• Introduction
  • Strategic Perspectives of the European Left

  • Von Haris Golemis | 17 Jan 10
  • The recent economic crisis, among other things, have showed the serious crisis of the European Social Democracy, as well as the inability of the Radical Left (with some interesting exceptions) to increase its influence in society. This can be seen not only from the fact that the agenda for facing the crisis is set by the conservative European political forces, but also by the election results for the European Parliament.

    The EP elections showed that the electoral performance of the Radical Left parties was different in various countries, ranging from relatively bad (i.e in Finland) to relatively very good (i.e. in Portugal), with most of them scoring among these two extremes.

    This development brings back a set of crucial questions: What is the reason of the relative failure (or success) of the Radical Left parties in various European countries, not only in elections but also in their presence and effectiveness in society? Are the bad elections results and the weak influence of some parties due mainly to their bad policies, organizational structure, leadership, national particularities etc, in which case what these parties have to do is simply to learn from the experiences of their relatively successful counterparts?

    Or, alternatively, the relative success of some parties is only a conjunctural phenomenon and in fact the European Radical Left in its whole is in front of serious strategic difficulties?

    As one can see from the contents of the project, the intention is that the various political foundations discuss collectively and freely various issues related to the strategy of the European Radical Left and, at the end, try to make a synthesis. The proposed methodology of the project is the following:

    1. Each separate “chapter” of the study has a person responsible for it.

    2. Before the start of the study of every chapter, the person responsible for it together with the person responsible for each “sub-chapter” will set a number of specific questions. Independently of the number of answers received, the persons responsible will prepare background papers which will be presented in the 3 proposed workshops. This background paper should, hopefully, be sent to all Transform members at least 10 days before the workshop.

    3. The persons responsible for each chapter of the project will take the responsibility of organizing the workshop together with the Vienna office and the people of the Transform member in the country.

    4. The results of the project will be contained in a transform! publication.


    1. The effects of the present crisis on the ideological, political, programmatic and cultural orientation of the European social and political actors (Responsible: Elisabeth, Espaces Marx)

    2. Rethinking the meaning, the subjects and the spaces of transformation (Responsible: Walter, Transform Austria)

    2.1. The meaning of transformation

    2.2. Transformative social and political actors (traditional working class, precarious workers, unemployed, women, youth, political parties, trade-unions, feminism, social movements)

    3. The present and the future of the parties of the European Radical Left (Responsible: Haris, Nicos Poulantzas Institute and Ruurik, Left Forum)

    3.1. A typology of the European Left Parties

    3.1.1. Ideological and political identity

    3.1.2. Culture

    3.1.3. Social basis

    3.2. The struggle for hegemony

    3.3. Alliances, coalitions and conflicts (relations with the Social Democrats, the Greens, the Revolutionary Left and the Anarchists)

    3.4. Connecting today’s struggles and programmes with the vision of socialism with democracy and freedom The policy towards European integration

    3.5. Searching for the most effective party structure

    3.6. Communicative practices (old and new instruments of communication, new information technology etc)

    3.7. The Radical Left in Government: “To be or not to be”. Theoretical concepts and practical experiences

    4. Synthesis and Conclusion: The desirability and possibility of a common strategy for the European Radical Left

    4.1. The articulation of struggles and political and programmatic proposals at the national, the European and the global level

    4.2. Peculiarities of Central and Eastern Europe

    4.3. Towards a European political program? The role of the EL, the NGLA and the GUE


    (August 2009)