Politicisation of the EU During European Crises – Example of the German Post-Communist Left

  • Abstract:

    In the times of the recent crises the salience of the EU/ European issues is comparably high. On EU level decisions are taken and institution-like bodies (e.g. the TROIKA or ESM) are established. Certainly this creates feedback loops to the national level and there parties are still one of the most important actors. So from interest is if this has an indirect influence on parties or party systems. Not only a politicization of EU issues is likely but also a new cleavage orientating among European policies might arrive. This paper is concerned with the radical and its reaction on the three recent crises: The Euro Crisis, The Ukraine conflict and the Refugee crisis. Here the German party Die Linke is examined. The party is from interest because it presented in all of the crises rather views off the main stream. Additionally the party is at least a soft Eurosceptic one and presents itself as anti-capitalistic. Politically isolated on national level the party might see the crises as a chance for gaining more public support of its ideas. It is important to take a closer look on the radical left and not only on radical/populist right parties. In Europe, e.g. in Greece SYRIZA or PODEMOS in Portugal, radical left parties were able to use the new cleavage among to gain an important position within the political system. This might gave an incentive to Die Linke to transfer ideas or policies from them. In the center of the analysis is the question how the party responded to the crisis and used them. It should also be considered if the decisions taken on European level are pushing the party to new programmatic ideas or policy proposals. In order simplify it the paper is concerned with the politicization of the EU within the party.