The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL


The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL is a political group of the European Parliament established in 1995,[16] and is composed of left-wing[9] and far-left[13] members. Before January 2021, it was named the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (French: Gauche unitaire européenne/Gauche verte nordique, GUE/NGL).[17]

The Left in the European Parliament
European Parliament group
NameEuropean United Left/Nordic Green Left
English abbr.EUL/NGL[1]
French abbr.GUE/NGL[2][3]
Formal nameConfederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left[2][4][5]
IdeologyLeft-wing populism[6]
Soft Euroscepticism[7]
Political positionLeft-wing[9][10][11][12] to far-left[13][14]
European partiesParty of the European Left
Nordic Green Left Alliance
Now the People!
Animal Politics EU
From6 January 1995; 26 years ago (1995-01-06)[15]
Preceded byEuropean United Left
Chaired byAlonso José Puerta (1995–1999)[5]
Francis Wurtz (1999–2009)
Lothar Bisky (2009–2012)
Gabriele Zimmer (2012–2019)
Manon Aubry (2019–present)
Martin Schirdewan (2019–present)
MEP(s)
39 / 705
Websiteguengl.eu

The group comprises political parties of socialist and communist orientation.[8][13][14]

History


In 1995, the enlargement of the European Union led to the creation of the Nordic Green Left group of parties. The Nordic Green Left (NGL) merged with the Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE) on 6 January 1995,[15] forming the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.[2][4][5] The NGL suffix was added to the name of the expanded group on insistence of Swedish and Finnish MEPs.[18] The group initially consisted of MEPs from the Finnish Left Alliance, the Swedish Left Party, the Danish Socialist People's Party, the United Left of Spain (including the Spanish Communist Party), the Synaspismos of Greece, the French Communist Party, the Portuguese Communist Party, the Communist Party of Greece and the Communist Refoundation Party of Italy.

In 1998, Ken Coates, an expelled MEP from the British Labour Party who co-founded the Independent Labour Network, joined the group.[19]

In 1999, the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Greek Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) joined as full members while the five MEPs elected from the list of the French Trotskyist alliance LOLCR and the one MEP for the Dutch Socialist Party joined as associate members.

In 2002, four MEPs from the French Citizen and Republican Movement and one from the Danish People's Movement against the EU also joined the group.

In 2004, no MEPs were elected from LO–LCR and DIKKI—which was undergoing a dispute with its leader over the party constitution—, as well as the French Citizen and Republican Movement, did not put forward candidates. MEPs from the Portuguese Left Bloc, the Irish Sinn Féin, the Progressive Party of Working People of Cyprus and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia joined the group. The Danish Socialist People's Party, a member of the Nordic Green Left, left the group to instead sit in the Greens–European Free Alliance group.

In 2009, no MEPs were elected from the Italian Communist Refoundation Party and the Finnish Left Alliance. MEPs from the Irish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia and the French Left Party joined the group.

In 2013, one MEP from the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party also joined the group.

In 2014, no MEPs were elected from the Irish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia and the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party. MEPs from the Spanish Podemos as well as EH Bildu and the Dutch Party for the Animals joined the group, while MEPs from the Italian Communist Refoundation Party and the Finnish Left Alliance reentered parliament and rejoined. The Communist Party of Greece, a founding member of the group, decided to leave and instead sit as Non-Inscrits.[20]

In 2019, no MEPs were elected from the French Communist Party, the Danish People's Movement against the EU, the Dutch Socialist Party and from the Italian parties The Left and the Communist Refoundation Party. MEPs from the French La France insoumise, the Belgian Workers' Party of Belgium, the German Human Environment Animal Protection, the Irish Independents 4 Change and the Danish Red-Green Alliance joined the group.

Position


According to its 1994 constituent declaration, the group is opposed to the present European Union political structure, but it is committed to integration.[21] That declaration sets out three aims for the construction of another European Union, namely the total change of institutions to make them fully democratic, breaking with neo-liberal monetarist policies, and a policy of co-development and equitable cooperation. The group wants to disband the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) and strengthen the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).

