The European Union

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.

Trump’s election as seen from Europe

By Alex Lantier, 19 November 2016

Well before the content of Trump’s foreign policy has come into focus, it is clear that his election marks a historic shift in world affairs, raising the specter of global conflict.

Greek protests greet Obama’s last overseas tour as US president

By Alex Lantier, 16 November 2016

Obama aimed to reassure the European ruling classes that Donald Trump's election would not undermine their relations with the United States.

After Trump’s election, EU calls for more independent foreign policy

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 15 November 2016

Geostrategic, economic, and political conflicts between US and European capitalism are reasserting themselves with enormous force.

Capsized boats in Mediterranean leave 240 refugees dead

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 5 November 2016

At least 4,220 refugees have already died in the Mediterranean this year trying to reach Europe.

Speculation mounts over snap general election as UK Brexit crisis intensifies

By Robert Stevens, 5 November 2016

The High Court ruling that only parliament may trigger Britain’s exit from the EU has spurred collaboration between pro-remain forces committed to overturning the referendum vote to leave.

Polish government prepares legal action against EU council president Donald Tusk

By Clara Weiss, 31 October 2016

The Polish government is preparing legal action against the president of the European Council, Donald Tusk.

Refugee deaths surge in the Mediterranean

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 27 October 2016

According to UN data, 3,740 refugees drowned at sea in the first ten months of 2016, more than the total for all of last year.

EU crisis deepens as trade deal with Canada stalls

By Jordan Shilton, 27 October 2016

Whether or not the deal is ultimately ratified, the conflicts over CETA have again starkly exposed the advanced state of decomposition of the European Union.

Divisions grow at EU summit over trans-Atlantic trade, war drive against Russia

By Alex Lantier, 22 October 2016

The European Union is incapable not only of reaching agreement on policy, but of hiding the increasingly embittered tensions among its member states.

Police stage right-wing, law and order protest in France

By Francis Dubois, 22 October 2016

The Socialist Party government has cultivated the police as its main social base, and police are now aggressively advancing demands for more resources and powers.

Tensions rise between Poland and France after failed arms deal

By Clara Weiss, 17 October 2016

Relations between France and Poland have worsened substantially after the Polish government pulled out of an arms deal with Airbus that had been planned for years.

Vienna refugee conference reaffirms Europe’s closed-border policy

By Martin Kreikenbaum, 29 September 2016

The conference has underscored the inhumane and reactionary content of German Chancellor's Merkel’s refugee policy.

Britain attacks plans for European military union at Bratislava summit

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 28 September 2016

British officials see German and French plans to militarise the European Union as an intolerable threat to the NATO alliance and Europe's relations with the United States.

Divisions erupt at post-Brexit Bratislava summit as EU calls for military-police build-up

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 17 September 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi refused to attend a joint press conference after the summit and publicly attacked EU proposals on economic and refugee policy.

European Commission President Juncker calls for state-build up and war

By Johannes Stern, 15 September 2016

Two days before Friday's post-Brexit summit in Bratislava, Jean-Claude Juncker warned that the EU faces “an existential crisis” and called for police-state build-up and war.

Polish and British governments exploit attacks on Polish immigrants

By Clara Weiss, 15 September 2016

Attacks on Polish immigrants in the UK are being exploited by the Polish and British ruling class to strengthen their alliance, amid deepening divisions within the EU.

European Council president backs demands for EU military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 14 September 2016

Donald Tusk warned that the British exit from the European Union had unleashed a historic crisis of the EU threatening the survival of democracy in Europe.

Germany, France propose EU military alliance before post-Brexit summit

By Alex Lantier, 13 September 2016

In response to Brexit, Berlin and Paris aim to transform the EU into a military alliance capable of waging major wars abroad and large-scale repression at home.

The reasons behind the failure to form a government in Spain

By Alejandro López, 10 September 2016

The failure to form a government is not based on deep political differences, as all the contending parties are committed to austerity, the EU and NATO.

Earthquake disaster aggravates social crisis in Italy

By Marianne Arens, 10 September 2016

Two weeks after the earthquake in central Italy on August 24, it is clear that the devastation and loss of life was not due to a “natural disaster” but corruption and government indifference.

