Germany: Left Party calls for EU ′reboot′ at party convention | News | DW | 23.02.2019
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Germany: Left Party calls for EU 'reboot' at party convention

Germany's socialist party has presented a fundamental EU reform agenda at their convention in the western city of Bonn. Members decided against calling for the creation of a "European Republic" in the manifesto.

Germany's socialist Left Party has proposed radical reforms to the European Union at their party conference ahead of European parliamentary elections in May.

"Our vision is anchored in a solidarity-based internationalism," the party said in an election manifesto presented on Saturday. "Together with other left-wing parties, we stand for a fundamental change of policy in the European Union."

Read more: Germany's political parties CDU, CSU, SPD, AfD, FDP, Left party, Greens - what you need to know

Dietmar Bartsch at the Left Party's convention in Bonn (picture-alliance/dpa/O. Berg)

The party's co-leader in the German Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, said the right were trying to "hijack" Europe

What the manifesto demands:

  • Revisions to the EU treaties, which the party says are based on "military interventions," opposition to the democratic norms, and the prescription of "neoliberal policies such as privatization, social cuts, and market radicalization."
  • More powers to the European Parliament in areas that national, regional or local governments cannot effectively manage.
  • An EU-wide minimum wage set at 60 percent of average earnings.
  • An EU bank-style "bail-out" program for workers.
  • EU unemployment insurance.

Read more: Germany's political center sways toward populist fringes

Extreme amendments rejected: Delegates rejected an amendment by the far-left Anti-Capitalist Left (AKL) faction that described the European Union as unreformable. They also voted down an amendment by the Democratic Socialist Forum that called for the creation of a "European Republic."

Right-wing gains: The co-leader of the Left's parliamentary grouping in the Bundestag, Dietmar Bartsch, told delegates that the party needed to fight back against right-wing parties across the continent: "The right wants to hijack Europe. And the worst thing is: They are enjoying partial success."

Two lead candidates for Europe: Delegates are expected to vote in favor of naming two relatively unknown members as the party's lead candidates for the European election: Özlem Alev Demirel, a regional lawmaker from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, and Martin Schirdewan, a member of the European Parliament.

Read more:Left Party congress calls for 'open borders' and legal escape routes for refugees 

amp/aw (AFP, dpa)

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