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Political Resolution of the 23rd Congress OF AKEL

  1. The universal and powerful message conveyed by the 23rd Pancyprian Congress of AKEL, which took place 2-4th July 2021 in Nicosia, is optimism and determination, so that AKEL and the Cypriot Left remain a powerful and leading force at the service of our people. The setback will become a leap forward. In the struggles, to the future and in the hope for the Cyprus and the world we envision.
  2. On the path to the Congress and at the Congress itself, a serious, broad and lively dialogue developed, embraced by thousands of members of AKEL, but also a large section of society more broadly, covering all the issues of concern to AKEL and with regards its intervention in every field and at every level. We particularly appreciate the unprecedented interest and richness of views expressed in the dialogue that took place because, in our view, it represents an expression of the concerns, but also the great aspirations that exist among our people for the Left and AKEL.
  3. The 23rd Congress of AKEL took place in extremely difficult social and political conditions for our country and people. Humanity, despite not having overcome the effects of the global economic crisis, was also called upon to confront the turmoil of the pandemic. The neighbourhood of the Eastern Mediterranean is boiling over with rivalries and militarisation. The nightmare of the final partition of Cyprus is more visible than ever in the modern history of our country and the occupying power’s aggression has reached new levels. The anti-social policies of the neoliberal Anastasiades-DISY government not only have left vulnerable groups of the population without any protection, but essentially drive them into poverty and marginalisation, widening inequalities through the shift in wealth that has been recorded over the last decade to the benefit of the privileged few. Labour relations are being deregulated and small and medium-sized businesses crushed by the arbitrariness of the banks and unequal and destructive competition. At the same time, the Anastasiades-DISY government – a government steeped in corruption, authoritarianism and arrogance – manages to survive with the support of the financial and media system, controlling institutions and the state apparatus and by receiving the support of satellite parties, even of the fascist far-right too. Coupled with this is the fact that dangerous phenomena are being reinforced in society that are corrupting and clouding people’s consciousness. Namely, racism, individualism and the logic of cronyism/clientelism, populism and compromise with the partition of our country. All this is taking place at a time of AKEL’s electoral retreat as recorded over the last two parliamentary elections (2016, 2021), while the change in the country’s governance was not achieved in the 2018 Presidential Elections.
  4. Reviewing all these facts and looking towards the future, the Congress approved the “Theses of the Central Committee towards the 23rd Congress”, the introductory speech of the General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL Andros Kyprianou, the Report of the Central Control Commission and the Report on the finances of the Central Committee of the Party. The Congress elected the new Central Committee and the Central Control Commission. It also approved the Political Decision of the 23rd Congress which sets out the priorities of the Party for the next five years.
  5. The Congress committed the new Central Committee to proceed with the convening of an Extraordinary and Constitution Congress. The Congress on the Party’s Constitution will consider changes to the Party Statutes, following a structured inter-party discussion, while the Extraordinary Congress will be called upon to assess the progress recorded in the implementation of the decisions approved by the 23rd Congress.


International developments

International developments

6. The 23rd Congress of AKEL is convening in conditions characterised by increased international instability and uncertainty. The deepening of the systemic crisis, which is being externalised through multiple frictions between the various capitalist centres of the world, has led to the sharpening of the class antagonisms between capital and labour, to increasing aggression and opening of new sources of military conflict.

7. During the period of the Covid-19 pandemic and under the veil of silence imposed by most of the major international mass media, tensions have escalated dangerously, political and military interventions have continued and the calls issued by the UN Secretary General for a global ceasefire and the promotion of solidarity and cooperation went unheeded.

