European Union

Greece’s Syriza government presses ahead with privatisations

By Katerina Selin, 17 June 2016

The Syriza-led government, elected on a wave of opposition to austerity, is presiding over a sweeping sell-off of state assets for the benefit of the Greek and European financial elites.

European Court of Justice upholds UK ban on migrant benefits

By Robert Stevens, 16 June 2016

The judgment states the British government can withhold family welfare benefits to EU migrants who are not working if they do not have the “right to reside” in the UK.

European Union seeks agreements with African dictators to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 June 2016

In exchange for financial assistance, despotic regimes in Africa are to seal off escape routes and detain and deport refugees.

030 EU court ruling on migrants in UK

15 June 2016

The Brexit referendum from a European perspective

By Peter Schwarz, 13 June 2016

Reading the commentary in the international press concerning the referendum on a British exit from the European Union, one gets a sense of a ruling class that has lost its bearings.

The return of German militarism to Eastern Europe

By Johannes Stern, 11 June 2016

Germany’s Armed Forces are playing an increasingly prominent role in the NATO deployment in Eastern Europe, which serves to openly prepare a war against Russia.

Bond yields fall as fears rise over global economic growth

By Nick Beams, 11 June 2016

As the pile of negative yielding government debt passes the $10 trillion mark, it has been described as a “supernova that will explode one day.”

French government threatens to crush strikes as Euro 2016 football cup starts

By Alex Lantier, 11 June 2016

Workers also faced criticism from union officials, who pushed for an end to the strike with claims that striking during the Euro cup would reflect badly on their image.

UK trade union federation calls for Britain to remain in EU

By Robert Stevens, 11 June 2016

The Trades Union Congress is backing the Remain campaign on the cynical basis that it is necessary to protect workers from the attacks of the Conservative government.

Croatian government collapses after four months

By Markus Salzmann, 11 June 2016

The collapse of the Oreskovic government has provoked a serious political crisis in the country.

Public meeting at Humboldt University in Berlin

The referendum on Brexit: Why the SEP rejects both camps

11 June 2016

On Friday, June 17, Chris Marsden, a member of the International Editorial Board of the World Socialist Web Site from Britain, will speak in Berlin at Humboldt University on the referendum for British withdrawal from the EU, and on the party’s campaign for an active boycott.

The case for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 June 2016

The struggle for a socialist Britain within a United Socialist States of Europe is a burning necessity for workers who, in every country, face the same class enemy and the same problems of austerity and war.

UK: The political fraud of the Another Europe is Possible campaign

By Julie Hyland, 7 June 2016

The campaign makes no mention of the Cameron government’s austerity agenda that has seen millions of jobs destroyed, wages cut, welfare slashed to the bone and migrants denied entry to the UK.

UK Labour leader Corbyn stakes his future on vote to remain in EU

By Chris Marsden, 6 June 2016

Corbyn is towing the line dictated by the dominant sections of British imperialism, which see membership of the EU as essential for securing Britain’s economic interests.

Anti-migrant propaganda dominates UK Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 3 June 2016

Both the Remain and Leave campaigns for the June 23 referendum on UK membership of the European Union are pushing anti-migrant measures.

More than 2,500 refugees drowned in Mediterranean so far this year

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 June 2016

The number of refugee deaths over the first five months of this year, up 35 percent from 2015, has hit a new record.

Who is responsible for the massacre in the Mediterranean?

By Bill Van Auken, 31 May 2016

With estimates of up to 900 refugees drowning, the past week has been the deadliest so far this year.

Divisions over Europe tear through UK Conservative Party

By Robert Stevens, 31 May 2016

Several leading Tory euro-sceptics made unprecedented attacks on Prime Minister David Cameron over the weekend.

Over 700 refugees drown in Mediterranean shipwrecks

By Laura Tiernan, 30 May 2016

In the deadliest week for refugees so far this year, over 700 people died trying to reach Europe from North Africa in three separate disasters.

US uses gas deliveries to pressure Russia

By Clara Weiss, 30 May 2016

While NATO is encircling Russia militarily, the energy market is increasingly being used to exert pressure on Russia for geostrategic aims.

