Watch the full video with our guest, Vojtěch Filip, Chairman of the KSČM (Czech Republic).
The Corona-virus has hit the EU unprepared, but in different ways and with different effects depending on the countries. Most tragic were the effects on those countries whose healthcare and social systems have been emaciated by decades of austerity policies. Thus, the pandemic has increased inequalities not only inside the states but also between the Member States of the EU. This presents the parties of the radical left with a challenge and calls for a re-examination of their strategies.
Vojtěch Filip, Chairman of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM). He holds a doctorate in law he started his professional career already in socialist times in a commercial enterprise. In 1993, he founded his own law firm. In 1990, in the first elections after the Velvet revolution, he was elected to the Federal Assembly, and in 1996 he became member of the House of Deputies, the Czech Parliament.
The Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia was formed in 1989 by the Congress of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, which decided to create a party for the territories of Bohemia and Moravia (including Czech Silesia), the areas that were to become the Czech Republic. In 1990, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia was reorganized as a federation of the KSČM and the Communist Party of Slovakia. Later, the Communist Party of Slovakia changed its name to the Party of the Democratic Left, and the federation dissolved in 1992. After the 2012 regional elections, the KSČM began governing in coalition with the social democratic ČSSD in 10 regions. It has never been part of a governing coalition in the executive branch on the state level, but provides parliamentary support to Andrej Babiš' Second Cabinet. Currently the party holds 15 seats in the Czech Parliament and MEP in the European Parliament where it joined the Left fraction GUE/NGL. It is an observing member in the EL.
Walter Baier, Austrian economist and former National Chairman of the Communist Party of Austria (KPÖ). He was an editor of the Austrian weekly Volksstimme and since 2007 he is the Political Coordinator of transform! europe.
Barbara Steiner, is a political scientist based in Vienna, Director of transform! europe and member of transform.at
The interview was conducted in English and Czech.