8. The further entrenchment of the flagrant violation of international law, the prevalence of double standards policies and the intensification of the machinations to set under the control of the US-Britain and NATO and in some cases replace the UN are dealing a very serious blow to international relations and promoting an extremely dangerous order. Indicative of this effort to consolidate an extremely dangerous order under their control is the US-Israeli so-called “Deal of the Century” project that is already being implemented, in violation of International Law and numerous UN resolutions, paving the way for the Israeli government to proceed with its plans to annex occupied Palestinian territories, completely undermining the prospect of arriving at a political solution within the framework of international law. The lukewarm and timid reaction of the international community towards the recent upsurge of Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people is a continuation of this effort. The extension of the criminal blockade of Cuba, with direct consequences in the day-to-day lives of its citizens with the ultimate aim of overthrowing the Cuban revolution, is an integral part of this framework. Regime change is being attempted simultaneously in various countries (for example, Venezuela and Bolivia). These actions are in flagrant violation of international law, undermining the principles of the respect for the national sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and non-interference in their internal affairs. These principles have also been violated in the worst possible way in Syria, which has become a theatre of confrontation between foreign interests and has been de facto divided into spheres of influence. In both Syria and Libya, Turkey is playing a leading role in the violation of international legality.

9. The rapid impoverishment that followed the outbreak of the pandemic and the need to reshape the economy did not put any brake on military expenditure, with the US, NATO and the EU as the main protagonists. The arms race is an expression of the broader militarisation of international relations that is particularly plaguing the region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. The Anastasiades-DISY government’s designation of Cyprus as an outpost of the West and its attachment to the US military war machine through the blackmailing provisions of the Menéndez-Rubio law and the implementation of the CYCLOPS (“Cyprus Centre for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security”) programme promote militarisation and undermine Cyprus’ credibility when it invokes international law and seeks international support for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

10. The pandemic has accelerated the creation of new surveillance mechanisms for millions of citizens around the world with the utilisation of new technologies and even biotechnology in the name now of protecting public health. These complement international imperialism’s already huge arsenal which consists of an extensive surveillance network monitoring millions of citizens around the world, the EU’s “anti-terror” laws and the curbing of democratic freedoms and rights in various countries, including that of organised political activity.

11. Religious fanaticism, nationalism-chauvinism and the hatred they generate remain repugnant and dangerous products of the system, while at the same time also becoming an instrument for manipulating citizens so that they tolerate any repressive and surveillance measures. In this way, they seek to gain the participation or consent of the people in imperialist pursuits, as well as the suppression of all political and popular forces that react.

12. The widening of social inequalities and the persistent attempt to falsify history by the representatives of the ruling class throughout the world facilitate, among other things, the rise of fascism, extreme reactionary and racist organisations which, with their supposedly “anti-systemic” discourse, obscure the root causes of exploitation and the crisis. The resurgence of the anti-racist movement in the US and the court ruling against of the “Golden Dawn” party in Greece as a criminal organisation, raise hopes for deeper progressive changes, provided that they are accompanied by a collective cultivation of an anti-racist and anti-fascist culture.

13. Anti-communism and the attempt to equate fascism with communism also constitute a strategic policy choice of the national and transnational centres of power seeking to distance the popular masses, and especially the young generation, from the communist Left, the force that can organise and orientate struggles correctly and effectively. But the “two extremes” theory and the attempt to impose historical revisionism in order to erase from humanity’s collective memory the crimes committed by imperialism and fascism have opened wide the door to the growth of extreme reactionary, racist and fascist organisations. These forces, with their supposedly anti-systemic discourse, obscure the causes of exploitation and the crisis.

The 23rd Congress of AKEL:

14. Reaffirms the Party’s commitment to the defence and enhancement of international law, the upholding of the UN Charter against the unilateral interventions of the imperialists, the abolition of NATO and to the demilitarization of the European Union’s external action.

15. Opposes the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in PESCO, its membership or commitment in any way to NATO, the Anastasiades-DISY government’s agreements promoting the military subordination of Cyprus to the USA, as well as the use of our country’s territory to wage attacks on third countries.

16. AKEL, given that all the above will lead to new adventures, both for our people and for the cause of the solution of the Cyprus problem, will continue to exercise scrutiny and demand a change in the one-dimensional and dangerous foreign policy being pursued by the current government.

17. Oppose Cyprus being used by the British and NATO in general as a military and spying base for the Middle East, a fact which undermines independence and reinforces the dangers for our country. It reaffirms the goal of the abolition of the British bases.

