• Germany's news in English
 
European Elections 2014
What does the Left Party want for Europe?
Die Linke's parliamentary leader Gregor Gysi speaking at a party conference on Sunday. Photo: DPA

What does the Left Party want for Europe?

Published: 14 May 2014 17:29 GMT+02:00

Die Linke overtook rivals the Greens in September's elections to become the country's third biggest parliamentary group – and has since made waves in foreign policy by its outspoken condemnation of US spying and conciliatory attitude to Russia's actions in Ukraine.

Their charismatic parliamentary leader Gregor Gysi added to his party's critical stance towards the EU system in an interview with Die Zeit newspaper. "It is pursuing a neo-liberal economic policy and stands for the opposite of socialism," he said.

Future of the EU

Die Linke's European policy could be summarized as aiming to enhance the political and economic powers of the EU whilst reforming EU institutions to make them more democratic - and give them the legitimacy critics claim they lack.

They want to make the European Parliament equal in lawmaking power to the European Commission and European Council, giving it full powers both to nominate and elect the European Commission president.

Die Linke also propose full-scale Europe-wide referendums, including same-day referendums for all EU treaty amendments, and claim as a priority giving member states' national parliaments more say in EU decisions.

Economy

As Germany's largest democratic socialist party, Die Linke propose to nationalize Europe's large banks while placing other banking services under "public and democratic control".

Hedge funds, "shadow banks" and investment banks should be progressively phased out and eliminated, they contend.

They also support the introduction of "Eurobonds" guaranteed by all EU member states, which is widely-opposed by Germany’s main political parties.

Die Linke also plan to withdraw licences from banks that facilitate tax evasion, oppose all privatization of public services and reject the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the USA.

And along with introducing a "Robin Hood" tax levying a one-time duty on all fortunes above €1 million, the Left Party would allow EU institutions to apply sanctions to members with long-term trade surpluses, in order to finance development in poorer member states.

Climate and Environment

Die Linke wants to set out new, more ambitious plans at the EU level for expanding renewable energy sources, reducing CO2 emissions and cutting energy usage.

Under their plans, by around 2050, 100 percent of Europe's energy should come from renewables, CO2 emissions should be down by 95 percent and energy usage by 60 percent on 2000 levels.

Their manifesto also commits to fully eliminating nuclear power, banning all fracking and promoting regional agriculture and food production, while claiming to be against GM crops and excessive food imports.

Mobility and Immigration

Die Linke's policy on immigration stands out from major parties by appearing dramatically in favour of making Europe more refugee-friendly.

They claim to promote the "unconditional right to stay and proper accommodation, social protection and equal rights for all refugees".

And according to their manifesto, they also support refugees' free choice of which country they wish to seek asylum in, as well as demanding the dissolution of EU border agency Frontex.

Foreign Policy

Die Linke's foreign policy is controversial mainly for its strongly anti-military elements.

The party opposes all overseas military operations by the EU, argues military spending should be progressively cut with the eventual target of zero, and promotes total nuclear disarmament across Europe.

Die Linke are also strongly against the arms trade, advocating an EU-wide ban on all arms dealing as well as the axing of all EU drone warfare programs.

And the party has diverted from the foreign policy norm by proposing the dissolution of NATO, hoping to replace it with a "collective security system" with Russia as a member.

SEE ALSO: What does the SPD want for Europe?

SEE ALSO: What does the CDU want for Europe?

For more stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride
Photo: DPA

Pro-Kremlin bikers defy bans on Berlin ride

Dozens of bikers from pro-Kremlin gang the Night Wolves on Saturday set off on a ride to Berlin ahead of the anniversary of Soviet victory in World War II, despite Poland and Germany barring the riders. READ  

VW patriarch Piëch resigns
Photo: DPA

VW patriarch Piëch resigns

Volkswagen patriarch Ferdinand Piëch, has resigned as head of the German auto giant's supervisory board with immediate effect, the company announced Saturday. READ  

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name
Schumacher Jr is too young to drink any of that champagne. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr lives up to his name

Mick Schumacher Jr did his famous father proud on his Formula Four debut on Saturday by claiming a trophy as the best rookie and finishing ninth, despite starting 19th. READ  

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank
Deutsche Bank acquired Postbank in 2008. Photo: DPA

Deutsche Bank to sell Postbank

Germany's biggest lender Deutsche Bank announced late Friday it was seeking to sell its Postbank subsidiary as part of a revamp to improve profitability. READ  

Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,191
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd