Programmatic and policy coherence and development
in The European Left Party
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This chapter focuses on programmatic and policy development within the EL. We examine the elaboration of policy at the various conferences and Congresses the EL has held since 2004 as well as in the common manifestos for the European Parliament elections. We discuss the impact of the Tsipras candidacy for the post of European Commission in 2014. Both this, and the subsequent election of a Syriza-led government in Greece, were landmark events for the EL. The retreat of that government in the face of pressure and blackmail by the Troika of the European Central Bank, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund were experienced by the EL as a bitter shared defeat. The experience of Syriza and the previous disappointments associated with the government participation of a full EL member party in Italy and an observer party in Cyprus suggest distinct limits to the EL’s ability to exert decisive policy influence upon its components – or to help them ‘govern’ in any more radical a fashion than the social democratic rivals of the radical left. Nevertheless, the EL has achieved a considerable degree of policy coherence and has sharpened its critique of the European Union since 2015.

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