The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL is a left-wing political group of the European Parliament established in 1995.[8][3] Before January 2021, it was named the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (French: Gauche unitaire européenne/Gauche verte nordiqueGUE/NGL).[9]

The group comprises political parties with democratic socialistcommunist, and soft Eurosceptic orientation.[1][4][10]


In 1995, the enlargement of the European Union led to the creation of the Nordic Green Left group of parties. The Nordic Green Left (NGL) merged with the Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE) on 6 January 1995,[6] forming the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left.[11][12][7] The NGL suffix was added to the name of the expanded group on insistence of Swedish and Finnish MEPs.[13] The group initially consisted of MEPs from the Finnish Left Alliance, the Swedish Left Party, the Danish Socialist People’s Party, the United Left of Spain (including the Spanish Communist Party), the Synaspismos of Greece, the French Communist Party, the Portuguese Communist Party, the Communist Party of Greece, and the Communist Refoundation Party of Italy.

In 1998, Ken Coates, an expelled MEP from the British Labour Party who co-founded the Independent Labour Network, joined the group.[14]

In 1999, the German Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) and the Greek Democratic Social Movement (DIKKI) joined as full members, while the five MEPs elected from the list of the French Trotskyist alliance LOLCR and the one MEP for the Dutch Socialist Party joined as associate members.

In 2002, four MEPs from the French Citizen and Republican Movement and one from the Danish People’s Movement against the EU also joined the group. In 2004, no MEPs were elected from LO–LCR and DIKKI — which was undergoing a dispute with its leader over the party constitution — , as well as the French Citizen and Republican Movement, did not put forward candidates. MEPs from the Portuguese Left Block, the Irish Sinn Féin, the Progressive Party of Working People of Cyprus, and the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia joined the group. The Danish Socialist People’s Party, a member of the Nordic Green Left, left the group to instead sit in the Greens–European Free Alliance group.

In 2009, no MEPs were elected from the Italian Communist Refoundation Party and the Finnish Left Alliance. MEPs from the Irish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia, and the French Left Party joined the group.

In 2013, one MEP from the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party also joined the group. In 2014, no MEPs were elected from the Irish Socialist Party, the Socialist Party of Latvia, and the Croatian Labourists – Labour Party. MEPs from the Spanish Podemos as well as EH Bildu and the Dutch Party for the Animals joined the group, while MEPs from the Italian Communist Refoundation Party and the Finnish Left Alliance re-entered parliament and rejoined. The Communist Party of Greece, a founding member of the group, decided to leave and instead sit as Non-Inscrits.[15]

In 2019, no MEPs were elected from the French Communist Party, the Danish People’s Movement against the EU, the Dutch Socialist Party, and from the Italian parties The Left and the Communist Refoundation Party. MEPs from the French La France insoumise, the Belgian Workers’ Party of Belgium, the German Human Environment Animal Protection, the Irish Independents 4 Change, and the Danish Red-Green Alliance joined the group.


Chairperson Took office Left office Country
Alonso Puerta 1995 1999  Spain
United Left
Francis Wurtz 1999 2009  France

Communist Party
Lothar Bisky 2009 2012  Germany
The Left
Gabi Zimmer 2012 2019  Germany
The Left
Manon Aubry* 2019 present  France
La France Insoumise
Martin Schirdewan* 2019 present  Germany
The Left
  • Since 2019 The Left group has had two co-chairpeople.


According to its 1994 constituent declaration, the group is opposed to the present European Union political structure, but it is committed to integration.[16] That declaration sets out three aims for the construction of another European Union, the total change of institutions to make them fully democratic, breaking with neoliberal monetarist policies, and a policy of co-development and equitable cooperation.[citation needed] The group wants to disband the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and strengthen the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).[citation needed][needs update]

The group is ambivalent between reformism and revolution, leaving it up to each party to decide on the manner they deem best suited to achieve these aims. As such, it has simultaneously positioned itself as insiders within the European institutions, enabling it to influence the decisions made by co-decision; and as outsiders by its willingness to seek another Europe, which would abolish the Maastricht Treaty.[17]

Member parties

MEPs may be full or associate members.

  • Full members must accept the constitutional declaration of the group.
  • Associate members need not fully do so, but they may sit with the full members.

National parties may be full or associate members.

  • Full member parties must accept the constitutional declaration of the group.
  • Associate member parties may include parties that do not have MEPs (e. g., French Trotskyist parties which did not get elected in the 2004 European elections), are from states that are not part of the European Union, or do not wish to be full members.


Map of Left MEPs by member state. Red indicates member states sending multiple Left MEPs, light red indicates member states sending a single Left MEP.

