The marginal election of Ursula von Leyen to the post of the Presidency of the European Commission has completed the backroom wheeling and dealing between the major political forces of the EU, indeed with the blessings of far-right governments as well. The Right, the Liberals and the Social Democrats shared the posts between themselves on the basis of interests and expediencies that have nothing to do with the concerns, demands and aspirations of the peoples and workers in Europe.
AKEL, together with the entire Group of the Left in the European Parliament, as well as the Group of the Greens and part of the Socialists, voted against this choice for both substantive and procedural reasons.
The new President of the European Commission belongs to the political spectrum of those forces that have led Europe to its current deadlocks and glaring inequalities. She is in fact a champion of the militarization of the EU and stands for increased investment in the arms war industry. Yesterday’s fine-sounding pledges in favour of gender equality will remain mere declarations so long as the same policies in the economy will be pursued, widening inequalities for working women. Nor will an ambitious EU strategy to tackle climate change be implemented – as the peoples of Europe are demanding – so long as environmental policies are captive of multinational companies. Furthermore, the election of a person who had not even been nominated as a candidate during the European elections proves that the so-called “Leading Candidate” procedure cannot conceal the structural democratic deficit of the EU. In other words, the ruling political forces in Europe neither hear, nor do they listen to the peoples and their concerns.
The hope lies in the peoples of Europe and in their struggles.
AKEL and the Left will be present in these struggles.