The group is ambiguous between reformism and revolution, leaving it up to each party to decide on the manner they deem best suited to achieve these aims. As such, it has simultaneously positioned itself as insiders within the European institutions, enabling it to influence the decisions made by co-decision; and as outsiders by its willingness to seek another Europe which would abolish the Maastricht Treaty.[22]

Organisation


The GUE/NGL is a confederal group who is composed of MEPs from national parties. Those national parties must share common political objectives with the group as specified in the group's constituent declaration. Nevertheless, those national parties and not the group retain control of their MEPs, therefore the group may be divided on certain issues.

Members of the group meet regularly to prepare for meetings, debate on policies and vote on resolutions. The group also publishes reports on various topics.

Member parties

MEPs may be full or associate members.

  • Full members must accept the constitutional declaration of the group.
  • Associate members need not fully do so, but they may sit with the full members.

National parties may be full or associate members.

  • Full member parties must accept the constitutional declaration of the group.
  • Associate member parties may include parties that do not have MEPs (e.g. French Trotskyist parties which did not get elected in the 2004 European elections), are from states that are not part of the European Union, or do not wish to be full members.

Membership


Map of GUE/NGL MEPs by member state. Red indicates member states sending multiple GUE/NGL MEPs, light red indicates member states sending a single GUE/NGL MEP.

9th European Parliament

Country National party European party/alliance MEPs
 Belgium Workers' Party of Belgium
Partij van de Arbeid van België (PVDA)
Parti du Travail de Belgique (PTB)
None
1 / 21
 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People
Ανορθωτικό Κόμμα Εργαζόμενου Λαού (ΑΚΕΛ)
PEL (observer)
2 / 6
 Czech Republic Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy (KSČM)
PEL (observer)
1 / 21
 Denmark Red-Green Alliance
Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne (Ø)
PEL/NTP!/NGL
1 / 14
 Finland Left Alliance
Vasemmistoliitto (vas.)
PEL/NTP!/NGL
1 / 14
 France La France Insoumise
(LFI)
NTP!
6 / 79
 Germany The Left
Die Linke
PEL
5 / 96
 Greece Syriza
Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ)
PEL
6 / 21
 Ireland Sinn Féin
(SF)
None
1 / 13
Independents 4 Change
Neamhspleáigh ar son an Athraithe
None
2 / 13
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan
(Independent)
Independent
1 / 13
 Netherlands Party for the Animals
Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD)
APEU
1 / 29
 Portugal Left Bloc
Bloco de Esquerda (BE)
PEL/NTP!
2 / 21
Portuguese Communist Party
Partido Comunista Português (PCP)
None
2 / 21
 Spain Podemos NTP!
3 / 59
United Left
Izquierda Unida (IU)
PEL
2 / 59
Basque Country Unite
Euskal Herria Bildu (EHB)
EFA
1 / 59
 Sweden Left Party
Vänsterpartiet (V)
NTP!/NGL
1 / 21
 European Union
Total
39 / 705

The initial member parties for the 9th European Parliament was determined at the first meeting on 29 May 2019.[23]

8th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs
 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People PEL (observer)
2 / 6
 Czech Republic Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia PEL (observer)
3 / 21
 Denmark People's Movement against the EU EUD
1 / 13
 Finland Left Alliance PEL/MLP
1 / 13
 France Left Front French Communist Party PEL
2 / 74
Left Party
1 / 74
La France Insoumise MLP
1 / 74
Alliance of the Overseas Communist Party of Réunion
1 / 74
 Germany The Left PEL
7 / 96
Stefan Eck (independent)
1 / 96
 Greece Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) PEL
3 / 21
Popular Unity
1 / 21
Kostas Chrysogonos (independent)
1 / 21
MeRA25
1 / 21
 Ireland Sinn Féin
3 / 11
Luke 'Ming' Flanagan (independent)
1 / 11
 Italy The Left Italian Left PEL (observer)
1 / 73
Communist Refoundation Party PEL
1 / 73
Barbara Spinelli (independent)
1 / 73
 Netherlands Socialist Party
2 / 26
Party for the Animals (Partij voor de Dieren) Euro Animal 7
1 / 26
 Portugal Left Bloc PEL/MLP
1 / 21
Unitary Democratic Coalition Portuguese Communist Party
3 / 21
 Spain Plural Left United Left PEL
4 / 54
Anova-Nationalist Brotherhood
1 / 54
Podemos (We Can)[24] MLP
5 / 54
The Peoples Decide (Los Pueblos Deciden)
1 / 54
 Sweden Left Party MLP
1 / 20
 United Kingdom Sinn Féin
1 / 73

