Watch the full video with our guest, Heinz Bierbaum.
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.
Tuesday, 19 May
Heinz Bierbaum, the current President of the European Left Party (EL). He is former deputy Chairman of the German left party Die LINKE. Born in Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bierbaum studied in Freiburg and Berlin and graduated as a sociologist. In 1977, he received his doctorate in economics and social sciences. From 1996 to 2009, he taught business administration at the Saarland University of Applied Sciences.
The Party of the European Left was formed in January 2004. It currently consists of 41 member, observer, and partner parties. Its elected members of the European Parliament are part of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) faction. In December 2019, at the 6th Congress of the EL in Málaga, Heinz Bierbaum was elected its president.
Like any other party at the European level the EL has to include a variety of tendencies and currents. While the internal diversity is an asset it also creates difficulties in formulating a pan-European strategy.
At a recent meeting of the party’s secretariat Bierbaum presented a document entitled ‘The Corona Crisis and the Consequences for European Politics’ in which he spells out proposals for a democratic, social and ecological exit of the current crisis.