The European Union

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.

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.