US and Japan attack plans for post-Brexit Britain

By Julie Hyland, 5 September 2016

President Obama made plain Washington’s opposition to the UK leaving the EU, while Tokyo warned that Japanese corporations would leave the UK if it went ahead with the move.

Irish government to appeal European Commission ruling on Apple’s tax bill

By Steve James, 5 September 2016

Ireland, a centre for tax dodging by leading US-based transnational corporations, is uniquely vulnerable to the deepening divisions between the US and the European Union.

Third election looms as Spanish right fails to form a government

By Alejandro López, 1 September 2016

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy failed to receive the necessary 176 votes in the 350-seat parliament.

Merkel seeks to reorganise Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 27 August 2016

This week the German chancellor met with 15 of the 27 EU leaders to set out the EU’s future course and ensure that Germany dictates the proceedings.

Divisions rise inside EU at summit between Germany, France and Italy

By Alex Lantier, 23 August 2016

Amid the escalating crisis unleashed by the Brexit vote, the remaining major EU powers barely succeeded in papering over the divisions between them.

A year in the plight of Berlin’s refugees

By Verena Nees, 8 August 2016

The Berlin Senate wants the distressing images of refugees on city’s streets to be forgotten ahead of the state election.

UK: Labour leader Corbyn calls debate with coup plotter Owen Smith “comradely”

By Robert Stevens, 6 August 2016

Denying that a split is in the cards has become the central theme of Corbyn’s leadership campaign, even as the Blairite wing of the party continues to seek his removal.

Germany’s Chancellor Merkel announces drastic increase in state powers

By Ulrich Rippert, 30 July 2016

In a press conference, Merkel proclaimed a “war on terrorism” and a sweeping increase in state powers.

French president, British prime minister meet to discuss Brexit crisis

By Alex Lantier, 23 July 2016

Hollande shifted towards a more accommodating position, giving Britain more time to negotiate the exit and reaffirming Britain’s role as a key military ally of France.

US and Germany livid over failure of Turkish coup

By Peter Schwarz, 19 July 2016

The angry denunciations of the Erdogan government by the United States and Germany make clear that they had hoped for the success of the military coup.

One year since Syriza’s betrayal in Greece

By Bill Van Auken, 15 July 2016

Syriza’s ceaseless collaboration in the implementation of brutal austerity measures has vindicated the warnings made by the WSWS even before the pseudo-left party came to power.

Despite South China Sea crisis, EU deepens relations with China

By Alex Lantier, 14 July 2016

EU officials are pointedly refusing to endorse US and Filipino claims against China in the South China Sea, as laid out in Tuesday’s court ruling in The Hague.

Hague court decision sets stage for US confrontation with China

By Peter Symonds, 13 July 2016

Yesterday’s tribunal ruling branding China’s actions in the South China Sea as “illegal” provides another pretext for the US to ramp up its military expansion in Asia.

German militarism on display at NATO summit

By Johannes Stern, 13 July 2016

Two years after German officials announced plans to remilitarise the country, media outlets are warning of preparations for “total war.”

Scottish National Party leader Nicola Sturgeon ignored in Europe

By Steve James, 12 July 2016

While the Brexit crisis centres on British relations with the EU, the unanticipated debacle is also threatening to destabilise relations between and within all the EU’s component countries.

NATO summit plans escalation against Russia in Eastern Europe, Middle East

By Alex Lantier, 11 July 2016

NATO is planning a major military escalation, based on plans for a perpetual state of war in the Middle East and preparations for all-out war with Russia in Europe.

European Union working with African despots to deter refugees

By Martin Kreickenbaum, 11 July 2016

At their latest meeting in the Slovakian capital Bratislava, EU interior ministers agreed on speedier deportation of refugees and closer cooperation with African dictatorships.

IMF chief points to war danger

By Nick Beams, 8 July 2016

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde warned against the dangers posed by the prospect of a “wave of protectionism.”

Britain’s right-wing media call for creation of new pro-European Union party

By Robert Stevens, 6 July 2016

Leading commentators in the financial press view the founding of a new party as a means of reversing a strategic setback for the dominant sections of British capital.

