#EP2019: Interview with Malte Fiedler, Candidate of the German Left in the EU-Elections

with Keine Kommentare

Malte Fiedler joined the Ger­man left par­ty DIE LINKE in 2007 and is now one of their can­di­dates to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. He works for a Europe of sol­i­dar­i­ty: social­ly just, eco­log­i­cal­ly sus­tain­able, peace­ful and demo­c­ra­t­ic.

You have been engaged in nation­al pol­i­tics for a lot of years now. Where does your inter­est in pol­i­tics and espe­cial­ly the elec­tions to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment come from? What is your main moti­va­tion?

Malte Fiedler: I became a polit­i­cal activist, because I had to. If you are young and not only busy with your­self, you see that so much is going wrong in the world today: pover­ty, war, social injus­tice, destruc­tion of our nature, etc. I decid­ed, that I do not want to accept this any­more. Many of the chal­lenges we are fac­ing today, like cli­mate change, can only be solved on an inter­na­tion­al lev­el. There­fore the polit­i­cal direc­tion in which the Euro­pean Union devel­ops becomes increas­ing­ly impor­tant. At the moment big cor­po­ra­tions are well organ­ised on the Euro­pean lev­el. They have been very suc­cess­ful in secur­ing their prof­it inter­ests at the expense of social injus­tice and over­ex­ploita­tion of our plan­et. On the oth­er hand, pro­gres­sive polit­i­cal forces strug­gling for social and eco­log­i­cal rights have been too weak. There­fore there is a need for pro­gres­sive can­di­dates who care about our future and our plan­et and not only for them­selves or the inter­ests of cor­po­ra­tions and wealthy peo­ple, con­cerned only of the growth rate of the num­bers on their bank accounts.

How does your can­di­da­ture relate to cli­mate change and youth? What are your con­crete plans to bring the Euro­pean Union on a path towards more cli­mate action and reach­ing the aims of the Paris Agree­ment?

Malte Fiedler: It is not the polit­i­cal elite of today, but the young gen­er­a­tions who will have to deal with the severe con­se­quences of cli­mate change in the future. If we act now, it is not too late to achieve the aims of the Paris Agree­ment. We have to stop the burn­ing of coal as the dirt­i­est fos­sil fuel by 2030. The Euro­pean Left wants to achieve a 100 per­cent renew­able ener­gy sup­ply by 2040. How­ev­er, the decar­bon­i­sa­tion of our econ­o­my will not be free of con­flict because there are many actors who prof­it from the fos­sil fuel based ener­gy sys­tem. As a future mem­ber of the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment I want to sup­port all social forces – envi­ron­men­tal move­ments, NGOs, pro­gres­sive trade unions, etc. – demand­ing seri­ous cli­mate action.

What are the “hot” top­ics regard­ing cli­mate change in the upcom­ing elec­tions?

Malte Fiedler: If we take the fight against cli­mate change seri­ous­ly, we need to trans­form our cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my. We need to estab­lish new modes of pro­duc­tion and liv­ing. This trans­for­ma­tion implies a shift of pow­er away from the big cor­po­ra­tions that hold con­trol over the ener­gy sup­ply with fos­sil fuels and nuclear pow­er, towards more demo­c­ra­t­ic forms of pro­duc­tion, dis­tri­b­u­tion and con­sump­tion of ener­gy. We need an ener­gy tran­si­tion towards 100 per­cent renew­able ener­gy and have to increase ener­gy effi­cien­cy. Instead of an EU inter­nal ener­gy mar­ket, we need a decen­tralised ener­gy sys­tem based on renew­ables, as it is the best answer to the chal­lenge of ener­gy secu­ri­ty in terms of depen­den­cy on imports and the vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty of long trans­mis­sion infra­struc­ture.

Fur­ther we need more, bet­ter and cheap­er pub­lic trans­port and an effi­cient rail­way net­work through­out Europe instead of indi­vid­u­alised motorised forms of trans­porta­tion and air traf­fic. At the same time, we have to com­bine the ques­tion of social jus­tice with the demands for eco­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­i­ty. For the EU this means that we have to fight ener­gy pover­ty and take care of a just tran­si­tion for all peo­ple in Europe still work­ing in the fos­sil fuel or the car indus­try. No work­er and no region can be left alone on the rail­road towards a low-car­bon econ­o­my. In order to achieve these goals, we need pub­lic invest­ments in the social-eco­log­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of our econ­o­my. The Euro­pean Left demands an EU-wide invest­ment pro­gram of 500 bil­lion EUR annu­al­ly to enforce the social-eco­log­i­cal trans­for­ma­tion of the Euro­pean economies.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly not con­sid­ered a “hot” top­ic and thus often left out of the debate is cli­mate jus­tice. Cli­mate change is also a social and eco­log­i­cal jus­tice issue between the ear­ly indus­tri­alised North and the Glob­al South. We have to increase tech­nol­o­gy trans­fer and finan­cial means for devel­op­ment coop­er­a­tion to sup­port the coun­tries of the Glob­al South on their sus­tain­able devel­op­ment paths.

What should young peo­ple keep in mind while mak­ing their deci­sion in the elec­tion?

1.)  It is not fear but hope for some­thing new which is lead­ing to a brighter future. There are alter­na­tives to our cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my and there are alter­na­tives to our fos­sil fuel based ener­gy sys­tem. The rules how our econ­o­my and soci­ety func­tions today are made by peo­ple, so they can be changed by peo­ple. How­ev­er, we will only be suc­cess­ful if we do not fear to go in con­flict with prof­it inter­ests of big cor­po­ra­tions and if we are not scared of chang­ing our exist­ing modes of liv­ing.

2.)  Be aware of politi­cians telling you the free mar­ket is the solu­tion to every­thing. By con­trast, the fail­ure of our free mar­ket econ­o­my in terms of eco­log­i­cal sus­tain­abil­i­ty and social jus­tice is the rea­son for the mess we are in.

3.)  Do not count on false solu­tions: It will not be enough to give our cap­i­tal­ist econ­o­my a new styl­ish green design, but con­tin­ue striv­ing for unlim­it­ed eco­nom­ic growth on a plan­et with lim­it­ed resources and a lim­it­ed capac­i­ty of sinks for our waste and pol­lu­tion.  

4.)  We have to com­bine social and eco­log­i­cal issues in order to cre­ate a bet­ter future for all peo­ple on our plan­et.

In your opin­ion, is giv­ing a vote enough?

Malte Fiedler: Democ­ra­cy is more than par­tic­i­pa­tion in elec­tions every four or five years. Giv­ing a vote to a social and eco­log­i­cal pro­gres­sive par­ty – like DIE LINKE — is good, but not enough. 1.) Get active: Par­tic­i­pate in the Fri­days for future demon­stra­tions, talk with friends and fam­i­ly about pol­i­tics. 2.) Get organ­ised: there are many organ­i­sa­tions out there fight­ing for a bet­ter future for the peo­ple and our plan­et. You must move your­self to move pol­i­tics.

Thank you for the inter­view!

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