post bail of €75,000 and must report weekly to the police.