Foundation Congress of the Party of the European Left , Rome, 8-9 May, 2004
We unite democratic parties of the alternative and progressive Left on the European continent that strive for the consistent transformation of today's social relationships into a peaceful and socially just society on the basis of the diversity of our situations, our histories and our common values.
Therefore we refer to the values and traditions of the socialist, communist and labour movement, of feminism, the feminist movement and gender equality, of the environmental movement and sustainable development, of peace and international solidarity, of human rights, humanism and antifascism, of progressive and liberal thinking, both nationally and internationally. We work together in the tradition of the struggles against capitalist exploitation, ecological destruction, political oppression and criminal wars, against fascism and dictatorship, in resistance to patriarchal domination and discrimination against “others”.
We defend this legacy of our movement which inspired and contributed to securing the social certainties of millions of people. We keep the memory of these struggles alive including the sacrifices and the sufferings in the course of these struggles. We do this in unreserved disputation with undemocratic, stalinist practices and crimes, which were in absolute contradiction to socialist and communist ideals.
The political and economic developments in the capitalist societies at the beginning of the 21st century create the necessity and the possibility for parties of the Left, for democratic movements and alternative social forces, when working out and realising social alternatives not only to take into account all aspects of globalisation and internationalisation. Europe as a new space for the integration of more and more countries in East and West, in North and South is both an opportunity and a challenge to regain the political initiative for Left forces. We want and have to most closely combine our work on this political level with the social activities of members and sympathizers of the party organisations within the communities, regions and nation states.
We are doing it in sharp rejection of and developing an alternative to capitalism and to the financial hegemonic groups with its worldwide attempts of pushing through neo-liberal policies into the daily life of the peoples by the so-called political and economic elites.
And we want and have to do so being not a force free of contradictions, having differing views on many issues. But we are united in resisting political incapacitation and taking part in common struggles for an alternative that has freedom, equality, justice and solidarity as its goals.
With this international approach we declare :
The "Party of the European Left", abbreviated here to ”European Left” (EL) is a flexible, decentralised association of independent and sovereign European left-wing parties and political organizations which works on the basis of consensus.
The European Left consists of the following parties:
Founding members of the European Left as member organisations are:
The party of the EL gets an official name in each of the official languages of the European Union as well as in the official languages of the states where EL member parties exist.
The names are:
“Partit de L ’Esquerra Europea” or “Esquerra Europea” or “EE” in Catalonian
“Strana evropské levice” or “Evropská levice” or “EL” in Czech
“Party of the European Left” or “European Left” or “EL” in English
“Euroopa Vasakpartei” or “Euroopa Vasak” or “EV” in Estonian
“Parti de la Gauche Européenne” or «Gauche Européenne» or « GE » in French
„Partei der Europäischen Linken" or „Europäische Linke“ or „EL“ in German
„κόμμα της Ευρωπαϊκής Αριστεράς“ or „Ευρωπαϊκή Αριστερά“ or „ΕΑ“ in Greek
“Európai Baloldali Párt” or “Európai Bal” or “EB” in Hungarian
“Partito della Sinistra Europea” or “Sinistra Europea” or “SE” in Italian
“Partidul Stîngii Europene” or “Stînga Europeanã” or “SE” in Romanian
“Európska ¾avicová strana” or “Európska ¾avica” or “EL” in Slovakian
“Partido de la Izquierda Europea” or “Izquierda Europea” or “IE” in Spanish
The juridical seat of the EL is in Brussels.
The EL aims to:
The EL supports fully gender equality in all areas of daily life. Feminism, gender-mainstreaming and gender-democracy are basic principles for the functioning and development of the EL.
A member party or political organisation of the EL with full rights and duties can become any left party or political organisation that is represented in the European Parliament, or in the National parliaments or in the Parliaments of regions resp. in regional assemblies within the EU member-states.
In EU member states with no regional level it will be sufficient for a party or political organisation to have representatives on the municipal level, if a municipal parliament represents at least 20 percent of the country’s population.
Parties or political organisations, coming from EU member states or non-EU-member states, can become members of the European Left with full rights, irrespectively if they have parliamentarian representation on different levels.
Membership in the EL does not prohibit the membership in other associations, including outside the European Union if their acting is not contrary to the aims and principles of the EL. The structure of the EL allows political organisations which are politically close to the EL to take part in its activities in a flexible manner. The main criterion here is the political consent with the basic positions of the EL.