Over a hundred feared dead as refugee boats sink in Mediterranean

By Bill Van Auken, 27 May 2016

The latest tragedies underscore the criminal character of the efforts to seal Europe’s borders to refugees.

Lessons of the Austrian presidential election

By Peter Schwarz, 24 May 2016

The Austrian presidential election narrowly avoided an outcome in which, for the first time since 1945, an extreme right-wing politician would have entered the highest office in a Western European state.

US prepares troop deployment to Libya amid fight for oil fields

By Bill Van Auken, 21 May 2016

The Pentagon’s top general said troops could be sent “any day” once there was a formal request from the Western-backed regime in Tripoli.

NATO-Russia war tensions laid bare at Washington summit

By Thomas Gaist, 16 May 2016

The past week has seen the American-dominated Western alliance markedly intensify its preparations for aggressive war along Russia’s eastern and southern borders.

UK: Corbyn launches Labour’s effort to cover for right-wing Remain campaign

By Chris Marsden, 11 May 2016

With the Conservatives divided, the Labour Party’s ability to deliver its 9 million voters is considered essential for the sections of the ruling class supporting a Remain vote on Brexit.

After Syriza imposes billions in new cuts

EU plans decades of austerity for Greece

By Alex Lantier, 10 May 2016

In the face of mass strikes and protests, Syriza is accepting decades of cuts under cover of restructuring Greek debt.

Eighty-four migrants missing in new sinking off Libyan coast

By Alex Lantier, 2 May 2016

It is feared that dozens of innocent men, women, and children have again drowned in the Mediterranean, victims of the EU’s sinister and vindictive refugee policy.

Austria abolishes right to asylum

By Markus Salzmann, 2 May 2016

The Austrian government has responded to the success of the Freedom Party (FPÖ) in the first round of the presidential election by embracing its far-right politics.

IMF, European Union, Syriza government prepare more austerity in Greece

By Alex Lantier, 30 April 2016

European and US authorities are again threatening to force Greece to default on its debts if it does not impose new social cuts.

Workers Struggles: Europe, Middle East & Africa

29 April 2016

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

UK Chancellor touts Treasury analysis to promote European Union membership

By Jordan Shilton, 22 April 2016

The claim by Chancellor George Osborne that the European Union will guarantee prosperity for British families is absurd.

Steel producers summit threatens stepped-up trade war against China

By Robert Stevens, 20 April 2016

The focus of the Brussels summit on the global steel crisis was “promoting structural adjustment” through job losses, deregulation and trade war measures against China.

The political significance of the campaign for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 18 April 2016

The SEP urges a rejection of both the defenders of the European Union and the advocates of a British exit from the EU in the official Remain and Leave campaigns.

UK Brexit referendum campaigns officially begin

By Jordan Shilton, 16 April 2016

The referendum on the UK’s membership in the European Union is taking place under conditions of a deepening crisis for the Conservative government of David Cameron.

Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 April 2016

Greece and the Balkan states stepped up police violence and repression in the wake of the EU’s deal to deport refugees en masse to Turkey.

Socialist Party’s TUSC electoral front seeks official “Leave” status in UK Brexit Referendum

By Julie Hyland, 9 April 2016

The Trade Union and Socialist Coalition and the Socialist Party are promoting “left nationalism” in the service of a faction of the British bourgeoisie.

Western powers press ahead with plans for new war in Libya

By Marianne Arens, 9 April 2016

Italy, the EU and the US are preparing their next military intervention in Libya.

Defend jobs in the steel industry!

For international workers’ unity, not national unity with the corporations!

the Socialist Equality Party (Britain) and Partei für Soziale Gleichheit (Germany), 9 April 2016

The only way to fight the destruction of tens of thousands of steel jobs in the UK and Germany is a struggle for the international unity of the working class.

Dutch referendum produces majority against EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

By Johannes Stern, 8 April 2016

Wednesday’s referendum result has deepened the political crisis in Europe and provoked nervous reactions from politicians and the media.

European steel workers face massive attacks on jobs and pensions

By Dietmar Henning, 8 April 2016

The proposed merger of Tata Steel and the steel division of Thyssen Krupp would be accompanied by an assault on jobs and pensions in the European steel industry.

Austria rejects all refugees

By Markus Salzmann, 7 April 2016

The Austrian government has announced it will turn away refugees at the border after conducting summary hearings.

