The European Union

EU summit agrees talks will move forward, but Brexit crisis continues

By Chris Marsden, 16 December 2017

Guidelines issued for the UK on Brexit stipulate that it must adopt all new European Union laws created during the transition period, while being excluded from any decision-making role.

Amnesty International report exposes EU role in mass torture of refugees in Libya

By Alex Lantier, 13 December 2017

The EU is helping build and equip a vast network of prison camps in which refugees are arbitrarily detained, beaten, tortured, sold into slavery and murdered.

Brexit talks with EU to proceed after climbdown by UK prime minister

By Chris Marsden, 9 December 2017

The European Union will likely allow the UK to move on to the next stage of discussion on the terms of Brexit, focusing on a future trading relationship.

Proposed Brexit deal blocked by Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party

By Robert Stevens, 6 December 2017

The May government has failed to reach an agreement with the European Union after seven months of acrimonious talks.

EU anti-“fake news” authority prepares mass censorship

By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2017

The EU is preparing censorship aimed not at false information, but at news reports or political views that encourage popular opposition to the European ruling class.

EU member states take major step toward a European army

By Peter Schwarz, 14 November 2017

The European Union has agreed on a framework to develop the capacity for waging war independently of and, if necessary, against the United States.

Tens of thousands protest in Catalonia against moves towards authoritarian rule in Spain

By Alex Lantier, 9 November 2017

Tens of thousands of people protested yesterday in Catalonia against the detention of Catalan nationalist politicians as political prisoners by Madrid.

European Union intervenes in Maldives

By Rohantha De Silva, 6 November 2017

The EU visit had nothing to do with defending “human rights” but to ensure the domination of western powers over the strategically located Indian Ocean archipelago.

Spanish army threatens to intervene in Catalonia as ministers are jailed

By Paul Mitchell and Alex Lantier, 3 November 2017

According to the chief of the Spanish army, his plans to intervene in Catalonia are part of similar planning by the NATO countries across Europe.

Catalan premier appeals to EU as opposition mounts to Madrid’s crackdown

By Alex Lantier, 1 November 2017

Puigdemont asked the EU to broker a deal between the Spanish government and the Catalan authorities based on the December 21 election imposed on Catalonia by Madrid.

European Central Bank to continue bond-buying program

By Nick Beams, 27 October 2017

Draghi’s supporters on the ECB governing council prevailed against a push to set a date to end its quantitative easing policy.

Catalan government in turmoil over Spain’s suppression of autonomy

By Paul Mitchell, 24 October 2017

The anti-democratic measures imposed under Article 155 are leading to a violent conflict with the Catalan population.

Move to Spanish military rule in Catalonia exposes bankruptcy of Podemos

By Alejandro López and Alex Lantier, 24 October 2017

Despite winning 5 million votes, Podemos neither wanted nor sought to mobilize opposition to the turn to authoritarian rule by Madrid, backed by the European Union.

Spain annuls Catalan self-government, prepares military rule from Madrid

By Alex Lantier, 23 October 2017

Madrid’s claim, supported explicitly by the EU, that military rule is the only possible response to the Catalan independence referendum is an absurd lie, drenched in imperialist hypocrisy.

EU summit endorses Spain’s threat of police-military occupation of Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 21 October 2017

EU heads of state applauded Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy’s moves to impose dictatorial rule in Catalonia because they are preparing similar attacks on the working class across Europe.

Spanish government vows to impose military-backed regime in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 20 October 2017

Spanish ministers will meet tomorrow to prepare to invoke Article 155 and suspend Catalan regional self-rule after the region's October 1 independence referendum.

Madrid rejects Puigdemont’s call for talks in Catalan referendum crisis

By Alex Lantier and Alejandro López, 17 October 2017

With Spanish military forces and thousands of police preparing for action, Spain is teetering on the brink of martial law and a bloody crackdown in Catalonia.

Trump’s threats against Iran aggravate German-American tensions

By Johannes Stern, 14 October 2017

Trump’s aggressive course of action against Iran has provoked a strong reaction in Berlin, where German politicians and media figures are openly discussing a break with the US.

French president Macron and ex-left Cohn-Bendit advocate a militarily strong Europe at Frankfurt Book Fair

By Marianne Arens, 14 October 2017

French President Emmanuel Macron is striving for a heavily armed Europe capable of pursuing its own imperialist strategy around the world, while suppressing opposition at home.

