I- What is (and what is not) a caucus?
A “caucus” is a platform or organised tendency inside a parliament. It is different from an intergroup, which is of a thematic nature, and from a political group, which is a more structured organisation. Inside a caucus, individuals coordinate to further their political aims and to share ideas along the lines of an ideological affinity and contiguity.
II – Do we need a caucus in the European Parliament?
In the EP, we either coordinate inside each political group or make politics in-house amongst all political Groups. However, Groups in the left half of the parliament have some shared values and goals between them and we are sure that individual MEPs from these groups would like to discuss these values and goals in a common forum. The developments in today’s world and the expectations of people towards policy are too complex to be put into political consideration by occasion alone, without an ongoing debate and exchange of views among us progressives.
III- Why the left?
The European elections of June 2009 were the first to occur after a financial crisis that – as many in the left believe – had vindicated our views of the economy, society, market and state. However, the left lost across the continent and, unfortunately, there have been only few exceptions and reasons to hope. Since then, we have been witnessing an increase in conservative austerity politics, a resurgence of national egoism and a degrading in the quality of democracy. It stands to reason that, as progressives in Europe, we have much work ahead of us, and the European Parliament is one of the places where we are challenged to begin this work in a much more comprehensive, open-minded, transparent and persuasive way — and in a European-wide perspective.
IV- A vision
The LEFT caucus stands for social justice, peace, sustainability, and solidarity. We stand for fairness in the economy, – i.e. a market that functions not for its own benefit, but for the whole of the society, in Europe, as well as globally. We defend gender equality, solidarity between generations, minority inclusion and equal rights and opportunities for all, as well as the concept that a more equal society is better for everyone. We are of the opinion that public investment policies targeting full employment, as well as policies tackling social exclusion poverty, are the way to get out of the crisis. We believe that the Earth itself provides the boundaries for human endeavours and ideology, and thus support the fight against climate change and for a green new deal. We want Europe to play a constructive — even exemplary — role in our region and in the world, respecting our neighbours and taking a principled stance for democracy. The EU’s external action must be coherent and aimed at fostering a safer world, where democracy, sustainable development, the rule of law and human rights prevail. Europe also needs a fair and realistic pro-immigration policy as well as efficient ant-discrimination measures, and should protect and preserve civil rights and liberties of everyone. European Union is an experiment in democracy and fundamental rights and must keep on regain its moral: most of all, we believe that the democratic sphere of Europe must be continually improved.
V- Our tasks
The LEFT – liberté, égalité, fraternité: toujours – caucus will be an assembly open to everyone in the community of the European Parliament. We will organise debates and hearings, adopt common statements and engage in shared legislative and political work. We welcome the contributions of all and we will conduct our work in full transparency and openness.