The EL in comparative context
Organisational and programmatic developments among left-of-centre TNPs
in The European Left Party
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This chapter compares the EL with the two other TNPs of the broad left-of-centre – the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the European Green Party (EGP). It shows how the social democrats have far surpassed the EL in terms of influence, even if the PES still has its limits as a TNP. The Greens, on the other hand, have perhaps advanced most down the road of ‘Europeanisation’ and the EGP now punches well above its weight – while the EL continues to punch below its weight. We argue that this is, in part, due to the fact that the EGP has adapted its structures most. The EL, by contrast, sticks consciously to the model of consensual decision-making, seeking unanimity where possible even if this means slowing down policy-making. In the second part of the chapter we compare the policies towards the European crisis of the three main left-of-centre TNPs. We argue that, on paper at least, there now seems to be much overlap and convergence between the three. However, the EL remains alone in seeking to truly transcend capitalism, rather than merely manage it. The EL’s radicalism – its insistence on its nature as a transformative party (in the sense of standing for a transformation and transcendence of capitalism) – marks it out as a singular case.

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