Threatening crackdown in Catalonia, Madrid whips up nationalism at military parade

By Alejandro López, 13 October 2017

Signaling its tacit support for bloody repression in Catalonia, the pseudo-left Podemos party for the first time sent representatives to the military parade for National Day.

Spain moves toward military rule in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 12 October 2017

As the Spanish army prepared to deploy armored units to Catalonia, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced plans to suspend the Catalan regional government.

Spanish government sends troops to Catalonia

By Paul Mitchell, 5 October 2017

The Ministry of Defense has dispatched army units to support the Civil Guard and national police in a possible further crackdown on the Catalonian population.

After Madrid’s violent crackdown:

An independent class strategy for the Spanish and Catalan working class!

By Keith Jones, 5 October 2017

A struggle to rally workers and youth to an internationalist orientation can only be waged in uncompromising opposition to the violence unleashed by the Madrid government.

Spanish king demands new crackdown in Catalonia

By Alex Lantier, 4 October 2017

An open intervention by the Spanish king into public affairs is without precedent since the 1981 coup attempt in Spain.

Hundreds of thousands protest Madrid’s repression in Catalonia

By Alejandro López, 4 October 2017

Demonstrations took place in cities across Catalonia amid a “national work stoppage” backed by Catalan business groups, separatist parties, and trade unions.

Row over Brexit punctures myth of unity behind Corbyn at Labour Party conference

By Robert Stevens, 27 September 2017

The conference vote on Brexit took on surreal elements, being held on the same day that it was announced that the beginning of a fourth round of talks between the UK and the EU again broke up without agreement.

Sigmar Gabriel’s UN address: German great power ambitions in pacifist garb

By Johannes Stern, 23 September 2017

Phrases about “peace,” “human rights” and “global justice” are rhetorical window-dressing for Germany’s renewed turn to imperialist “Realpolitik.”

May’s overtures to European Union on Brexit terms falls flat

By Robert Stevens, 23 September 2017

While Conservative Prime Minister May’s speech in Florence was flagged as bridge building with the European Union over Brexit, not a single EU leader or representative was present.

Fears of nuclear war grow after Trump’s threat to annihilate North Korea

By Alex Lantier, 21 September 2017

The ruling elite internationally is in a state of perplexity, terror and denial in the face of the danger that Washington will launch nuclear war.

NATO launches war games in advance of Russian exercise

By Bill Van Auken, 13 September 2017

The dueling military exercises are unfolding as relations between Washington and Moscow are more tense than at any time since the height of the Cold War.

As US threatens war against North Korea, China appeals to European powers

By Alex Lantier, 9 September 2017

China has called on Germany and France to coordinate sanctions against North Korea over its nuclear test and prevent US escalation on the Korean Peninsula from leading to war.

Danger of global war over Korea shakes Europe

By Alex Lantier, 6 September 2017

By threatening North Korea, Washington is launching a military standoff with Russia and China, which could engulf Europe in nuclear war.

No progress in UK- European Union talks over Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2017

The European Union insists there can be no progress to discussion on future relations without Britain settling its “divorce” bill first.

EU holds Paris conference to set up detention camps for migrants in Libya

By Alex Lantier, 29 August 2017

The summit aimed to deny the right of asylum to hundreds of thousands of refugees and block their travel through Africa to Libya and across the Mediterranean to Europe.

Refugees: EU strikes deadly deal with Libyan coast guard on refugees

By Marianne Arens, 19 August 2017

Returned to Libya, impoverished immigrants face execution, torture, rape, blackmail and abandonment in the middle of the desert.

European contaminated eggs scandal broadens

By Anna Rombach, 16 August 2017

Eggs contaminated with the toxic insecticide Fipronil have now been found in many European countries and in Hong Kong.

European Union and Italy step up pressure on organisations assisting refugees

By Marianne Arens, 29 July 2017

The Italian government is demanding that NGOs involved in the rescue of refugees sign a “Code of Conduct,” restricting their activities in the Mediterranean Sea.

EU and Japan sign largest-ever Free Trade Agreement

By Gary Alvernia, 12 July 2017

Despite being hyped as a victory over protectionism, the FTA signals the growth of competing trade blocs and the rising danger of conflict and war.

Hamburg under police lockdown

By Johannes Stern, 8 July 2017

The aggressiveness with which the ruling class has targeted protesters and the entire population of Hamburg must be taken as a warning.

