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In the context of the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament a number of people have asked what the position of British communists is on the European Party of the Left

This is what the Communist Party of Britain said at its formation

The Communist Party of Britain considered, at its January Executive, the Manifesto issued on 11 January establishing the European Party of the Left. The manifesto had been endorsed by eleven parties including the Party of Democratic Socialism (Germany), the United Left Spain, the Communist parties of France, Austria, Slovakia and Bohemia and Moravia, and the PRC in Italy.

The list of component parties did not include the Communist parties of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Denmark or Britain, the Socialist Party of the Netherlands, the Left Party of Sweden or the Party of Italian Communists.

In considering the content of the Manifesto the CPB Executive expressed support for its main policy statements. These included in particular its condemnation of the militarisation of the EU, of the anti-democratic trend of current constitutional proposals and of the adverse impact of the growth and stability pact and the policies of the European Central Bank on public services and levels of employment.

At the same time the CPB Executive expressed concern at the lack of any clear statement on the overall federalist character of the EU and the threat that this, and monetary union itself, posed to the democratic sovereignty of member states.

The CPB Executive noted that the new party was established under the terms of the EU Regulation issued under Article of 191 of the European Treaty. This specifies that EU-funded parties should be a ‘factor of integration’, endorse common all-EU programmes and vote as a unified block in the EU parliament.

CPB general secretary Robert Griffiths, commented: ‘The danger represented by this regulation is that it serves to further undermine the democratic institutions and sovereignty of members states. In particular, for parties of the Left, it represents a major obstacle to their ability to campaign in the conditions of each country for the development of popular sovereignty and to ensure that our existing democratic institutions are preserved and used in each country to fight against the dominance of imperialism and monopoly capital.

The real task of the Left in Europe is to expose the anti-democratic character of the EU and the immediate threat it poses to democracy. It is for this reason that the CPB, along with many other Communist and workers parties, has not endorsed this move.’

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