10 | 12 | 2019

Left MEPs have voted to reject the new European Commission headed by Ursula von der Leyen. Reacting following the vote in Strasbourg, GUE/NGL co-president Martin Schirdewan said the incoming Commission will take Europe down the wrong path:

“In recent weeks and months, Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission has promised all sorts to everyone. But there are many contradictions. They talk about more investment but preserve the same old, destructive austerity.”

1) Conflicts of interests

The fact that several candidates were rejected, their replacements subjected to further scrutiny, or in need of a second hearing, says a lot about this incoming batch of Commissioners.

Not only are many lacking, some are downright unsuitable for holding such important positions. The Belgian nominee comes with a baggage of scandals, for example. Meanwhile, original French nominee Sylvie Goulard had so many holes and conflicts of interests in her qualifications that it was all the more remarkable that her replacement, Thierry Breton, had even more conflicts of interest through his role as the former CEO of the IT firm, Atos.

Today, SOS MEDITERRANEE and Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) call on a broad coalition of European States to urgently facilitate the assignment of a port to the Ocean Viking and to finally put in place a predictable and coordinated disembarkation mechanism as discussed in Luxembourg earlier this month. The Ocean Viking, a rescue ship chartered by SOS MEDITERRANEE in partnership with Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), is still stranded, waiting for a Place of Safety for the disembarkation of 104 people rescued in international waters off Libya ten days ago.

“In the past four months, several European leaders met on three occasions (in Paris, Malta and Luxembourg) showing a will to establish a temporary disembarkation and distribution mechanism for people rescued in the Central Mediterranean,” said Louise Guillaumat, Deputy-Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE’s Operations. “Yet today, 104 survivors are once again left in limbo on the deck of a rescue ship with no solution for their disembarkation in sight, adding to their suffering after being rescued from distress at sea. Europe can and should show more solidarity towards its coastal States,” she added.

European Union leaders continue to flout the rights of asylum seekers, despite criticism from the United Nations and NGOs. Certain solicitors feel that the situation in the Mediterranean, where hundreds of migrants have died since January, resembling a ‘crime against humanity’.

Are the migration policies of EU member states at the point where they deserve a new Nuremberg Trial? For many years Leoluca Orlando, the Mayor of Palermo, has been calling for more. In early June, a prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, accepted the complaint from two solicitors who accused the EU of ‘crimes against humanity’.Omar Shatz, a member of the Global Action Network and Juan Branco, former assistant to the first prosecutor of the ICC, referred to the policies as ‘attempting to stop the flow of migrants towards Europe at all costs, including the murder of thousands of civilians’. Shatz and Branco are saying that European leaders must be held accountable for having ‘orchestrated, either directly or indirectly, the arrest and incarceration of 40,000 people who had fled the hell which Libya had become for them’.

After a second round of hearings, the European Parliament has decided to reject French Commissioner-designate Sylvie Goulard for the Internal Market portfolio.

Her candidature was marred by controversy as she faces an investigation for fraud and stands accused of conflicts of interest during her time as MEP.

Statement of the European Communist Initiative

The parties participating in the European Communist Initiative denounce the outrageous anti-communist resolution of the European Parliament and the escalation of anti-communism planned by the EU. This resolution promotes the unhistorical identification of communism with the monster of fascism, whitewashing the fascists and their actions, expressing hatred for the struggle of the peoples. The slander that socialism equates to fascism in the name of totalitarianism is revealed by the fact that fascism is born and bred of capitalism. Their common economic basis is the power of monopolies that only socialism overthrows.

In a letter today to the Commission President-elect, GUE/NGL co-Presidents Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) and Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) urge rethinking of proposed fragmented portfolios for Commissioners, stress the problem of conflicts of interest among Commissioners-designate, and raise key policy concerns on economics, climate, gender equality and new tech.

The European United Left/Nordic Green Left in the European Parliament condemns in the strongest possible terms attempts to use the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second World War as an excuse for political point scoring and historical revisionism.

Through a proposed resolution under the title ‘The importance of European remembrance for the future of Europe’, an asymmetrical coalition of political groups in the European Parliament wants to whitewash historical facts and undermine EU solidarity by equating the murderous Nazi regime with socialist and communist ideals of equality and justice.

GUE/NGL is pleased to announce its nominations for the European Parliament’s 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought – three symbols of resistance against the violations of human rights in Brazil.

They are Marielle Franco (posthumous), Claudelice Silva dos Santos and Chief Raoni.

Before today’s vote on Christine Lagarde’s nomination as head of the European Central Bank, we offer you 8 good reasons why she is unsuitable for the post.

1) PLENARY NO-SHOW!

By snubbing the Parliament’s vote on her own appointment, Lagarde has shown massive disrespect for citizens and democracy.

If she cannot be bothered, why should anyone approve her mandate?

Today, the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the proposed portfolios of the nominees for the commissioner positions.

While the nominees were announced today, they have not been appointed yet – the European Parliament must still make the final decision on each of them.

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