Multi-billion fine for Google intensifies transatlantic tensions

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 June 2017

Just days prior to the G20 summit in Hamburg, the EU Commission imposed a record fine on US internet firm Google.

European Union summit agrees to “historic” military build-up

By Johannes Stern, 24 June 2017

At the center of this week’s EU summit in Brussels were far-reaching measures aimed at militarisation at home and abroad.

Weakened May government sets out plans for hard UK exit from the European Union

By Julie Hyland, 22 June 2017

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May set out her government’s legislative agenda yesterday in the Queen’s Speech, which was widely acknowledged to be her first and last one.

Exit talks begin between UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 20 June 2017

Britain’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and Michel Bernier of the European Union launched negotiations Monday on the terms of Britain’s exit from the trade bloc.

European Central Bank still failing to meet inflation objective

By Nick Beams, 10 June 2017

Structural changes in the European economy mean low wages along with part-time and casual employment are becoming the “new normal.”

EU sets up joint military command centre and European defence fund

By Johannes Stern, 9 June 2017

Under growing transatlantic tensions and the departure of Britain from the EU, the 27 remaining member states are pushing ahead with the establishment of an independent military policy.

France, Germany seize upon US withdrawal from climate pact to push geopolitical interests

By Peter Schwarz, 3 June 2017

Merkel and Macron are seeking to build up the EU to make it a global power capable of competing with the US for markets, investment opportunities and strategic influence.

As tensions with US mount, Germany reaffirms “strategic partnership” with China

By Johannes Stern, 2 June 2017

The cooperation between Berlin and Beijing on economic and foreign policy issues is bound up with fraying Transatlantic relations, a cornerstone of German foreign policy for 70 years.

The Great Unraveling: The crisis of the post-war geopolitical order

By Alex Lantier, 2 June 2017

The rapid shifts in international politics since President Trump’s visit to Europe point to the disintegration of institutions that have shaped global politics for decades.

German enthusiasm for Macron begins to wane

By Peter Schwarz, 15 May 2017

Enthusiasm for Emmanuel Macron has not lasted long in Germany. His calls for more financial leeway from the European Union are meeting fierce opposition in German government and business circles.

Hundreds of migrants drown in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 9 May 2017

The deaths occurred during a spike in crossings spurred in part by a planned crackdown that would send migrants back to hellish conditions in Libya.

European Council endorses Irish unification in hardline negotiations over Brexit

By Steve James, 8 May 2017

The European Union position on Ireland is a challenge to British imperialism on the territory of its oldest colony.

Mass casualties in latest refugee tragedy off Libyan coast

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 3 May 2017

Following the latest disaster, the number of refugees drowned on the central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy this year rose to almost 1,150.

European Union issues hard-line Brexit negotiating strategy

By Robert Stevens, 1 May 2017

Under the guidelines, discussions on trade between the EU and the UK can only proceed after the divorce payment and agreement on other terms of Britain’s EU exit.

British ruling elite regard Macron victory in France as a “mixed blessing”

By Julie Hyland, 27 April 2017

Britain’s right-wing media are concerned that Macron will be unable to enforce his agenda under conditions of widespread political alienation and hostility to the ruling elite.

Aggressive claims by Spain helped provoke Gibraltar flare-up with Britain

By Alejandro López, 6 April 2017

Sections of the Spanish ruling class have calculated that Brexit offers Spain an opportunity not only to reclaim Gibraltar but also to possibly become Washington’s new strategic ally in Europe.

UK officially begins process of exiting the European Union

By Chris Marsden, 30 March 2017

The centrifugal forces tearing apart the EU reveal the failure of any attempt to overcome, within the framework of the capitalist system, the national antagonisms that gave rise to two world wars.

Growing divisions, war threats loom over EU summit in Rome

By Alex Lantier, 27 March 2017

The European Union is responding to Britain’s exit by seeking to convert itself into an aggressive military bloc rivaling the United States.

Blairites and Liberal Democrats stage pro-EU demo in London

By Robert Stevens, 27 March 2017

The "Remain in the European Union" camp of Britain’s ruling elite promulgates a nationalist agenda just as much as the "Leave" faction does.

London protesters speak out about Brexit

By our reporters, 27 March 2017

WSWS reporters spoke to some of those attending Saturday’s Unite for Europe protest in London.

No to British nationalism and the European Union!

