European Union

(Extract from: Political Report 2009 to the 9th Conference of IA*RKP, Dec. 2009)

The EU has increased its importance within imperialist competition, also in comparison with US imperialism involved in wars in Middle Asia that can not be won. The increasing deprivation of military assistance by the EU countries has been worsening the situation for US imperialism. The EU however puts its focal point of expansion especially in West Asia (Palestine, Syria) and Africa, and increases its influence in Latin America more and more.

The countries of Eastern and Central Europe have largely been degraded to neo-colonies of EU imperialism, even without EU membership (abolition of visas for Serbia etc.). In the state of Turkey the struggle of competition between US and EU imperialisms is increasing and developing more and more in favour of EU. In comparison with the fast increase of EU influence in the last decade of the 20th century however the current development of the last ten years is very slow; at present both big powers share nearly the same big influence  – but in different areas with a clear domination of US imperialism in the military forces of Turkey.

Within the EU the monopolies and their programme of political and social austerity offensive backed by the Lisbon reform treaty are further advancing. The working class with their low class consciousness and being splitted up can put up only weak political opposition against the attacks.

With Lisbon treaty the most important areas of the monopoly capitalist project of EU have largely been settled. This means especially: war-mongery foreign policy of EU, opening all sectors of society in all EU countries for the „free competition“ of monopoly capital, „hierarchization“ of EU into a core EUrope and periphery with semi-colonial domination of Eastern and Southern countries. The suppressive forces of the state apparatuses are closely coordinated.

The current situation of EU can be summed up in the following points:

1. Regarding domestic affairs the EU is more and more taking over sovereignty of most of the EU countries. The EU top representatives (president of council, EU foreign representative, commissionaires) are representatives of the big EUropean companies and not the EU parliament make the decisions (neither the parliaments and governments of the member countries). Germany and France fundamentally enforce their interests against the non-imperialist countries while smaller imperialists such as Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands and others are part of the German-French block. EU law breaks national law, an exit from EU is very difficult for dependent capitalist countries as e.g. Poland or Portugal, …

2. The common foreign policy (now with an EU foreign representative) is based on EU forces ready for deployment in realizing the military policy, on a command of armament anchored in treaties, and on self-defined reasons for aggression (also without UN).

3. The asylum law and the struggle against anti-imperialist and revolutionary organisations are coordinated and more and more standardized. EUrope is continuing its „fight against terror“, several organisations with headquarters in EUrope are on the EU-terror list and are being attacked (DHKC, ETA etc.)

4. The „open market economy with free enterprise“, Euro currency with the instruction of price stability, „de-regulation“ (or re-regulation) of national economies, „privatization“ of public services, … are politically fixed.

It’s remarkable that a anti-Keynesian „fashion trend“  of capitalist economic theory was anchored by agreement and Keynesian methods of overcoming a crisis are more or less „prohibited“. With the world economic crisis this instruction of the agreement was simply broken – whereas also „Neoliberalism“ is confirmed further on. All in all the EU agreements aim at war (besides social austerity) as the most important means of overcoming crises.

5. Referring to domestic exploitation the direction is further extension of working time (weekly and life-time),  extreme flexibilisation of working time, breaking up of collective agreements, lowering of social security benefits on a basis below the poverty line and „self-reliant provision“ (old-age pension, unemployment, illness, school,…)

While the 4 freedoms of the capital clearly form the focal point of the EU agreements the working and social regulations are issues of the member countries. Thus e.g. reductions of working time or minimum wages on an EU level are prevented. This means that the working class must enforce improvements in each single country whereas capitalist deteriorations can be forwarded also by decision on EU level.

6. The hegemony of the big EU imperialists over dependent non-imperialist EU countries, especially CEEC (Central and Eastern European countries) and parts of Southern Europe, is firmly established. There is massive interference in all fields of politics and state administration (e.g. prohibition of state-planned economy), free capital export to these countries but restricted immigration from them into imperialist EU countries, a coupling of national currencies to the Euro (including social austerity), limited „equalization payment“ through cohesion funds, drastically reduced agricultural funding and concentration on big agrarian companies accompanied by destruction of small and middle farmers, drastically cutting agricultural funding in the EUropean periphery in favour of funding „enduring technologies“ in the imperialist EU countries.

7. The role of Britain within the EU is further on not decided. Because of its historically extraordinary high stock of foreign direct investments (still 2nd behind US) the British imperialism has partially different interests than the German-French block and is manoeuvring in the EU.

8. The open pro-US attitude in 2004 of some governments in Eastern and Southern EUropean countries has more or less petered out; the influence of Germany, Austria, and Italy is nearly irrefutable. (The influence of Britain and France in Eastern Europe is very weak both in economic and military sense.)

The current movements of the working class in EU are almost only defensive, for the defence of social and democratic standards (or for returning to former standards of the 190ies).

The emergence of a socialist and revolutionary current has come to a still-stand for many years but in some countries there are strong reformist movements with demands partially colliding with basic values and main tendencies of capitalism – in any case with current monopoly offensive (maximal profits, fusion including close-downs or dislocations, relative and absolute pauperization, war for resources and zones of strategic influence, subjugation of dependent countries for looting and extra profits by lowering the living standards under the costs of reproduction).

(Translated from: Proletarian Revolution no. 39a, February 2010, pp.10ff. – in German)