18. AKEL is firmly in favour of demilitarization, against nuclear weapons and in favour of disarmament and will continue, in coordination with other communist and left-wing parties, progressive and peace movements, to work to make the wider region of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East a nuclear-free zone, an area free of weapons of mass destruction and fully demilitarized.

19. Reaffirms that it will continue to express its solidarity with all struggling peoples, such as the heroic people of Cuba and the long-suffering Palestinian people, for the prevalence of international law, peace and security, for real growth to the benefit of the peoples and not of the imperialists and monopolies, and for the respect of all rights of the people.

20. Reaffirms the Party’s readiness to intensify the enlightenment of the people and its struggle against the rise of reactionary and neo-fascist forces in Europe, expressing its solidarity with the communist parties and organisations being persecuted and who are struggling to avoid a historical setback, both locally as well as in Europe.

European Union
  1. The 23rd Congress of AKEL reaffirms the Party’s position that the European Union is an advanced form of political-economic capitalist integration. The experience now accumulated with Cyprus’ participation confirms that the Lisbon Treaty, the Economic Governance, the Banking Union, the austerity policy and adoption of numerous packages towards a single policy for member states under the control of the EU and so-called Brussels Directorate, do not serve the interests of the peoples precisely because they institutionalize neoliberalism, dangerously dismantling the welfare state, curbing political and social rights, deregulating labour relations, intensifying profiteering and reinforcing the role of the monopolies and the powerful states, further exacerbating class contradictions. At the same time, the institutionalised cooperation between the EU and the IMF exacerbates the anti-social character of the Union’s policies and further subjugates the peoples, primarily those in the periphery.
  2. The constant transformation of the EU into a military power seeking to play a leading role in geopolitical rivalries all over the world is dangerous. The main axis of the EU’s foreign and security policy remains the deepening of complementarity with NATO and the development of military interventionist missions in various corners around the world. At the same time, the creation of single and compulsory EU military structures for member states is being promoted, the ‘investment shift’ in the war arms industry and technology is proceeding, PESCO has been institutionalised and in the midst of a pandemic, expenditure on military armaments is increasing, while the corresponding budgets could be channeled into development programmes. The selective approach to international law, the prohibition of the use of force and intervention in the internal affairs of third countries characterises to a large degree the foreign policy of the European Union.
  3. The pandemic has once again revealed the gap between rhetoric and reality, as well as the deficits of solidarity within the EU and in its relations with third countries, given that, for example, developing countries have remained the poor relation as regards the Covid-19 vaccination programme, as well as in other pandemic response activities. Issues such as democratic functioning, transparency and the effective parity of member states were again highlighted with the outbreak of the pandemic, illustrating the profound deadlocks facing the EU, primarily due to its structural character, which serves the goal of capitalist integration.
  4. Under the pretext of combating terrorism, but with the real aim of securing absolute control and the suppression of any substantial challenge, which comes primarily from the left movements, the European established order is investing in the alienation of social consciousness. In the name of combating terrorism, anti-democratic laws that eradicate and abolish political freedoms and rights are increasingly being promoted.