A socialist response to Brexit

By Chris Marsden, 25 March 2017

Brexit, Trump and the ongoing fracturing of the EU along national lines are all rooted in the irreconcilable contradiction of capitalism that twice in the 20th century plunged Europe and the world into war.

US blocks statement opposing protectionism in G20 communiqué

By Nick Beams, 20 March 2017

While attempts were made by G20 finance ministers to downplay the significance of the breach with the US, the decision to drop resistance to protectionism is a significant step towards a global trade war.

Growing criticism of the EU in Poland after the re-election of Tusk

By Clara Weiss, 20 March 2017

At the EU summit, Poland was the only country to vote against Donald Tusk's re-election as president of the European Council.

Netherlands: Following elections, establishment parties shift to the right

By Peter Schwarz, 18 March 2017

The defeat of Geert Wilders in the Dutch election has not stopped the growth of nationalism and xenophobia; it has amplified it in the establishment parties.

Workers, youth raise social issues in Dutch election

By Dietmar Henning and Daniel Woreck, 14 March 2017

A WSWS reporting team visited the Dutch town of Venlo in the run-up to Wednesday’s national election.

EU Summit backs trade war and militarism

By Johannes Stern, 11 March 2017

The European Union is responding to the deepest crisis since its founding by further militarizing the continent and preparing for an economic showdown with the United States.

EU summit reveals sharp divisions within Europe and tensions with US

By Johannes Stern, 10 March 2017

Germany has responded to Washington’s increasingly belligerent rhetoric by attempting to consolidate the EU as a military and economic power under its own leadership.

EU establishes military headquarters

By Johannes Stern, 10 March 2017

The move is part of a plan by the EU to develop a foreign and security policy independent of NATO and the United States.

EU’s post-Brexit plans foresee growing conflict

By Alex Lantier, 4 March 2017

Facing an unprecedented social, economic, and geopolitical crisis, the EU has nothing to propose but militarism and social counterrevolution.

Italy: Pseudo-left founds Italian Left Party

By Marianne Arens, 25 February 2017

Sinistra Italiana has been formed out of Nichi Vendola’s SEL. Its role is to defend bourgeois rule, the European Union and the euro in their deepest crisis to date.

Amid ongoing conflicts, Pence extends olive branch to EU

By Alex Lantier, 22 February 2017

European politicians and media reacted favorably to US Vice President Mike Pence’s statements in Europe as an opportunity to mend ties with the Trump administration.

Pentagon chief warns of “arc of instability” at Munich security conference

By Bill Van Auken, 18 February 2017

Trump's defense secretary, James Mattis, sounded a warning to the conference aimed at justifying a further escalation of US and NATO militarism.

US demands greater European military spending at NATO summit

By Chris Marsden, 17 February 2017

European officials present at the summit responded with their own calls for military rearmament targeted against Russia.

The election of Trump and the crisis of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 10 February 2017

All of the tensions, conflicts and contradictions that the Treaty of Rome, laying the foundations of the European Union, was supposed to have overcome 60 years ago are emerging once again.

EU summit approves sealing off the Mediterranean from refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 6 February 2017

As European governments hypocritically denounce Trump’s anti-immigrant measures, the EU is planning to build up the Libyan coastguard and establish internment camps in North Africa to keep out refugees.

EU summit marks escalation of conflict between Europe and US

By Johannes Stern, 4 February 2017

At the EU summit in Malta, several European heads of state, including the German chancellor and the French president, sharply criticized the policies of the Trump administration.

Trump’s nationalist threats and the response of the European ruling class

By Alex Lantier, 2 February 2017

In response to Trump’s protectionist threats against Europe and criticisms of the euro, Germany and its closest allies are preparing a major military and police buildup.

British Supreme Court rules only Parliament can trigger Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 25 January 2017

While the Supreme Court came down in favour of Parliament, nothing has been resolved politically by its verdict.

Divisions in UK ruling elite widen over post-Brexit orientation to Trump

By Chris Marsden, 23 January 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has made Trump’s election the cornerstone of her post-Brexit strategy, adapting to a yet-more open embrace of Trump by the anti-EU right-wing of her party.

The Trump presidency and the coming conflict between Europe and America

By Chris Marsden, 19 January 2017

Never before has a US president set as his explicit goal the breakup of the European Union.

Germany’s Left Party presents right-wing draft programme for federal election

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2017

At the heart of the programme is the Left Party’s desire to assume government responsibility at the federal level in coalition with the SPD and Greens, two parties of austerity and war.

