Europe is witnessing relevant movements in the political space to the left of the social democratic family. In France, Jean-Luc Mélenchon He has become – after his excellent result and the catastrophe of the PS in the presidential elections in April – the hegemonic figure of the French progressive sphere. The vigor of his project, which will most likely be reaffirmed in the legislative elections in June, and the weakness of the sister groups in the other two main EU countries, Germany and Italy, give him a certain pre-eminence in that political space also to European scale. Meanwhile, in Spain, the fourth power of the Union, the platform that the second vice president of the Government, Yolanda Díaz, seeks to build in that same space is launched. Last week, Sumar was registered, the association that is the legal instrument for the listening process that Díaz wants to undertake as a great factor in promoting her project.
The presence of formations to the left of social democracy that champion an irreducible desire for social justice is a factor of appreciable democratic health in a Europe weighed down by overcoming serious crises and strong tears that hit certain sectors of the citizenry with great intensity. It is as long as its political approach prefers pragmatism to populism, Europeanism to sovereignty and maturity to certain infantilized idealisms. That is why the consolidation of this political space in Spain is not only a highly relevant factor on the national scene, but also an important one on a European scale.
It is essential to focus on some aspects of the now dominant Mélenchon model. On the one hand, it promotes the defense of social justice through an ideology with a sovereign aroma. He affirms his willingness to seek a profound reformulation of the EU, but pointed out in his presidential program his willingness to break the treaties. This is a deeply dangerous approach. Who breaks the rules for one reason can and should expect that others will want to do the same for other reasons. That’s a bad path. Once removed from the bottles, it is difficult to put certain genies back where they belong. On the other hand, Mélenchon is also in favor of his country’s exit from NATO, a really striking position in these times. In addition, his radicalism and his lack of pragmatism led him to refuse to ask for the vote for Macron against Marine Le Pen.
In the face of this, and in the face of similar instincts that are detected in part of the Spanish left, Yolanda Díaz has been drawing a trajectory correctly away from these extremisms and much more in tune with the great European current —a concept that transcends particular political families— in matters of respect for treaties, how to curb the extreme right or how to support Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression. She is also rightly away from the counterproductive agitation of cultural wars that, instead of broadening the social base favorable to changes in progress —adding up— tends rather to limit it.
The consolidation of a leftist political space in these terms instead of the Mélenchonists will therefore be good news not only for Spanish democracy, where instincts similar to those of the French politician are not lacking, but also for the European project, which may have on the platform Spanish a counterpoint to the French, in many ways regressive. In Germany, the Left shows no signs of vitality; in Italy, that political space is dying; in Greece, Syriza maintains a certain electoral appeal, but faces a delicate situation between the vigor of ND and symptoms of a rebirth of Pasok. Greece does not have the weight to assume major roles unless the party returns to power. In Portugal, after the successful experience of recent years with support for the socialist government, a somewhat pragmatic turn has caused a serious setback in the political space.
Hopefully in Spain Sumar can – and what derives from it – show the family of the European left a different path from the melenchonist one; an irreducible path in the defense of social justice, feminism, environmentalism and other values, but from an unequivocal Europeanism. Seeking, as is perfectly legitimate, profound changes in the EU, but without stirring up the scarecrow of insubordination. Appealing to the best vein of the internationalist tradition of the left against the sovereignist instincts of a certain left. Emphasizing the conviction that the best option for finding solutions to the harmful aspects of globalization, capitalism and pollution lies in the federal code. From there, it can be a real factor of progress; from the other point of view, aside from rhetorical flights, there is an earthly flavor to return, due to the content of some ideas and due to the risk of provoking a powerful, disastrous and majority reaction.
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