EL Executive Board Meeting in Brussels

EL Executive Board Meeting in Brussels

According to the working schedule set at the Executive Board Meeting in Berlin, the EL held its second Executive Board session on 19 and 20 April in Brussels. The main points discussed were the development of the activities in 2008, and the Election Platform, which was presented by EL Chairman Lothar Bisky.

Introductory Contributions about the Current Political Developments in the European Union

Cyprus presidential elections
“Unite all people in Cyprus - for a just society”. With this slogan AKEL and Dimitris Christophias went to and won the presidential elections in Cyprus. AKEL is now to decide on the next steps of Cyprus in all fields of national development (unification process, social and economic issues, EU policies, the Middle East and other related issues to Cyprus’ status).

France municipal and cantonal elections
The PCF supported the Unity of the Left and gained better results compared to the presidential and parliamentary elections in 2007. The PCF is now working on the perspective of an alternative project ahead of the party’s Congress in December 2008.

Spain parliamentary elections
Despite its relevant defeat (a big part of IU’s former electorate moved to PSOE) Isqiuerda Unida remains the third power at national level.

Italy parliamentary elections
For the first time after WWII, the Left is not represented both at the Italian Parliament and Senate. The extreme right obtained 8%. The PRC will have its Congress in July. Comunisti Italiani initiated a project for a Congress of Communists.

Congress of PCRM
The 6th Ordinary Congress of PCRM took place on 15 March, and was followed by the media with great interest. A new program was adopted and a new Central Committee was elected.

Situation in Greece
SYRIZA (Coalition of Radical Left) got 18% in the last polls. Synaspismos elected a new president, Alexis Tsipras.

EL for Peace and Non-Military Conflict Solution Policy

Discussion about the Third Axis of the Prague Appeal (2nd EL Congress)
The draft introductory paper was decided to serve as a basis for the further working process related to the issues of the EU Foreign and Security Policy. The EL should initiate more activities both at European and national level in order to strengthen its role in the European peace movement.

It was proposed to create a network of deputies from EL Parties and other interested parliamentarians from the municipal to the European level against NATO (ELAN: European Legislators against NATO), which found support.

Development in the Balkans – Kosovo and beyond

With the EL Balkan Conference on 6-8 June in Thessaloniki the EL wants to support the establishing of closer contacts and cooperation with Left-wing parties from the South European region. The goal is to start an intensified preparatory work together with Left and peace forces, initiatives and social and ecological movements in order to create a network of peace and stability in South East Europe and the Balkans. The Balkan Conference will be hosted by Synaspismos.

Planned EL Activities in the Field of Social Dimension in Europe

EL Caravan against Precariousness
A public gathering (Caravan) is planned to take place in Brussels in autumn 2008.

EL Summer University, 9-14 July in Paris
The program includes:
- Lisbon Agenda- Precarity as a generalised condition of life- Precarity and flexibility in the EU documents- Precarity of the youth in every sector of life- Education Click here for the preliminary program and registration form.

New Financial EP Legislation
The EL treasurer Pedro Marset gave an update about the European Parliament (EP) report on the financial year 2007 and the current status of EL finances for 2008. Furthermore, the new legislation set by the EP was presented: The EP contribution increases from 75% to 85% per year. For the first time the European parties are allowed to build capital reserves.

Challenges of International Financial Relations for Left-wing Policies
The opportunity of establishing a working group of experts, who are interested in working on this topic, was discussed. The mid-term aim is the creation of an expert group to analyse the issue of the economic crisis. Any similar initiatives and already existing groups within the GUE/NGL, NGLA, and Transform!Europe should be taken into consideration.

Preparation and Proceedings for the Implementation of EL Activities in the 2nd and 3rd Quarter 2008

- ParlaCon 30 May-1 June in Chisinau, Moldova
- EL Conference on the developments of the Balkans/South Eastern European Region, organised by Synaspismos and supported by SAP Romania, on 7-8 June in Thessaloniki
- EL Education Conference on 18-19 June in Paris
- EL Seminar on 15-17 August in Prague
- Middle East Conference in September in Istanbul, organised by ODP with the support of Synaspismos
EL Delegations
- to Lima, 12-18 May
- to the Middle East, 23-28.04.08
- to China, 13-20 September
- EL Conference with Latin America Left, 10-12 October in Athens

Pilot Project “Social Actors in Europe”

Despite its financial and temporary limitation, the following points are scheduled:

- a data based documentation of programmes, platforms and political proposals issued by key actors of the Left on a national level (parties, trade unions, social movements, women’s movements etc.) as well as on a European level

- a comparative content analysis of these texts according to a set of selected questions that identify existing political convergences and diverging points

- a seminar (13-14 June in Stockholm) to summarise and document the results of the research work and to propose guidelines for its continuation.
The topics are:
- European Economy in the Market Crisis
- Participatory Democracy
- Conception of Labour in Left politics
- International cooperation of Party research

Participation at the European Social Forum on 18-21 September in Malmø.
A journal in 7 languages will be produced by the end of the year. It is important to develop the media tools. Help is needed to for the translation of the website.

Information was given about the joint decision of the EL Executive Board and Transform!Europe regarding the prolongation of the project until the end of 2008 and the start of the preparatory work for the project(s) for 2009. The 2009 project has to be submitted by June 2008. On 7 October 2008 the office of Transform!Europe will be opened in Brussels.

The EL on the Eve of the European Elections

Introduction by EL Chairman Lothar Bisky of the pre-electoral work of the European Left
An EL electoral Conference will take place in Berlin on 29-30 November with the aim to adopt the Common EL Electoral Platform and to invite other Left parties and organisations to join the 2009 campaign. It was agreed to be open for the electoral and post-electoral cooperation with non EL parties and other Left organisations.

It was suggested to keep the Election Platform short (maximum 6 pages). Common EL documents and materials must be produced in addition. Lothar Bisky presented the first ideas for a draft platform. The first meeting of the EL 2009 election campaign working group was scheduled for 9 May in Berlin. Amendments to the draft text must be submitted to the EL Office by 7 May.

EL Enlargement

3 requests had been received:
Full membership: Communist Party of Flanders, Belgium. 
Observer status: Racja Poland, and Polish Socialist Party, Poland

Preparation of the EL Council of Chairpersons Meeting

The following topics were discussed for the agenda:
- French EU presidency
- EL positions regarding the “Barcelona Charter – a Union for the Mediterranean”
- Precariousness
- Food crisis
A public event in Paris with the enlarged left (PS, Greens, PCF, other organisations…) about Divergences/Convergences in the Left on 19 June

Individual Membership in the EL

The draft paper for the granting of more opportunities to EL individual members did not get a consensus. Therefore, the Executive Board asked to re-write and present the new text at the EL Executive Board meeting in Paris.