  5. The “Fortress Europe” doctrine is a philosophical axiom of the EU which has unfortunately ended up characterising the whole web of its laws and policies on migrants and refugees, including the most recent proposals for a new common policy. This approach by the EU adds to the responsibilities rightly attributed to it for creating the conditions that force people to migrate and become refugees. The EU’s responsibilities in no way cease to exist by concluding agreements of dubious content such as those agreed between the EU and Turkey. In addition, the adoption of policies that consider refugees and migrants as potential criminals encourages the growth of xenophobic movements, increases hate rhetoric, promotes the marginalisation of foreigners and makes it more difficult for them to integrate into local communities, frequently with obvious tragic consequences.
  6. The 23rd Congress of AKEL stresses that this EU, the character of which is being reaffirmed in the debates of the Conference on the Future of Europe, is very far from our own vision and the vision of the principled forces of the Left and more broadly, for a Europe of the peoples, peace, social equality, cooperation, open multicultural societies, solidarity, working people and social justice. This is the Europe that AKEL will continue to struggle for in the European Parliament together with the Left Group of which it is an active member, but also with our positions vis-à-vis the policies of the EU in the House of Representatives. Towards this end, AKEL will continue to develop relations with institutions and political and social forces in the EU. The first and foremost concern of AKEL’s participation in European affairs is and remains the promotion of the solution of the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed framework for a solution.
The Cyprus problem in today’s conditions
  1. The 23rd Congress of AKEL reaffirms the Party’s longstanding position that the Cyprus problem is above all an international problem of invasion, occupation, illegal colonisation, ethnic cleansing and foreign interventions. At the same time, the Cyprus problem has an internal aspect which concerns the relations between the two communities.
  2. Imperialism with its interventions and conspiracies against the independence of the Republic of Cyprus and with the tolerance and support it has always shown towards Turkish policy bears a huge responsibility for the creation and perpetuation of the Cyprus problem. The Greek Junta played a particularly shameful role in the conspiracy against Cyprus, as well as in the subversion of the Republic of Cyprus from within by the nationalist chauvinist forces in both communities, mainly through the treacherous and fascist activity of EOKA B and TMT. The admission and condemnation of the crimes committed by fascism and nationalism-chauvinism against both communities is a prerequisite for halting their attempted resurgence, as well as for the necessary catharsis which will contribute decisively to the restoration of the relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots on the basis of mutual respect. The Congress considers the fact that AKEL has fought consistently and resolutely against foreign aggressions and the treacherous actions of the fascist extreme right, culminating in the treacherous coup of 15 July 1974, as a badge of honor.
  3. The main responsibility for the ongoing failure to solve the problem lies with the occupying power Turkey, which continues to flagrantly violate the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus and to pursue an expansionist policy towards Cyprus, violating fundamental principles of international law, the Charter of the UN, numerous resolutions and decisions of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the UN , the principles and values proclaimed by the European Union and the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Cypriot people as a whole.
  4. The 23rd Congress of AKEL stresses that there is no other alternative other than the resumption of the negotiations under the auspices of the UN, and more specifically from where they had remained at the Crans Montana talks, that is to say on the basis of the 2014 Joint Declaration, the Guterres Framework of 30th June 2017 and the acquis of the convergences that had been recorded. This is what the UN Secretary General has been calling for in his Reports to the UN Security Council since September 2017.