In interview with British and German press

Trump places question mark over EU, NATO and free trade

By Peter Schwarz, 17 January 2017

Leading German politicians have responded to Trump’s remarks by asserting Germany’s own economic and geopolitical claims.

Italy’s Five Star Movement leader seeks to shift course on Europe

By Marianne Arens, 16 January 2017

The European Parliament deputies of Italy’s Five Star Movement were to have shifted from a euroskeptic to a pro-European group. But they now find themselves back in the euroskeptic camp.

Brexit deepens existential crisis of UK and European Union

By Chris Marsden, 10 January 2017

The row over what relationship the UK will have with the European Union takes place under conditions where its very survival is threatened.

Anti-Russia “fake news” campaign rolled out across Europe

By Julie Hyland, 5 January 2017

Divisions within the US over foreign policy are mirrored within and between national ruling elites across Europe.

More than 5,000 refugees drowned in the Mediterranean in 2016

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 31 December 2016

The dramatic rise was a direct result of the European Union’s brutal deterrence policy—in particular the reinforcement of the EU’s external borders.

German Left Party leader Gregor Gysi to head European Left

By Peter Schwarz, 23 December 2016

The recent congress elected Gysi the president of the Party of the European Left, following a strong recommendation by Syriza’s Alexis Tsipras.

Germany: SPD leader calls for cuts to child benefits for European citizens

By Dietmar Henning, 22 December 2016

As poverty levels grow in Germany the Social Democratic Party is fostering xenophobia.

EU summit lines up against Russia

By Peter Schwarz, 17 December 2016

Following the Brexit, the election of Donald Trump as US president, and the rise of right-wing nationalist forces in many European countries, the EU is paralyzed and divided.

European powers criticize Trump’s threats against China

By Alex Lantier, 17 December 2016

A month before Donald Trump’s inauguration as US president, tensions are already emerging with the European powers over his “America first” program.

UK: Labour says free movement in Europe must be curtailed post-Brexit

By Julie Hyland, 17 December 2016

Labour’s Keir Starmer called for a “national consensus on Brexit,” with freedom of movement restrictions central to negotiations with the European Union.

Spain’s Podemos aims to derail social anger through “back to the streets” campaign

By Alejandro López, 14 December 2016

If they are going “back” to the streets, it is because Podemos and the Spanish trade unions have held no significant protests for years, despite draconian austerity.

Tensions mount after EU freezes talks on Turkey’s membership

By Halil Celik, 9 December 2016

After the NATO-backed coup of July 15 and rising tensions with the European Union, the Turkish government is threatening that it might ally with Russia and China.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi officially resigns

By Marianne Arens, 8 December 2016

Italy’s Senate voted in favour of the budget and thus cleared the way for Renzi’s resignation.

UK parliament passes Labour motion calling for government to publish “Brexit plan”

By Robert Stevens, 8 December 2016

Prime Minister Theresa May originally opposed the motion, but was forced to accept it as between 20 and 40 pro-EU Tory rebels were pledged to back Labour.

Italian Prime Minister Renzi resigns after defeat in constitutional referendum

By Alex Lantier and Mark Wells, 5 December 2016

The vote on Renzi’s referendum, which was rejected by a margin of 59 to 41 percent, expresses growing opposition to the institutions of European and world capitalism.

European Union Commission plans multi-billion weapons fund

By Christoph Vandreier, 2 December 2016

In the wake of Donald Trump’s election as US president, the European powers are pushing ahead rapidly with plans for military rearmament.

Austrian presidential election: Social Democrats court the far-right Freedom Party

By Markus Salzmann, 29 November 2016

Just days before the presidential election, the Austrian Social Democratic Party has paved the way for cooperation with the Freedom Party.

Poverty on the rise in Europe

By Elisabeth Zimmermann, 29 November 2016

According to the latest study by the Bertelsmann Foundation, 118 million people live in poverty in the EU. This equates to one in four EU citizens.

Tony Blair heads new pro-European Union movement

By Chris Marsden, 26 November 2016

Support for a second referendum on the UK’s European Union membership has only minority support in Parliament but cuts across existing party divisions.

German Left Party backs European army

By Verena Nees, 22 November 2016

The Left Party has responded to Donald Trump’s election victory by shifting further to the right on domestic and foreign policy.