Jeremy Corbyn, your fellow European socialists need you in the EU | George Papandreou and others

In an open letter, we ask you to do all you can to stop Brexit – and spearhead the movement for progressive change in Europe

Dear Jeremy Corbyn,

We are writing to you as fellow socialists and progressives to urge you to work with us for the future of our continent.

The left is resurgent across Europe; each of us sees this in our own movements, and in one another’s. Your Labour party, the breadth of its vision, the passion of its language, the strength of its membership, has brought inspiration and optimism to us all. Which we need, for the picture is not at all rosy. Fascism is on the rise within Europe, buoyed and supported, implicitly and explicitly, by an invigorated authoritarianism without. Corporate interests prevail, unchecked by a post-ideological politics which has exhausted itself. Climate change becomes climate crisis, and those who deny it become ever more forceful.

We all have deep misgivings about the dominant institutions of the European Union, and what they have become over the past three decades. The contagious creed of austerity has spread through its airways. The interests of capital and global corporations have come to take precedence over those of citizens. Despite more wealth than ever before, the disparities across the continent have fostered exploitation and insecurity. And despite the liberty and adventure that the EU has opened up, the deaths in the Mediterranean are evidence of the emergence of terrifying new and old prejudices and fears.

Yet we are not ready to surrender this once great project to those who would subvert it. To do so would betray its creators, whose values we cherish. More importantly, it would leave us weakened when we most need our strength, and isolated when we most need our solidarity. There is no answer to any of these questions that is not transnational. There is no way that our frustrated fellow citizens will feel represented unless they can be heard at European and global levels.

We need you in the EU. Nobody understands better what it takes – from the law, from the union movement, from activism – to bring to life and fruition the ambitions and dreams of every citizen. We need you, as you can become a catalyst for a different Europe, providing new and necessary momentum for true progressive change. We need one another, just as we needed one another at the inception of the EU, to meet the most urgent challenges mankind can ever face: to avoid war; to foster equality; to cooperate in the face of threats to our planet; to harness solidarity that it might achieve the most of which it is capable.

As your trades unions point out, it is usual in a negotiation that the final deal is taken back to the members. We would ask you to demand that the decision to trigger article 50 is revoked, in light of the recent opinion from the advocate general to the European court of justice, and allow the people’ s voice to be heard before Brexit becomes irreversible. We hope that the Labour party will spearhead such an initiative and join us in embarking on a programme of Europe-wide transformation.

In solidarity,

Signed: George Papandreou, president of the Socialist International; Udo Bullman MEP, president of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament;
Marc Tarabella MEP
Boris Zala MEP
PierAntonio Panzeri MEP
Ricardo Serrão Santos MEP
Elly Schlein MEP
Dimitris Papadimoulis MEP
Marita Cremascoli Hellner MEP
Eugen Freund MEP
Paul Tang MEP
Martina Werner MEP
Peter Kouroumbashev MEP
Dr Dietmar Köster MEP
Evelyne Gebhardt MEP
Petra Kammerevert MEP
Mercedes Bresso MEP
Arndt Kohn MEP
Péter Niedermüller MEP
Manuel Dos Santos MEP
Josefina Sanchez Moriano MEP
Josef Weidenholzer MEP
Tibor Szanyi MEP
Andrejs Mamikins MEP
Florent Marcellesi MEP
Vilija Blinkeviciute MEP
Albin Kurti, president of the Movement for Self-determination in Kosovo
Michele Emiliano, president-governor of the region of Puglia
Ihar Barysau, chairman of the Belarusian Social Democratic party
Aliaksey Sihayeu, first vice-chairman of BSDP
Volga Isaikina, deputy international secretary of BSDP
Elke Ferner, executive member of PES Women
Adrian Dohotaru, Romanian MP
Cecilia Gondard, PS France
Fitore Pacolli Dalipi, Kosovan MP
Fatmire Mullhaxha Kollcaku, Kosovan MP
Saranda Bogujevci, Kosovan MP
Arberie Nagavci, Kosovan MP
Valon Ramadani, Kosovan MP
Sami Kurteshi, Kosovan MP
Shemsi Syla, Kosovan MP
Drita Millaku, Kosovan MP
Ali Lajci, Kosovan MP
Sonja Licht, fund for political excellence, Belgrade
Milan Nikolic, sociologist, Belgrade
Matthew Corr, chair of SDLP Youth, Northern Ireland
Claudia Walther, SPE Delegate
Johannes Kup, PES activist
Fredy Fransen, safety adviser, Euratom
Bernd Lang MEP
Tiemo Woelken MEP
Rhonda Donaghey, Labour Women of Ireland
Marie Arena MEP
João Albuquerque, president of the Young European Socialists
Euclid Tsakalotos, minister of finance of Greece
Doriano Dragoni, project leader, Global Progressive Forum
Arne Lietz MEP
Jo Leinen MEP
Ana Gomes MEP
Juan Fernando Lopez Aguilar MEP
Maria Noichl MEP
Zita Gurmai, MSZP Hungary and president of PES Women
Aleksander Sulejewicz, associate professor of economics at the Warsaw School of Economics
Francisco Assis MEP
Corinne Narassiguin, PS France
Dan Baron Cohen, playwright, community theatre director, cultural theorist and arts educator
Dirceu Ten Caten, PT MP-Pará, Brasil
Frauke Borst, adviser to SPD
Mario Bova, Italian former ambassador to Japan and director general for European affairs
Gian Giacomo Migone, former chair of Italian senate foreign relations committee
Tana De Zulueta, former progressive senator, Italy
Erkki Tuomioja, former Finnish foreign minister
Álvaro de Vasconceles, former director of the EU Institute for Security Studies
Pedro Bacelar de Vasconcelos, Portuguese Socialist party MP
Luciana Castellina, journalist, politician, activist and candidate for Italian president
Pierre Schori, politician and diplomat, Sweden

•This article was amended on 10 December 2018. A previous version omitted several names from the list of signatories. This has been corrected.

George Papandreou and 75 others

The GuardianTramp

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