23 | 07 | 2019

We set sail again and travel to the central Mediterranean to continue our life-saving mission. For this we chartered a new ship, the Ocean Viking. In the past months, we have not only strengthened our operations on land and reinforced our observance of the Law of the Sea, but also sought a new ship.

JoãoFerreira, Marisa Matias, Sira Rego and Nikolaj Villumsen to be vice-presidents

Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) and Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) are the new co-presidents of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament.

After a slate of last minute empty promises, sufficient to convince the centre ground, Ursula von der Leyen managed to cobble together a majority to install her as Commission President for the next five years.

The Left group in the European Parliament has maintained that von der Leyen is the candidate of the status quo, chosen in an obscure backroom deal and supported by some of Europe’s most far-right governments.

After listening to the nominee for EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen this morning, our group has decided that we will not support her candidacy.

Acting GUE/NGL President Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) comments:

“We have listened carefully to Ms von der Leyen and grilled her on our 10 key demands for the next Commission. Her responses were insufficient to satisfy the basic aspirations of EU citizens. They will help perpetuate the chronic problems the EU is facing.”

Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQ6BP1ve9HM

Thank you. It is an honour to represent the candidacy of a group that is small in number, but one that is firmly committed to the defence of the interests of the people of Europe – in particular – working people.

We present this candidacy with the conviction that, whilst some groups and governments of Europe have been playing around with top jobs, life continues outside and the future of millions of people depends on the decisions we take here in this Parliament.

With the election of the new European Parliament president, a shameful series of undemocratic backroom deals for EU top jobs has come full circle.

Condemning it as a “disservice to the EU”, GUE/NGL acting chair Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) accused EU leaders and in particular Angela Merkel of “killing the Spitzenkandidaten process.”

ProActiva Open Arms to call for end to criminalisation of NGOs in the Mediterranean

As search and rescue NGOs come under unprecedented attacks from member states like Italy in the Mediterranean, a boat from ProActiva Open Arms will be docking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg tomorrow morning* at 08h30 demanding an end to the criminalisation of NGOs and the need for civil search and rescues at sea.

GUE/NGL has put forward a temporary collective leadership team for the Left in the European Parliament.

João Ferreira (PCP, Portugal), Marisa Matias (Bloco de Esquerda, Portugal), Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE., Germany) and Nikolaj Villumsen (Red-Green Alliance, Denmark) will together lead the group of 41 MEPs, with Martin Schirdewan serving as acting President.

The president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani said that “Mussolini? Before he declared war on the entire world, following Hitler; before he introduced racial laws… he did some positive things to build infrastructure in our country, he built roads, bridges, buildings, sports facilities and reclaimed large swaths of Italy from marshes. If we look at concrete facts, we can’t say he hasn’t achieved anything.”

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