Applications for membership in the EL are discussed and decided by the Council of Chairpersons and ratified by the Congress on suggestion of the Executive Board on the basis of the application, the rules and political programme presented by the applicant.
The temporary / provisional suspension from participation in activities, or the cancellation of membership in the EL in case a member party or political organisation seriously violates statutes and political aims are carried out through the same procedures as the admittance.
The observer parties or political organisations take part in the meetings, to which they are invited, as consultants. They can make proposals to the Executive Board for examination and decision making.
Member parties or political organisations that want to leave the EL have to declare this officially.
The EL introduces for a certain period of experimentation the opportunity of individual membership as a contribution to its future development. A final decision on that issue will be taken only after a thorough debate of the experience and debates in all member parties. During that period each member party or political organization is free to adopt – for its own country – the most convenient approach and practical methods.
According to that approach women and men residents of an EU member state can become individual members of the EL. In countries where full-right member parties or political organizations exist they can form friendship circles associated to these parties of the European Left. Citizens of other European countries associated to the EU can also apply for individual membership. They can join or create a national group of individual members applying for observer status in the EL.
The European Left has the following organs:
The Congress shall hold at least one session every two calendar years. It is convened by the Executive Board, which can also decide on convening an extraordinary congress.
A Congress must take place at least six months before the next elections to the European Parliament.
The Congress takes place alternately in different member states of the European Union or in European states where EL member parties or political organisations exist.
A Congress can be convened at the request of at least 25% of its delegates.
The Congress consists of:
12 Delegates of each member party. The key for the number of delegates is
decided upon by every Congress for the next Congress.
The delegates are elected by their parties.
The key for the number of delegates to the Foundation Congress is fixed by agreement of the Council of Chairpersons. Parties do not have to use the full number of delegates.
All other participants are observers without the right to vote:
In addition, the Executive Board is permitted to invite representatives of other parties or organisations to the Congress.
The Council of Chairpersons is meeting at least twice a year.
The Council of Chairpersons can invite other representatives of EL bodies or from EL member parties resp. political organisations to participate in its meeting.
For the preparation of the EL Foundation Congress a preliminary Council of Chairpersons consisting of the Chairpersons of all member parties is built up.
The Council of Chairpersons has, with regards to the Executive Board, the rights of initiative and of having objection on important political issues.
The Council of Chairpersons adopts resolutions and recommendations that are passed to the Executive Board and the Congress.
The Council of chairpersons decides about applications for EL membership.
The Executive Board consists of:
Executive Board meetings take place at least four times a year.
The convening of a meeting of the Executive Board can also be asked for by a member party or political organization.
The Chairperson is elected by the Congress. A candidate for the EL Chairperson is presented by the Council of Chairpersons until and including the next Congress. The candidacy should follow a rotation principle.
On a proposal of the Council of Chairpersons the Congress elects one Vice Chairperson on a gender quota basis.
In case the post of the Chairperson becomes vacant before the next ordinary Congress, the Executive Board can name a Chairperson ad interim until the next Congress.
The Chairperson has to perform the following tasks with help of the Secretariat:
The Vice Chairperson supports the Chairperson in fulfilling his duties.
The Secretariat carries out the decisions of the EL organs. It is an auxiliary committee lead by the Chairperson. The Executive Board has the responsibility for its composition and function, including financing and the staff.
In particular, it is responsible for:
The EL is financing itself by membership fees, contributions and public subsidies.
On proposal of the Council of Chairpersons and the Executive Board the Congress adopts a financial statute which regulates the level of the membership tees and the acquisition of public subsidies. The Executive Board makes up a budget.
Changes of these statutes and the Manifesto are decided by the Congress after a thorough debate on the issue within each member party.
The dissolution of the EL requires a decision of the Congress. Any assets of the EL as well as all obligations should at the time of the dissolution be divided among the member parties according to their financial contributions.
If not laid down otherwise all regulations of the statutes by the foundation congress are preliminary set until the first regular Congress of the EL. During that period all parties have the opportunity to ratify the expressed membership-status by the competence organs of each party in accordance to their national party statutes.
During that period the Council of Chairpersons gets particular responsibility for guaranteeing all aspects of the EL’s further development in close cooperation with the Executive Board
 Pending on the decision by the PCF-members till July 31, 2004