7th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs
 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People PEL (observer)
2 / 6
 Czech Republic Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia PEL (observer)
4 / 22
 Denmark People's Movement against the EU EUD
1 / 13
 France Left Front French Communist Party PEL
2 / 72
Left Party PEL
1 / 72
Communist Party of Réunion
1 / 72
Independent
1 / 72
 Germany The Left PEL
8 / 99
 Greece Communist Party of Greece
2 / 22
Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA)
1 / 22
 Ireland Socialist Party
1 / 12
 Latvia Harmony Centre Socialist Party
1 / 8
 Netherlands Socialist Party
2 / 25
 Portugal Left Bloc PEL
2 / 22
Democratic Unity Coalition Portuguese Communist Party
2 / 22
 Spain United Left Communist Party of Spain PEL
1 / 54
 Sweden Left Party
1 / 20
 United Kingdom Sinn Féin (Contests elections in Northern Ireland only)
1 / 3

6th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs
 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People PEL (observer)
2 / 6
 Czech Republic Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia PEL (observer)
6 / 22
 Denmark People's Movement against the EU EUD
1 / 14
 Finland Left Alliance
1 / 13
 France French Communist Party PEL
3 / 74
 Germany The Left PEL
6 / 99
 Greece Communist Party of Greece
3 / 21
Synaspismos PEL
1 / 21
 Ireland Sinn Féin
1 / 13
 Italy Communist Refoundation Party PEL
5 / 73
Party of Italian Communists PEL (observer)
2 / 73
 Netherlands Socialist Party
2 / 26
 Portugal Portuguese Communist Party
2 / 21
Left Bloc
1 / 21
 Spain United Left PEL
1 / 54
 Sweden Left Party
2 / 20
 United Kingdom Sinn Féin (Contests elections in Northern Ireland only)
1 / 73

European Parliament results


Election year No. of
overall seats won
+/–
1995
34 / 567
1999
42 / 626
8
2004
41 / 732
1
2009
35 / 766
6
2014
52 / 751
17
2019
41 / 751
11

See also


References


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  2. "Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001–2006". European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  3. "Political Groups of the European Parliament". Konrad Adenauer Foundation. Archived from the original on 17 May 2011. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  4. "Group names 1999". European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  5. "European Parliament profile of Alonso José Puerta". European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  6. "As right-wing populism gains, is the left lagging behind? | Al Jazeera".
  7. "How Eurosceptic is the new European Parliament?". BBC. 1 July 2014.
  8. Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). "European Union". Parties and Elections in Europe. Archived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  9. "Euroscepticism on rise in Europe, poll suggests". BBC News. 8 June 2016. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  10. Abidor, Mitchell (3 June 2019). "What's Left of the Left?". Foreign Affairs. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  11. "European United Left–Nordic Green Left". The Democratic Society. Retrieved 1 February 2020.
  12. Alexander H. Trechsel (13 September 2013). Towards a Federal Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-317-99818-1.
  13. Marlies Casier; Joost Jongerden (9 August 2010). Nationalisms and Politics in Turkey: Political Islam, Kemalism and the Kurdish Issue. Taylor & Francis. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-203-84706-0.
  14. "EUL/NGL on Europe Politique". Europe-politique.eu. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  15. Andreas Staab (24 June 2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  16. "Movers and Shakers - 15 January 2021". The Parliament Magazine. 15 January 2021.
  17. Tapio Raunio; Teija Tiilikainen (5 September 2013). Finland in the European Union. Routledge. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-135-76204-9.
  18. Izzo, Federica (25 April 2014). "From the Italian Communist Party to Tsipras: The path of Europe's radical left" (PDF). CISE.
  19. "Communist Party of Greece – Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE on the stance of the KKE in the EU parliament". Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  20. "GUE/NGL Site". Guengl.eu. 14 July 1994. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  21. Edinburgh, Luke March, Professor of Post-Soviet and Comparative Politics, the University of; Keith, Daniel (20 October 2016). Europe's Radical Left: From Marginality to the Mainstream?. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-78348-537-6.
  22. "First GUE/NGL group meeting – 05/19". GUE/NGL. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  23. "Podemos acuerda con Tsipras entrar en el grupo de la Izquierda Unitaria de la Eurocámara". Público (in Spanish). 26 May 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2018.