Boycott the election to the European Parliament!
This year, the election to the European Parliament will take place on 26 May in Sweden. Our line is that the election should be boycotted. Why this line?
The EU is an imperialistic bloc, an association of nation states, which is chiefly dominated by Germany, but also by France. The ultimate goal of the EU project is to create a federal state power, to develop the EU into the United States of Europe and to become a superpower in the global arena. The EU strives for a common foreign policy and a common military force, Pesco, although most states today are members of NATO. The EU is essentially allied with US imperialism, but at the same time a competitor, principally regarding trade policy. At the same time, the internal contradictions within the EU have increased recently; between the European Commission, representing the federal interests, on the one hand, and certain central European states such as Poland, Hungary and others, as well as southern European states such as Greece and Italy on the other hand.
The Swedish monopoly bourgeoisie has always been eager for a Swedish EU membership
The monopoly bourgeoisie had already begun to plead for Swedish membership in the EU in the 1980s, as it saw it as an opportunity to undermine the social security system and also facilitate its expansion abroad. The Social Democratic government took advantage of the crisis in 1990-1991 by submitting a membership application over the head of the Swedish people and their own party members. The referendum in 1994 was thus only possible thanks to this social-democratic sharp turn. However, the victory was narrow: 52.3 percent against 46.8. Also, among the parties that pushed the yes-line, especially among the Social Democrats, the Center Party and the Christian Democrats, significant voter groups supported the no-line.
But the Swedish people had learned a lesson in connection with the euro referendum in 2003 and did not swallow any scaremongering any longer. This time, the euro opponents won 55.9 percent against 42 percent. Only in the three metropolitan areas and in Haparanda there was an overweight for the yes-side. The yes-side lost even though it had many times more propaganda resources than the no-side, even though it was supported by the interest organizations of the monopoly bourgeoisie, the Moderates (a conservative party), the People’s Party (a liberal party), the Christian Democrats and the Social Democrats. The Swedish working class voted against a Swedish association to the euro, but there was also considerable resistance within the petty bourgeoisie and even a resistance within certain parts of the bourgeoisie.
The EU – the association of the European monopoly bourgeoisie
The EU is the associationof European monopoly bourgeoisie, foremost that of Germany and France, which systematically carries out a neo-liberal project in the form of the four “freedoms”, that is free movement of goods, services, people and capital. These four freedoms explicitly aim to integrate the member states more closely with each other. The EU’s neo-liberal projects have strengthened the ever-increasing class, wealth and income differences in Europe since the mid-1980s. Thus, the EU is an imperialistic association, mainly allied with US imperialism, and participating to a varying extent in the US wars of aggression. At the same time, the EU has its own ambitions, from North Africa, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. With Pesco, which gives the EU its own military capability, a flexible division of labour can be established between NATO and the EU. The EU has of course adopted a so-called Global Strategy.
Thus, in practice, there is a sort of division of labour between the various imperialistic states; Sweden, Denmark and Finland have expanded their financial interests in the Baltic states in particular. Germany has taken on the other Central European states and the Balkan states; France North Africa and other former French colonies and so on.
With EU membership, Sweden has divested some of its national independence. Large parts of the legislation are based on decisions made by the EU. The right of veto for member states was abolished by the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force in 2009. The European Court of Justice has developed into the EU’s highest court and constitutional court with precedence over national law.
The nation state is still the most beneficial arena for the class struggle; it gives the proletariat the most space to fight its own bourgeoisie. The distance between the working people and the ruling class is shorter in a nation-state than in a federal state or in a top-governed union of member states. The struggle of the proletariat is national in form, but international in content.
The ideology of EU is neoliberalism
Membership in the EU has entailed a statutory neoliberal policy, with budget balance, surplus targets and privatized public sector competition. This has led to the social welfare systems in health, school and care being gradually dismantled and instead ended up in private capitalist ownership and activities, which aim at profit maximization. This has also led to parts of the social infrastructure being privatized and neglected, which affects the majority of the people.
The EU’s free movements ultimately aim to create a so-called internal harmony. This means that the working class’s living conditions must be pressed down to the lowest possible level, that wage competition between European workers must be intensified and the trade unions opportunities to defend the workers’ living and wage conditions further be limited. The union organizational rate decreases, the staffing companies’ growth leads to uncertain employment and an increasing number of workers work under the minimum wage agreements.
During the almost 25 years that Sweden has belonged to the EU, the pension system, the unemployment insurance fund and the health insurance system have been simultaneously undermined by the EU as well as by the Swedish bourgeoisie; the railway and the mail has been severely damaged. Instead, parts of the public sector have turned into a profit machine for venture capitalists. Sweden has developed into the country with the fastest growing class and income gaps of comparable countries.
At the same time, therefore, the unity within the EU should not be overestimated. Through the introduction of the single currency, the euro, an imbalance has been built into the system. This has led to a polarization between surplus and deficit countries. Due to EU membership, the former Eastern states have been forced to restructure large parts of their manufacturing industry and abolish significant parts of the social protection network. Some states in southern Europe such as Greece and Italy are struggling with large budget deficits, which is a result of their inability to assert themselves financially against Germany in particular. This creates contradictions between the center and periphery, which are almost insoluble.
It is wrong to give legitimacy to the EU parliamentary elections
There is no reason to give legitimacy to the European Parliament, which is not even the real power center in the EU, by participating in the EU parliamentary elections. Since the first parliamentary elections in 1979, voter turnout has fallen so that in 2014 it was 42.5 per cent in the EU. The real power within the EU power apparatus is in the EU Commission, which is appointed by the member states. The European Commission rarely goes against the mightiest imperialistic states such as Germany and France. The Swedish proletariat has once voted against Swedish membership, which was quite correct. The only right thing to do is to demand a Swedish exit and that a new referendum is carried out.
Some fascist and right-wing political parties also advocate an exit from the EU, but they do so only for chauvinistic reasons and because they point out the immigrants in the EU as scapegoats instead of the respective monopoly bourgeoisie of each country. They all represent a neoliberal and worker-hostile policy. In Sweden, the Left Party has in practice abandoned the exit demand precisely with reference to the fact that it does not want to end up in the same company as the Swedish Democrats. But this is an opportunistic argument. The demand for an exit from the EU is either correct or incorrect, regardless of which other parties are taking the same position. The comical thing is that SD has already abandoned the exit demand. SD is trying to form an alliance with the Moderates and the Christian Democrats and therefore drops the demand. Moreover, SD believes that it and other like-minded parties in Europe will gain more votes in the coming parliamentary elections. The Left Party’s unprincipled action is significant for the left-wing Social Democratic currents within the EU, who dream of “reforming” the EU from within. These act as the bourgeoisie’s useful idiots. The Social Democrats were the first to tell a fib that it was possible to reform the EU from within and to bring the Union a “social dimension”. In order to draw a historical parallel: the unjust Versailles peace in 1919 – unfair because both imperialistic blocks had been actively preparing for war – was fought in Germany both from the right and the left. The Nazis and other right-wing parties fought it to fuel the revanchism; the left, especially the communists, fought it, because they knew it would benefit the revanchist forces. The German parties who did not oppose the war reparations, which caused economic chaos in Germany during the interwar period, were eventually smashed in the middle.
Boycott the election to the European Parliament!
Demand a referendum about Sweden’s membership in the EU!
Sweden out of the EU!
Among others ”A Global Strategy for the European Union: https://europa.eu/globalstrategy/en/global-strategy-foreign-and-security-policy-european-union