  5. The 23rd Congress of AKEL underlines that since 2017 the Cyprus problem has entered a dangerous period of unproductive passive inaction. This period was dominated by President Anastasiades’ regressions, the promotion of “new ideas” that negated previous key convergences recorded and led to the futile search for “terms of reference” for the resumption of the negotiation procedure, as well as the involvement of the two leaders in a blame-game, resulting in the UN Secretary General not being convinced of the prospect of a meaningful resumption of negotiations.
  6. Following the failure of the Crans Montana Conference on Cyprus and having been acquitted of any responsibilities by the international community and the UN Secretary General himself, Turkey has been emboldened and is promoting a two state solution. At the same time, it is strengthening its expansionist ambitions against the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. The carrying out of seismic surveys and drilling within the territorial waters and the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus constitutes a flagrant violation of the UN Law of the Sea. At the same time, the escalating machinations for the colonisation of the enclosed area of Famagusta adversely affect the status of the area and violate the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions, in particular Resolutions 550 (1984) and 789 (1992).
  7. Prior to the 2021 Geneva informal conference, AKEL submitted a proposal to the President of the Republic regarding what he should do to address the dangerous regression and create the preconditions for a meaningful resumption of the negotiations with the prospect of a successful outcome. The proposal had two parts. The first concerned the negotiating procedure with a view to evolving the Six-Point Framework into a strategic agreement, which would make a comprehensive solution inevitable. The central point was the practical and not just verbal acceptance of the convergences, with particular emphasis on political equality and effective participation, as well as the submission of bridging proposals only on pending issues. The second part of the proposal aimed at providing incentives to the Turkish Cypriot community and Turkey to cooperate towards this end, without crossing the “red lines” of the Greek Cypriot community. Unfortunately, we were not listened to.
  8. Under the conditions that have evolved, the informal Geneva conference had no chance of success. The main reason was the position taken by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader for a two state solution. The rejection of this position was not accompanied by any convincing counter-proposal that could have brought Turkey back on track at Crans Montana, given that Mr. Anastasiades did not convince of his readiness to continue from where we had remained. Although the UN Secretary General rejected the two state position, there is a real and visible danger that we may face the possibility of pressure being exerted on us to move away from the convergences achieved towards the Turkish positions.
  9. AKEL underlines that the discussion about other forms of a solution to the Cyprus problem is extremely dangerous, since the real dilemma is between federation and some form of partition. The Congress notes that the discussions and messages about any abandonment of the compromise agreed between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots since 1977 for a solution of bicommunal, bizonal federation have already given a pretext to Turkey to promote the two state solution, are reducing Cyprus’ support in the international and European arena and leaves vital room for external machinations.
  10. The 23rd Congress of AKEL stresses that the experience over the last four years confirms our long-standing assessment that the unproductive passive inaction serves Ankara and leads to the creation of additional negative fait accompli. At the same time, it notes that the questioning of the convergences that have been registered and the negotiating acquis achieved up to the end of the Crans Montana Conference prevents the resumption of substantive negotiations and enables the promotion of new dangerous ideas that will lead to lengthy, dead-end and dangerous discussions.
  11. The 23rd Congress of AKEL reaffirms that our strategic goal remains a comprehensive, workable and viable solution of the Cyprus problem in a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality, as outlined in the Resolutions of the UN Security Council. The solution of the Cyprus problem must provide for one state with a single sovereignty, a single international personality and a single citizenship.