The class issues in the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 7 April 2016

The following is an amended version of a report delivered March 26 by Chris Marsden, the national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (UK), to a party aggregate in Sheffield.

Greece’s Syriza: Full partner in historic crime against refugees

By Bill Van Auken, 5 April 2016

The police-state measures and summary deportations employed by the Syriza government against refugees are of a piece with its relentless attacks on the Greek working class.

Syriza and European Union begin mass deportations from Greece

By Johannes Stern, 5 April 2016

The brutal actions against refugees and the militarisation of Europe are directly linked to the intensification of the attacks on the working class in Greece and throughout the continent.

Syriza government carries out mass deportation of refugees from Greece to Turkey

By Robert Stevens, 4 April 2016

Thousands of people are being deported as part of the deal to seal off the “Balkan route” to refugees fleeing the war zones of the Middle East.

Scandal mounts over failure by Belgian police to halt Brussels attacks

By Alex Lantier, 26 March 2016

Friday saw more revelations of inexplicable lapses by Belgian and allied security forces that helped terrorists evade detection before the Brussels attacks.

After Brussels attacks, German politicians and media demand increased state powers

By Johannes Stern, 26 March 2016

The German interior minister is using Tuesday’s attacks to press for further police powers in Germany and throughout Europe.

Greece’s Syriza government detains refugees

By Katerina Selin, 26 March 2016

The Syriza-led government is doing everything in its power to implement the EU-Turkey refugee deal.

European Union-Turkey deal to expel refugees comes into force

By Jordan Shilton, 22 March 2016

The same powers that have routinely invoked “human rights” to justify war in the Middle East are denying refugees the right to seek protection from the disaster these wars have produced.

European Union and Turkey reach deal to seal borders and expel refugees

By Jordan Shilton, 19 March 2016

Refugees arriving on the Greek islands by crossing the Aegean Sea will be returned to Turkey, following the completion of a farcical asylum procedure in Greece.

European Union chiefs determined to reach deal with Turkey to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 18 March 2016

EU-Turkey summit marks another grim chapter in the establishment of “Fortress Europe.”

The pseudo-left’s nationalist “Leave” campaign in the UK Brexit referendum

Part one

By Chris Marsden, 18 March 2016

The Socialist Party has played the central role in glossing over the nationalist opposition to immigration on the part of Trade Unionists Against the European Union and its predecessors.

Tsipras acts as gatekeeper for Fortress Europe

By Katerina Selin, 16 March 2016

The Syriza government in Greece is playing a key role in blocking refugees from traveling from the Middle East on to Europe.

What is behind the electoral success of the Alternative for Germany?

By Peter Schwarz, 16 March 2016

The Left Party created the conditions that enabled the right-wing nationalist AfD to tap into social frustration and anger and channel it in a reactionary direction.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn deletes criticisms of EU from his web site

By Robert Stevens, 14 March 2016

There is nothing that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn once proclaimed as an issue of political principle that he will not jettison.

European Central Bank cuts rates and pours more money into financial markets

By Nick Beams, 11 March 2016

The ECB’s latest measures will do nothing to boost the real economy, but only lead to further financial speculation and increase the danger of a currency war.

The refugee crisis and the polarization of Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 11 March 2016

Large sections of the population look on the brutal conditions of refugees with horror and disgust, but the official political debate takes place within a narrow spectrum ranging from the right to the ultra-right.

EU countries and Turkey move to seal refugee routes

By Peter Schwarz, 8 March 2016

The 28 EU member states worked out a deal Monday with Turkey that would make it even more difficult for the millions of people fleeing the wars in the Middle East to enter Europe.

Campaign for UK exit from the EU dominated by nationalism and big business interests

By Robert Stevens, 8 March 2016

The “Leave” campaign speaks for a layer of the British ruling elite that regards the EU as a constraint on the pursuit of Britain’s national interests.

Cameron and Hollande beat anti-immigrant drum to oppose Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 5 March 2016

French officials threatened that a British exit from the European Union could lead France to stop blocking refugees from traveling via Calais to Britain.

European Union threatens summary mass deportations of refugees

By Alex Lantier, 4 March 2016

As growing numbers of refugees flee imperialist wars in the Middle East, the EU is preparing draconian attacks on democratic rights to prevent them from coming to Europe.

