European Union

Break up the EU club

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We were for a Yes vote in the Scottish referendum not because we believed that independence was inherently progressive but because it would break up the British imperialist state and weaken our ruling class.

We should apply the same principle to the question of EU membership.

A No vote will not just hurt our ruling class economically but will also weaken it politically.

No vote weakens rulers

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The key point that James Anderson makes in his article (“EU referendum: Better to stay and fight”, September SR) is that a socialist party’s stance on the EU cannot be drawn directly from socialist principles.

There are various possible “arenas of struggle” and so opposition to the EU is not unequivocally a socialist position.

Anderson’s argument is for a Yes vote with the aim of democratising the EU institutions. This would give focus and credibility to our internationalism in a way that wouldn’t be possible if we campaigned to stay outside.

EU referendum debate: Better to stay and fight

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In last month's Socialist Review Joseph Choonara put the case for voting No to EU membership. James Anderson is not convinced, seeing potential for an anti-racist, internationalist Yes vote.

The debate was opened by Joseph Choonara (July/August SR) with standard criticisms of the European Union (EU). Its policies are indeed capitalist, neo-liberal, anti-democratic, racist, murderous, and — he might have added — implicated in Nato’s reckless eastwards expansion to Ukraine. Not unlike UK policies in fact.

But unfortunately, like others on the left, he simply assumes that the only way to oppose EU policies is to leave it. There is no analysis of the likely consequences, no explanation of why we should “go”, or where.

EU referendum: Should we stay or should we go?

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As the debate over European Union membership heats up, Joseph Choonara argues that socialists should argue for a left wing No vote, despite the right wing dominating the campaign for a "Brexit".

Referendums are often awkward terrain for socialists, because the terms of the debate are set by establishment politicians. The referendum on British membership of the European Union (EU) is a particularly tricky specimen. The mainstream arguments on both sides will be unpalatable.

The Yes campaign, to retain Britain’s EU membership, will be dominated by the Conservative and Labour leaderships, along with what’s left of the Liberal Democrats.

EU targets migrants at sea

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The European Union’s (EU) response to the biggest refugee crisis since the Second World War is more detention camps, fast track repatriation and jail for migrants and refugees.

Alongside this EU ministers have sanctioned a naval task force with the missions to destroy boats at sea and halt migrant ships as they set off on their journey.

The EU has drawn up a plan to open “structured border zones and facilities”, that is quarantine centres, in the so-called frontline states of Malta, Italy and Greece.

Greece: It didn't have to be this way

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The Troika has succeeded in imposing its will on the Syriza government for now, but other options were. And still are, available.

One of the most scathing responses to the deal struck between Greece’s radical left Syriza government and European finance ministers in February came from 92 year old Manolis Glezos. The former resistance fighter — famous for tearing the Swastika from the Acropolis in 1941 and now a Syriza MEP — compared the agreement to “renaming fish as meat”.

Solidarity against racism

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The electoral success of far-right parties presents a challenge for the left. Brian Richardson reports from a key anti-fascist conference in Greece that is beginning to coordinate a continent-wide strategy to halt them.

The headline story in this May’s European Parliament elections was the success of the fascist Front National (FN) in France. Marine Le Pen’s party topped the poll with 24.85 percent which translated into 24 seats.

It is now the fourth biggest party in the parliament. That success was subsequently consolidated with the capture of two seats in the French Senate elections in September. The outright fascist Jobbik party took second place in the Hungarian elections with 14.6 percent of the vote, winning three seats.

How can the left topple the bosses' Europe?

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Syriza demo

The rise of left formations such as Syriza and Podemos presents new challenges

Over the past two months a string of remarkable opinion polls have appeared across Europe that point to big opportunities — and big challenges — for the left. In Greece the radical left party Syriza, which came close to winning the 2012 general elections, has moved to being 5 to 10 percent ahead of the ruling conservative New Democracy party. Some polls in the Irish Republic have seen Sinn Fein nose ahead of both the ruling Fine Gael party and the once dominant party of Irish capitalism, Fianna Fail.

European bosses' club

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Montage of EU suits

The EU was never about peace or defending workers' conditions, but a means of expanding the bosses' power. Sally Campbell argues for unity with Europe's workers but hostility to its rulers

In January 2013 Prime Minister David Cameron made a speech on Britain’s membership of the European Union (EU) in which he promised to renegotiate the “terms of the relationship” and put the result to a referendum in 2017.

Cameron was seeking to stem the growing support for Ukip, undercut the Eurosceptic wing of his own Tory party, defer the EU question until after the May 2015 general election, and simultaneously blame Britain’s economic troubles on the Eurozone debt crisis.

Ukraine: Torn apart by Imperialism

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Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the rising tensions between east and west, marks an era of heightened competition between rival imperial powers, argues Rob Ferguson.

Russia, the US and the European powers are facing their greatest clash since the Cold War. Following the overthrow of Ukrainian president Yanukovich, the new pro-Western government in Kiev turned to seal a partnership with the EU and Russia annexed Crimea, home to the Russian Black Sea fleet and its route to the Mediterranean.

Tensions are spreading to other "buffer" states on Russia's southern borders. Barack Obama has called on EU leaders to increase their military spending.

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