9th European Parliament

State National party Ideology European party MEPs[18]
 Belgium Workers’ Party of Belgium
Partij van de Arbeid van België (PVDA)
Parti du Travail de Belgique (PTB)
1 / 21

 Cyprus Progressive Party of Working People
Ανορθωτικό Κόμμα Εργαζόμενου Λαού (ΑΚΕΛ)
PEL (observer)
2 / 6

 Czech Republic Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia
Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy (KSČM)
Communism PEL (observer)
1 / 21

 Denmark Red-Green Alliance
Enhedslisten – De Rød-Grønne (Ø)
Socialism PEL
1 / 14

 Finland Left Alliance
Vasemmistoliitto (vas.)
Democratic socialism PEL
1 / 14

 France La France Insoumise
Democratic socialism
Left-wing populism
PEL (observer)
5 / 79

Republican and Socialist Left
Gauche Républicaine et Socialiste (GRS)
Socialism PEL (observer)
1 / 79

 Germany The Left
Die Linke
Democratic socialism
Left-wing populism
5 / 96

 Greece Syriza
Συνασπισμός Ριζοσπαστικής Αριστεράς (ΣΥΡΙΖΑ)
Social democracy PEL
2 / 21

New Left
Νέα Αριστερά (NA)
Socialism None
2 / 21

 Ireland Independents 4 Change
Neamhspleáigh ar son an Athraithe
Socialism None
2 / 13

Sinn Féin
Democratic socialism
Irish republicanism
1 / 13

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan
1 / 13

 Netherlands Party for the Animals
Partij voor de Dieren (PvdD)
Soft Euroscepticism
1 / 29

 Portugal Left Bloc
Bloco de Esquerda (BE)
Democratic socialism
Left-wing populism
2 / 21

Portuguese Communist Party
Partido Comunista Português (PCP)
2 / 21

 Spain Podemos Democratic socialism
Spanish republicanism
4 / 59

United Left
Izquierda Unida (IU)
1 / 59

Anticapitalistas Socialism
1 / 59

 Sweden Left Party
Vänsterpartiet (V)
Soft Euroscepticism
1 / 21

 European Union Total
37 / 705

The initial member parties for the 9th European Parliament was determined at the first meeting on 29 May 2019.[19]

8th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs

7th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs

6th European Parliament

Country National party European party MEPs

European Parliament results

Election year No. of
overall seats won
34 / 567

42 / 626

41 / 732

35 / 766

52 / 751

17 Increase
41 / 751

11 Decrease

See also


  1. Jump up to:a b c Nordsieck, Wolfram (2019). “European Union”Parties and Elections in EuropeArchived from the original on 8 June 2017. Retrieved 30 May 2019.
  2. ^ “How Eurosceptic is the new European Parliament?”BBC. 1 July 2014.
  3. Jump up to:a b
  4. Jump up to:a b Alexander H. Trechsel (13 September 2013). Towards a Federal Europe. Taylor & Francis. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-317-99818-1.
  5. ^ “European Parliament: Guide to the political groups”BBC News. 21 October 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  6. Jump up to:a b “EUL/NGL on Europe Politique”. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  7. Jump up to:a b “European Parliament profile of Alonso José Puerta”. European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  8. ^ Andreas Staab (24 June 2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  9. ^ “Movers and Shakers – 15 January 2021”The Parliament Magazine. 15 January 2021.
  10. ^ Marlies Casier; Joost Jongerden (9 August 2010). Nationalisms and Politics in Turkey: Political Islam, Kemalism and the Kurdish Issue. Taylor & Francis. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-203-84706-0.
  11. ^ “Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001–2006”. European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  12. ^ “Group names 1999”. European Parliament. Retrieved 18 June 2010.
  13. ^ Tapio Raunio; Teija Tiilikainen (5 September 2013). Finland in the European Union. Routledge. p. 59. ISBN 978-1-135-76204-9.
  14. ^ Izzo, Federica (25 April 2014). “From the Italian Communist Party to Tsipras: The path of Europe’s radical left” (PDF)CISE.
  15. ^ “Communist Party of Greece – Statement of the Central Committee of the KKE on the stance of the KKE in the EU parliament”. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  16. ^ “GUE/NGL Site”. 14 July 1994. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
  17. ^ Edinburgh, Luke March, Professor of Post-Soviet and Comparative Politics, the University of; Keith, Daniel (20 October 2016). Europe’s Radical Left: From Marginality to the Mainstream?. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-78348-537-6.
  18. ^ “MEPs by Member State and political group”. Retrieved 9 December 2022.
  19. ^ “First GUE/NGL group meeting – 05/19”GUE/NGL. 29 May 2019. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  20. ^ “Podemos acuerda con Tsipras entrar en el grupo de la Izquierda Unitaria de la Eurocámara”Público (in Spanish). 26 May 2014. Retrieved 19 Oct
Categories: Politics
Anton Nieuwenhuizen

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