NATO commander calls refugees a weapon of ISIS, Russia and Syria

By Patrick Martin, 3 March 2016

US General Phillip Breedlove said that Russia, Syria and ISIS were using the refugees streaming out of Syria as weapons against Europe.

German Chancellor Merkel’s refugee policy and the call for a European army

By Ulrich Rippert, 2 March 2016

On one of the Sunday talk shows on German television, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated her opposition to a change in course on refugee policy.

An exchange on the SEP’s call for an active boycott of the Brexit referendum

By Chris Marsden, 2 March 2016

We are posting here replies to two comments from readers on the statement published this week by the Socialist Equality Party.

Macedonian police tear-gas refugees trying to cross Greek border

By Alex Lantier, 1 March 2016

Police fired stun grenades and tear gas at hundreds of desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees seeking to travel through the Balkans towards Germany.

For an active boycott of the Brexit referendum!

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party and British section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, 29 February 2016

The Socialist Equality Party urges workers and young people to boycott the referendum. The Remain and Leave campaigns are both headed by Thatcherite forces that stand for greater austerity, brutal anti-immigrant measures and the destruction of workers’ rights. Their differences are over how best to defend the interests of British capitalism against its European and international rivals under conditions of economic slump and the escalation of militarism and war.

UK generals intervene to oppose Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 27 February 2016

The letter by 13 military officials is testament to the role of the European Union in the militarist agenda of the main European powers.

Anti-refugee xenophobia and the danger of war

By Peter Schwarz, 27 February 2016

Tens of thousands of refugees who have escaped the hell of war in the Middle East are being deprived of all rights and used as pawns in conflicts between the European states.

Nationalism and “Brexit”

By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2016

The first responsibility of a socialist in the referendum on “Brexit” is to reject all appeals for working people to fall in behind one or another faction of the bourgeoisie fighting over which strategy best upholds the interests of British imperialism.

Right-wing “Remain” and “Leave” campaigns begin for UK referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden and Robert Stevens, 22 February 2016

What is on offer in the June 23rd referendum is a choice between supporting one of two reactionary camps that articulate opposed strategies for the British bourgeoisie.

Brexit referendum to go ahead after UK secures deal with European Union

By Robert Stevens and Chris Marsden, 20 February 2016

Despite disputes over financial regulation, there was broad agreement among EU heads of state for Prime Minister Cameron’s proposed cuts to social benefits for refugees.

European Steel unions demand trade war in Brussels

By Dietmar Henning, 20 February 2016

The European trade unions, led by Germany’s IG Metall, demonstrated last Monday in Brussels for trade war measures against Russia and China.

Divisions erupt at EU summit over refugees, possible British exit

By Alex Lantier, 19 February 2016

The assembled heads of state failed to agree on refugee policy or on reactionary concessions aiming to ensure that Britain does not leave the European Union.

European Union pushes for energy independence from Russia

By Clara Weiss, 17 February 2016

The EU Commission has indicated that it will seek to prevent the construction of the Nord Stream II pipeline, which would supply natural gas from Russia to Germany.

Europe at the breaking point

By Alex Lantier, 17 February 2016

France's denunciations of Germany's policy of accepting Middle Eastern refugees fleeing to Europe have exposed deep divisions within the EU.

Closure of Balkan refugee route deepens rifts in the EU

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 16 February 2016

Diplomatic tensions between the EU member states are intensifying in the run-up to the meeting of heads of state and governments this week.

In wake of VW scandal European Parliament relaxes emissions regulations

By Jan Peters and Dietmar Henning, 16 February 2016

Last autumn, it was revealed that Volkswagen manipulated the emissions readings in 11 million diesel vehicles and hundreds of thousands of petrol models.

What is behind Varoufakis’s “Democracy Movement to Rescue Europe?”

By Ulrich Rippert, 15 February 2016

Behind Varoufakis’s defence of the European Union is the defence of the sinecures and privileges of the well-off layers for whom Varoufakis speaks.

Slavoj Žižek: From pseudo-left to new right

By Peter Schwarz, 8 February 2016

In an article published in Der Spiegel, Slovenian academic Slavoj Žižek gives free rein to his hatred of the oppressed.

