European Union

On April 5 while the EU finance ministers and bankers were meeting in Brdo pri Kranju (Slovenia) 35,000 workers from all over Europe marched through Ljubljana demanding higher wages as inflation eats into their living standards. A delegation of the IMT from Austria, Italy and Switzerland was present.

A recent bulletin of the European Central Bank (ECB) dealt with the causes of recent increases in the rate of inflation within the "Eurozone". It is no surprise to find that what they are concerned about are wage increases. Like the high priests in the past they try to cover up reality and make us believe in a fantasy world.

This Saturday, April 5, European finance ministers will hold a meeting in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has called for a demonstration to demand better wages and conditions for workers in Europe on the same day. Supporters of the International Marxist Tendency from Italy, Austria and Switzerland will join the protest and give out the following leaflet in five different languages (English, Slovenian, Italian,...

The Visegrad Four are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, ex-Stalinist countries who have joined the European Union and are also preparing the conditions for entry into the Euro. The way they are doing it is by attacking viciously all the social gains of the workers. Sooner or later this will lead to an explosion of the class struggle.

The Visegrad Four are Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, ex-Stalinist countries who have joined the European Union and are also preparing the conditions for entry into the Euro. The way they are doing it is by attacking viciously all the social gains of the workers. Sooner or later this will lead to an explosion of the class struggle.

Last week’s European summit ended in tears as negotiations on the European Union budget collapsed. The usual diplomatic talk was nowhere to be seen at what will become known as the summit where the whole integration process in the EU was halted in its tracks. Maarten Vanheuverswyn looks at the conflicting national interests that are at the heart of this crisis.

The reaction of the media and the politicians to the massive “no” votes against the European Constitution in France and the Netherlands reveals the nature of our “elites”. However, all the propaganda was to no avail. A few days after the “non” vote in France, the same thing happened in the Netherlands.

The referendum in France on the European Constitution has resulted in a decisive defeat for the ruling class. In spite of a particularly intense campaign by the media, the UMP government and the right-wing of the Socialist Party, 55% of voters have rejected the treaty.

We are publishing this article which appears in the recent edition of the French Marxist magazine La Riposte looking at the prospects of a European Constitution. How have the Communist and Socialist Parties of France responded to it, and what does it mean for the working class?

The vote for the German SPD in the recent European elections revealed a disastrous collapse. It is the price the party pays for pushing a Blairite agenda of cuts and attacks on the welfare state. The German workers do not want this. Large numbers abstained, rather than vote for the Christian Democrats, who also lost votes. On the left, the PDS recovered from its bad showing in 1999.

The recent European elections reveal one common feature: the defeat of whoever is in power (apart from Greece and Spain where this had already happened in elections earlier this year). The workers of Europe voted against the same policies. They are fed up of cuts in pensions, healthcare, education and a general worsening of their living standards. The elections are a clear indication of the mood developing in society.

Bush's war in Iraq split the European Union and NATO into two. Now after Aznar lost his job as Spanish Prime Minister, and Berlusconi has been dramatically weakened does this mean that the European powers can find a common ground? In reality they all hang together because divided they could not survive in the world market, but there are still deep divisions. By Claudio Bellotti, Originally published in FalceMartello number 176, May 27, 2004.

After eighteen months of trying to patch together an agreement between the member states, the talks on the EU constitution collapsed last weekend in Brussels. Different excuses have been given for the collapse, but the real causes are to be found in the fundamental economic contradictions that are emerging between the EU member states. The European Union is now revealing its true face. It is a tool in the hands of the multinationals and of each national bourgeoisie with which to impose their attacks on the living standards of the masses.

The debate over whether Britain should join the Euro is heating up. On both sides of the debate we find a capitalist logic being applied. One side stands for so-called British "sovereignty", the other praises the merits of the wider market. Neither side is defending the real interests of the workers. As Mick Brooks points out, "The answer is surely for us to control the movement of capital by taking over the means of production, not relying on the goodwill of our enemy, the capitalist class."

There are periods in history that represent a fundamental change in the whole world situation. We are now living in just such a period. Just over ten years have passed since the fall of the Soviet Union - ten years that seem to be a hundred years! For in that very short space of time the world has lived through a fundamental transformation.

Within a few days tens of thousands of workers and young people will come from whole over Europe to Brussels to protest against the EU, capitalist globalisation in Europe and the rest of the world and the new war in Afghanistan. These demonstrations are the next stage in the cycle of mobilisations started in Seattle and which culminated in the 300.000 strong demonstration in Genoa. Erik Demeester from the Editorial Board of Vonk/Unité, the Belgian Marxist paper for labour and youth, looks briefly at what's at stake in these protests.

On May 24, 2002, in the Kremlin's gilded throne room, Putin and Bush signed an agreement reducing long-range nuclear weapons by two-thirds over ten years. As part of the deal with NATO, Russia and America were supposed to cooperate in Bush's plans to build a missile defence shield once the ABM treaty is scrapped in June. Immediately afterwards, the formation of the "NATO-Russia Council" in which was Russia is supposed to participate was announced to the world. Such an agreement between the old enemies Russia and America would have seemed utterly unthinkable just one year ago. Suddenly, the world seemed a more secure place. However, as Alan Woods explains, the relations between...

The euro's launch has been greeted with a well-orchestrated campaign of official enthusiasm, designed to silence all doubts on the question. The Euro has finally been introduced as a common currency in 12 of the EU states. This is an important development. A common currency is the first condition towards European integration. It ought to boost internal trade and thus act as a powerful stimulus to the development of the productive forces. But is this going to happen?