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The Co-Chairs

The Co-Chairs are the main representatives of The Left both in Parliament as well as externally. Martin and Manon have been performing this role together since 2019.

Manon Aubry (France Insoumise, France) has been an MEP since May 2019 and is the youngest ever person to be the co-leader of a political group in the European Parliament. Prior to being elected as an MEP, Aubry worked as spokesperson for Oxfam France.

Martin Schirdewan (DIE LINKE, Germany) has been an MEP since 2017, working primarily on tax justice and economic issues. Prior to that, he was the head of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Brussels between 2015 and 2017.

MEPs

Konstantinos Arvanitis

SYRIZA Greece

Manon Aubry

La France Insoumise France

Malin Björk

Vänsterpartiet Sweden

Marc Botenga

Parti du Travail de Belgique / Partij van de Arbeid van België Belgium

Patricia Caro Maya

Podemos Spain

Leïla Chaibi

La France Insoumise France

Clare Daly

Independents 4 Change Ireland

Özlem Demirel

DIE LINKE. Germany

Cornelia Ernst

DIE LINKE. Germany

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan – Independent Ireland

Giorgios Georgiou

AKEL Cyprus

José Gusmão

Bloco de Esquerda Portugal

Anja Hazekamp

Partij voor de Dieren Netherlands

Niyazi Kızılyürek

AKEL Cyprus

Kateřina Konečná

KSČM Czech Republic

Stelios Kouloglou

New Left Greece

Elena Kountoura

SYRIZA Greece

Chris MacManus

Sinn Féin Ireland

Emmanuel Maurel

La Gauche Républicaine et Socialiste France

Marina Mesure

La France Insoumise France

Martina Michels

DIE LINKE. Germany

Silvia Modig

Vasemmistoliitto Finland

Younous Omarjee

La France Insoumise France

Dimitris Papadimoulis

New Left Greece

Anne-Sophie Pelletier

Anne-Sophie Pelletier France

Sandra Pereira

Partido Comunista Português Portugal

João Pimenta Lopes

Partido Comunista Português Portugal

Manu Pineda

Izquierda Unida Spain

Anabela Rodrigues

Bloco de Esquerda Portugal

María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop

Podemos Spain

Martin Schirdewan

DIE LINKE. Germany

Helmut Scholz

DIE LINKE. Germany

Esther Sanz Selva

Podemos Spain

Miguel Urbán Crespo

Anticapitalistas Spain

Idoia Villanueva Ruiz

Podemos Spain

Nikolaj Villumsen

Enhedslisten Denmark

Mick Wallace

Independents 4 Change Ireland

Secretary-Generals

The Secretary-General of The Left, Francisco Orozco, backed by three Deputy Secretaries-General, oversees the administrative and operational functions of the secretariat. The Secretaries-General also act as a political liaison between the MEPs, the various organs of the group, and the staff in the secretariat.

Staff

Our MEPs and delegations need to work hard together in a tough legislative, policy and institutional context to put the issues that matter on the agenda. The Secretariat supports the work of the MEPs and the group.

The Group History

Even back before direct elections, the various parties of the alternative and radical left in the European Parliament worked together in a political group: the Communists and Allies Group.

This group carried on under this name until 1989 when four parties, the Italian CP; the United Left of Spain, the SPP of Denmark and Synaspismos of Greece decided to form a Group called the Gauche Unitaire Européenne (GUE). Its English name was European Unitarian Left, subsequently changed in 1992 to European United Left.

The remaining parties, PCF of France, PCP of Portugal, KKE of Greece were joined by one MEP from Workers’ Party of Ireland to form the Coalition des Gauches / Left Unity Group.

In early 1993, the Italian CP, renamed the PDS, who had already joined the Socialist International in 1991, moved from GUE to join the Socialist Group in the European Parliament.

After the European Elections of June 1994, a process of gathering together all the forces of the non-social democratic left then began. This alliance, enlarged to include other parties, was established as a political group at the beginning of the fourth parliamentary term, under the name Confederal Group of the European United Left (GUE). The member parties were: United Left of Spain; the Communist Party of France; Communist Refoundation of Italy; the Communist Party of Portugal; the Communist Party of Greece; and Synaspismos of Greece.