The solution must provide for:

  1. The termination of the occupation, the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation troops and an end to the colonalisation (of the occupied areas).
  2. The restoration of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, as well as the restoration of the unity of the state, the people, the institutions and the economy.
  3. The abolition of any intervention rights and the anachronistic system of guarantees.
  4. The safeguarding of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, including the right of return and property of the refugees and lawful owners.
  5. The complete demilitarization of the Republic of Cyprus.
  6. The comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem, the content of which will be agreed at the level of leaders, must subsequently be put before the people through the carrying out of simultaneous separate referenda in both communities.
  7. The 23rd Congress states clearly that the danger of a definitive partition of Cyprus which in the long run will inevitably lead to a land border with Turkey is now immediate. Judging that there is still room to halt this disastrous path, it is imperative that Mr. Anastasiades’ abandons immediately the tactical games and incomprehensible regressions. It is imperative that consistency to the basis of the solution to the Cyprus problem is demonstrated, as well as a readiness in practice and not in words to continue the negotiation procedure from where it had remained and in the manner that the UN Secretary General has repeatedly proposed.
  8. In these conditions, the 23rd Congress reaffirms that the decisive criterion for AKEL’s actions, policy and cooperation are genuine convergences on the Cyprus problem. AKEL will intensify its efforts for a resumption of the negotiating procedure as soon as possible within the agreed framework, in the manner which the Secretary General of the UN had proposed after the collapse at Crans Montana and as it itself proposes. At the same time, AKEL will continue to take initiatives both inside and outside Cyprus aiming at the resumption of the talks on the basis of what has been agreed and reaching a solution that ensures the liberation and reunification of the country and its people.
Turkish Cypriot community and rapprochement
  1. The 23rd Congress reaffirms that AKEL is a class-based party whose assertions concern all working people and the Cypriot people as a whole, regardless of their community origin. It underlines at the same time that the definitive partition and the permanent separation of the two communities, a danger which has become greater in the period since the last Congress, undermine the prospect of development and progress for all Cypriots. Fully aware of the difficult environment that has been formed, AKEL will intensify the struggle for the liberation and reunification of the country and the people, as a stage in the struggle of all working people for social progress and prosperity.
  2. The assumption by Ersin Tatar of the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community has led it to a deeper crisis concerning its communal existence, given that his choices serve entirely to strengthen Turkey’s economic, political and cultural aggressive policies. The measures being promoted (trade, natural resources, energy, education, etc.) are increasingly leading to the integration of the occupied territories into Turkey, the cultural assimilation of the Turkish Cypriots and the destruction of their political autonomy. The passage of time without a solution of the Cyprus problem multiplies these dangers.
  3. The consistent and dynamic reaction of the progressive political and social forces of the Turkish Cypriot community to the machinations of Turkey and Ersin Tatar demonstrate that the hope for liberation, reunification and a solution on the agreed basis remains alive. The fact that in conditions of heightened adversities the patriotic forces of the Turkish Cypriots are continuing to struggle with consistency for a solution of bicommunal, bizonal federation strengthens our respect for them, but makes our actions even more necessary, taking into account the diversity and autonomy of the political forces in the occupied territories.
  4. AKEL underlines that it will continue to support the struggles of Turkish Cypriot workers and attach particular importance to the rapprochement of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. It will continue to expand contacts between the two communities, to foster relations of friendship, mutual respect and understanding, to cultivate a culture of cooperation and coexistence. It will continue to strengthen its links with parties, organised groups and social movements that share our concerns about the future of our country and people. Evidence of the upgrading of AKEL’s rapprochement policy was the inclusion of a Turkish Cypriot candidate on the AKEL ballot in the last European elections, as well as his election, in cooperation with progressive Turkish Cypriots. AKEL’s reaction against the unilateral handlings that prevailed during the pandemic, in favour of the safe opening of the checkpoints and the need for cooperation between the two communities to confront the pandemic more effectively, had a positive response. AKEL also played a leading role in the holding of the mass parallel mobilisations of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots in view of the informal Geneva Conference.
  5. Precisely because rapprochement is first and foremost a political procedure, which cannot be limited to a cosmopolitan concept of cooperation and solidarity, AKEL stresses that the existing problems created by nationalism, chauvinism and the facts of the separate status quo must be addressed in a multi-level and holistic way, especially through Education. The deepening of relations between the two communities, the cultivation of a culture of peaceful coexistence and the respect for the human rights of each individual, regardless of his or her community origin, are essential prerequisites for achieving a solution and the sustainability of its implementation.
  6. AKEL will continue to stress that the escalating attempt to falsify history, which is being sought on a wider scale, serves the goal of rendering obsolete the crimes that were committed using nationalism-chauvinism as a tool in both communities and fuels the revival of this dangerous ideological concept. Remaining an uncompromising opponent of the ideological concepts that cultivate hatred between the two communities, AKEL warns of the disastrous consequences that the toleration of their current exponents will have.
Economy and Labour
  1. The unprecedented depth of the capitalist system’s crisis in recent years had loaded the burden on the backs of the working people and small and medium-sized businesses in particular and was accompanied by a horrific growth in social inequalities. The intensification of capitalist exploitation is the root cause of the ongoing imperialist wars, the climate crisis and environmental destruction, and the control of technological development by the multinational monopoly giants. It is evident that the changes that are needed and demanded by the peoples of the world cannot be made by a system that puts profits over and above human life.
  2. In Europe, the dismantling of the welfare state, the shrinking of the public sector and the attacks waged on working people’s rights have been institutionalised in EU policies and have also been implemented through the imposition of austerity Memoranda, provoking an increase in social inequality.