UK Prime Minister Cameron signals early referendum on EU membership

By Chris Marsden, 4 February 2016

The proposed agreement between Cameron and European Council President Donald Tusk is a refutation of those who depict the EU as the guardian of a more progressive agenda.

Former British Prime Minister Blair joins call for a European army

By Jordan Shilton, 2 February 2016

In calling for the creation of a European military force, Blair wrote that the European powers had to be capable of projecting their interests on the global stage.

Europe joins the economic “gold rush” to Tehran

By Peter Symonds, 30 January 2016

Iranian President Rouhani’s trip to Europe signals that Iran is wide open for foreign investors following this month’s lifting of international sanctions.

The end of liberal Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 23 January 2016

The shift to the right by the European elites is rooted in explosive social, economic and political contradictions that have been building up since the collapse of the Soviet Union 25 years ago.

Dozens of refugees drown near Greek island of Farmakonisi

By Thomas Gaist, 23 January 2016

The deaths come amid escalating state repression and military operations by the European powers targeting refugees.

Major companies announce job cuts across Europe

By Kumaran Ira, 19 January 2016

The assault on the European working class comes amid mounting signs that the world economy is nearing another major crisis.

New Year’s message for refugees in Berlin: It will get worse!

By Verena Nees, 13 January 2016

The onset of winter has worsened conditions for the approximately 40,000 refugees in Berlin.

Divisions within UK Tory party deepen over EU membership

By Simon Whelan, 13 January 2016

It is estimated that up to two-thirds of Conservative MPs support a “Brexit.”

The refugee tragedy and the European Union: The balance sheet for 2015

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 January 2016

The mistreatment of refugees fleeing to Europe has assumed proportions that would have been unthinkable twelve months ago.

EU renegotiation talks open up “civil war” in UK Tory government

By Robert Stevens, 31 December 2015

Cameron pledged to hold an “in-out” referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017 to appease the Eurosceptic wing of his party.

The fracturing of the European Union

By Peter Schwarz, 28 December 2015

In the last century, great power aspirations, nationalism and fascism made the continent the focus of two world wars, which claimed nearly 100 million victims. Now, these same tendencies are spreading once again.

European Union summit seeks to avert British exit from the EU

By Simon Whelan and Robert Stevens, 19 December 2015

While Cameron is walking a tightrope by mooting a possible “Brexit,” there is widespread concern among the major EU powers over such an outcome.

Conflicts over refugee policy dominate EU summit

By Peter Schwarz, 18 December 2015

As European governments move sharply to the right, deep-rooted conflicts of interests are threatening to tear the European Union apart.

EU plans further crackdown on refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 17 December 2015

The European Commission unveiled a proposal Tuesday to vastly expand Frontex, the EU border patrol agency.

Expansion of Russian-German Nord Stream pipeline exacerbates tensions within the European Union

By Clara Weiss, 9 December 2015

At the end of November, several Eastern European members of the EU urged the European Commission to stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

Greek parliament approves austerity budget for 2016

By Stefan Steinberg, 8 December 2015

Aware of the massive popular opposition to austerity, Tsipras has sought to win the support of the right-wing opposition for an all-party offensive to enforce his program.

EU Council president wants to seal off Europe from refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 December 2015

European Council President Donald Tusk wants to intern refugees for 18 months after their arrival and has pleaded for sealing off Europe’s foreign borders.

The European refugee crisis and international law

By Mike Head, 5 December 2015

The blatant abrogation of the 1951 international Refugee Convention, despite the terrible plight of asylum seekers, is an indictment of the capitalist nation-state system.

EU-Turkey conference reaches deal at refugees’ expense

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 2 December 2015

Turkey has pledged to prevent refugees from entering the EU and in exchange will receive €3 billion and a commitment to speed up negotiations for EU membership.

NATO and Turkey defend shoot-down of Russian jet

By Thomas Gaist, 1 December 2015

Leading officials categorically defended the attack on a Russian bomber jet along the Turkey-Syria border, and implied that future incidents along the same lines are unavoidable.

Humanitarian disaster on the Balkan refugee route

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 30 November 2015

Germany and France are stepping up their efforts to prevent refugees arriving in the EU via the Balkan route.