 

The first president of the Group was Alonso Puerta a member of the Izquierda Unida of Spain.

Following enlargement of the EU to the Nordic countries and Austria in January 1995, the Group expanded to include: the Left Party (VP) of Sweden and the Left Alliance (Vas) of Finland. At the same time the Socialist Peoples’ Party (SF) of Denmark rejoined the group and together with the Swedish and Finnish parties formed the Nordic Green Left (NGL) component within the group.

The group was renamed the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left, with GUE/NGL as the standard acronym.

In 1998, Ken Coates a distinguished MEP, formerly in the British Labour Party, joined the GUE/NGL from the PES Group and Carlo Ripa Di Meana, an Italian MEP and former Environment Commissioner, joined the group from the Greens to bring the GUE/NGL to 34 MEPs from eight countries.

In the European elections of 1999, all the outgoing parties were successful in securing representation in the new Parliament. They were joined in the Group by the Party of Democratic Socialism (PDS) of Germany. The Group also welcomed a third party from Greece, the DIKKI, and five MEPs from France, elected on the LO-LCR list. Since Alonso Puerta did not contest the elections, a new President was elected: Francis Wurtz of the French Communist Party.

During the course of the 5th legislature, a total of 8 MEPs joned GUE/NGL from other groups: Ilka Schröder from the Green Group and Freddy Blak from the PES in 2001; Ole Krarup and Jens Okking from the EDD and Gérard Caudron, Michel Dary, Sami Nair, et Michel-Angel Scarbonchi from the PES in 2002. This brought the numbers up to 49 MEPs from ten countries, the GUE/NGL’s highest ever representation in the European Parliament and made it the fourth largest Group.

In 2003, as part of the accession process of 10 new Member States, Observers joined the Group from Cyprus (2), Czech Republic (3), Latvia (1), and Slovakia (1), and these became full MEPs on 01 May 2004.

The European elections in June 2004 saw a solid electoral performance by GUE/NGL parties. Fourteen outgoing delegations were returned with 38 MEPs. With the addition of two new MEPs from Ireland’s Sinn Féin, and one from the Left Bloc of Portugal, the Group had 41 Members from 14 Member States. Francis Wurtz was re-elected President of the Group.

Following the elections of June 2009, several new delegations joined the group, the Socialist Party from Ireland and the UC from Latvia. In France, the Front de Gauche Pour Changer d’Europe elected MEPs to the group from the Parti Communiste and the Parti de Gauche. The French delegation also included a member from the Parti Communiste Réunionnais. The new group consisted of 34 MEPs from 12 member states. On this occasion, Francis Wurtz who had been an MEP since 1979 did not go forward and the group elected in his place Lothar Bisky of the DIE.LINKE party from Germany. 

Gabriele Zimmer of DIE LINKE. became the group’s president on 15th March 2012. She was re-elected as President after the 2014 elections which saw a 50% increase in the group’s size to 52 MEPs. New parties were welcomed: Podemos (Spain), L’Altra Europa con Tsipras (Italy), an animal rights party from the Netherlands, an animal rights party from Germany, Bildu (Los Pueblos Deciden coalition, Basque country), and Luke “Ming” Flanagan, an independent member from Ireland. The group also regained its Finnish representative from the Vas party. The GUE/NGL became the only group in Parliament where women and men are equally represented. The Bildu MEP resigned from Parliament in 2018 and, as pre-arranged, was replaced by an MEP who joined the Green Group. In November 2018, Emanuel Maurel joined the Group from the S&D.

The majority of political parties and delegations were re-elected following the 2019 elections, led by France Insoumise, Syriza and DIE LINKE. The group also welcomed its first ever Belgian member from The Workers’ Party. Meanwhile, Denmark’s Enhedslisten joined the group in place of Folkebevægelsen mod EU, along with the return of EH Bildu from the Basque country. Animal and environmental rights parties continue to be represented by the Netherlands’ Partij voor de Dieren. Two new Irish MEPs from Independents for Change rounded off the new additions to the group for the ninth legislature of the European Parliament.