Brexit and the return of European militarism

By Johannes Stern, 5 July 2016

The European Union has reacted to the outcome of the referendum on UK membership of the European Union by calling for the militarization of the continent.

Brexit financial fallout widens

By Nick Beams, 4 July 2016

Bank of England Governor Mark Carney has warned of “economic post-traumatic stress” hitting financial markets, businesses and households.

Europe and US continue anti-Russian sanctions

By Andrea Peters, 4 July 2016

On the same day the EU extended asset freezes, travel bans, and trade embargoes targeting Russia, the US announced new sanctions directed against the Russian defense industry.

Brexit vote heightens tensions in Europe

By Peter Schwarz, 1 July 2016

Last week’s vote by the United Kingdom has been met by an intensified drive by Germany to exert dominance over the European continent.

The anti-Corbyn coup and calls for a second referendum on Brexit

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Britain), 1 July 2016

The strategic interests of the ruling elite in Britain and the US—especially as regards NATO and its military provocations against Russia—require that the referendum result be rescinded.

EU maintains hard line toward UK over Brexit

By Johannes Stern, 30 June 2016

While officially expressing dismay over the result of the Brexit referendum, EU leaders now see it as an opportunity to turn the EU into an aggressive military power.

UK Labour right wing mounts leadership challenge against Corbyn

By Chris Marsden, 30 June 2016

The coup against Corbyn is considered vital to the ability of the British ruling class to safeguard its interests globally.

Thousands turn up for cancelled “Remain in EU” rallies throughout the UK

By our reporters, 30 June 2016

The purpose of those addressing the rally was to exploit the frustration and anger of young people at the referendum result and its consequences.

Tensions erupt at Brussels summit on British exit from EU

By Johannes Stern and Alex Lantier, 29 June 2016

The European Union is aggressively pressing for Britain to speed up the process of withdrawal and renegotiation of treaties and trade relations with the 27-member bloc.

EU leaders call for rapid British exit and European military buildup

By Alex Lantier, 28 June 2016

The European Union is making plans for increased austerity and an independent military policy, setting the stage for explosive international conflicts, including with the US.

Financial market turmoil continues in wake of Brexit vote

By Nick Beams, 28 June 2016

British government leaders have issued statements claiming they have the situation under control, but to no avail as financial markets continue to plummet.

After Brexit, mounting warnings of global slump and financial panic

By Andre Damon, 27 June 2016

The ongoing sell-off in global financial markets comes amid a chorus of warnings by international institutions that the world economy faces a deepening crisis.

The way forward after the Brexit referendum

By Statement by the Socialist Equality Party (UK), 27 June 2016

The only certainty in the aftermath of the Leave vote is that the assault on the working class will be intensified, as the ruling elite demand greater sacrifices in the “national interest.”

Amid mass abstention, right-wing PP wins Spanish elections

By Alejandro López, 27 June 2016

The result is particularly humiliating for the Unidos Podemos led by Pablo Iglesias, the coalition put together by the Stalinist-led United Left and Podemos.

Brexit vote intensifies conflicts within European Union

By Alex Lantier, 25 June 2016

The process of European integration begun just after World War II, intended to build political institutions that would make a new world war impossible, is unraveling.

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition make nationalist case for Brexit

By Robert Stevens, 23 June 2016

The Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party serve to blind the working class to the dangers posed by the strengthening of the most right-wing sections of the bourgeoisie through the referendum campaign.

Belgian authorities mount large-scale anti-terror raid

By Kumaran Ira, 20 June 2016

Three suspects were charged with preparing terror attacks on gatherings of football fans after police raided over 100 locations across Belgium.

The EU referendum and the murder of British MP Jo Cox

By Julie Hyland, 18 June 2016

The murder of Cox has starkly revealed the fascistic character of the forces being whipped up around this week’s referendum on British membership in the EU, particularly by the Leave campaign.

The significance of the Brexit referendum for the European working class

By Peter Schwarz, 18 June 2016

Peter Schwarz, secretary of the International Committee of the Fourth International, delivered the following speech in London to a June 14 public meeting sponsored by the SEP (UK).

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.

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

By , 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

By , 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.