Left remains strong as voters continue to demand a "better Europe"

The left group in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) says it has remained "strong" as voters continue to demand real measures to tackle the climate crisis and defend people's rights, especially for working people, women, refugees and migrants.

Left leaning parties across the EU took a hit in the elections on Sunday, with the S and D group in parliament suffering several losses.
Based on projections announced in the elections, GUE/NGL has secured 39 seats but the final result may not be clear until next week. With negotiations between parties taking place in June, the final composition of the groups will be confirmed in Strasbourg on July 2.
Current GUE/NGL President, Gabi Zimmer, comments: “The left in the European Parliament remains strong and will continue to fight for a better Europe.”
“Seats have been gained for our group in France, Belgium and Greece as Europeans seek solutions to climate change, austerity, unemployment and racism.
“In the 2019-2024 term, our group will continue to push for a Europe of real equality, solidarity and sustainability.”
GUE/NGL will again be a group in opposition, as election results so far indicate that the European Parliament will have a majority of right-wing Members, with more of them coming from far-right parties than ever before.
“We expect to encounter many hostile proposals from the right that are not in the interests of ordinary people,” explains Zimmer, “but we will continue to confront conservatives and the far-right, both inside and outside the Parliament, alongside the millions of Europeans who want an EU that serves the millions, not the millionaires.”

"We would also like to thank everyone who voted and campaigned for left parties around Europe for their hard work that enables us to continue to be here fighting for the rights of people throughout Europe," Zimmer concludes.

Meanwhile, as a result of the European elections the two traditional major parties of the social democrats and conservatives will no longer have a majority in the European Parliament, said Wendel Trio, Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe.

"However, given the large support from voters for parties that have put climate action forward as a priority, there is a large majority of parties that now need to put climate action first and work together to tackle the climate emergency."

In reaction to the results of the European elections, Trio told this site:“European citizens expect the EU to act on climate change. We now need a broad alliance of political parties, including liberals and conservatives, that recognise the climate emergency and the urgency to act. This starts with ensuring that EU climate policies and targets are in line with the commitment of the Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C and protect European citizens from devastating climate impacts.”

Conservative parties have for too long ignored the need to tackle climate change, as shown in the ranking of EU political groups and national parties published by Climate Action Network (CAN) Europe last month. 

Earlier this month, a broad Coalition representing hundreds of European cities, regions, businesses, youth and faith groups and civil society organisations urged all new MEPs, new European Commission and all EU governments to greatly increase the EU’s action to combat climate change. Stakeholders developed a joint blueprint – a Climate Action Call – with five demands to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C. 

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Martin Banks

Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a highly qualified journalist with many years experience of working within the EU institutions. He is an occasional, and highly valued, contributor to EU today, writing on a wide variety of issues.

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