  1. The global economy had shown signs of slowing down even before the pandemic broke out, which subsequently dramatically accelerated the onset of a new crisis. At the same time, the pandemic highlighted the irreplaceable role of the state in safeguarding fundamental human rights and the need for effective state intervention in essential services and strategic sectors of the country.
  2. The pandemic put a brake on the previous growth rates recorded by the Cyprus economy and provoked a chain reaction of socio-economic consequences. Even before the pandemic, the majority of society faced insecurity and a decline in its living standards as the Anastasiades-DISY government remained dogmatically attached to policies characterised mainly by the reduction in public investment, the deregulation of labour relations, the selling off of public wealth/property and the dismantling of the welfare state. The government’s methodical dissolution of the Cooperative sector, which, among other things, resulted in the scandalous and damaging handing over of the good part of the Cooperative Bank of Cyprus to the Hellenic bank, has fuelled the impunity of the banks and dealt a blow to the people and workers, households and small and medium-sized enterprises. The pandemic and the handlings made by the government on the pandemic, added new problems for working people, but also for the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses, thousands of which are in danger of disappearing from the country’s economic map. Approaching the day after the pandemic, AKEL is focusing its actions, both inside and outside Parliament, on defending and supporting workers, the unemployed, self-employed, professionals and small and medium-sized businessmen.
  3. In particular, the problems of the young generation in life and work are becoming dramatically acute. Underemployment, the low percentage rate of trade union organization and the unemployment registered among young people, the worries and aspirations of young workers, scientists and young couples must be made a priority for the entire Party and People’s Movement. We should respond with proposals elaborated by the entire Party structure and the People’s Movement for every sector and level. We should promote them through the mass organised work of Party Base Organisations, through parliamentary and mass movement actions, decisively and militantly within the framework of an annual plan of action.
  4. Working people are confronted with a new deterioration in labour relations due to the pandemic and the exploitation of the crisis by the employers. The pandemic has highlighted the effects brought about by the policies for the deregulation of labour being implemented generally across the EU and in Cyprus too, as well as the huge deficits in social policy. The 23rd Congress of AKEL confirms that in the conditions of the pandemic, the Party’s priority is to prevent a new cycle of austerity policies, cuts and attacks on working people’s rights, social expenditure and policies.
  5. The pandemic has further highlighted the major problem of unemployment, which plagues the young generation in particular, with recent Eurostat figures showing Cyprus topping the table in its increase. AKEL reaffirms that it will continue to fight for the constitutionally guaranteed right to work to become a real social good enjoyed by all citizens. Treating the unemployed as a reserve of the system is an atrocious practice that serves to put pressure on wages to be forced down and is used in a blackmailing way as a tool for deregulating labour relations.
  6. The modern world is witnessing huge developments in the field of digitalisation, artificial intelligence and robotisation, which are rapidly being integrated into societies and economies. The scientific and technological possibilities, unimaginable up until yesterday, could contribute to solving social problems, improving working conditions and reducing working time for billions of people, opening new paths of progress for humanity. However, today, at a global level, an intensification of labour exploitation, new forms of filing citizens, the use of new technology in the military industry and so on are being recorded.
  7. AKEL has elaborated and will continue to elaborate proposals for the digitalisation of Cyprus, with a view to making it a tool for our people’s progress and prosperity, a lever for the modernisation of the state and the country’s developmental model. Our concept of digitalisation does not ignore, but focuses on issues such as the defence of labour rights and the protection of personal data and privacy of citizens and, ultimately, the protection of citizen’s privacy too.
  8. The pandemic has again underlined the need for the formulation of a new model of sustainable, ecologically balanced and socially oriented development for our country, which would guarantee a fairer distribution of wealth, ensuring quality jobs, improving the rights of working people and protecting vulnerable social groups.

62.The 23rd Congress of the Party considers as urgent the need to reshape the Cyprus economy on axes such as ensuring that public finances support social needs, sustainable development and the creation of infrastructures, the reform of the tax system and the taxation of wealth, the stamping out of tax evasion and corruption, the provision of support of small and medium-size businesses and self-employed working people, modernising the public utility organisations and self-employed working people, the development of a cooperative economy and reestablishment of a cooperative credit sector, investment in research and innovation, the digital transformation of the state and economy.

  1. AKEL supports the demands of small and medium-sized businesses and self-employed working people, that constitute the backbone of the Cyprus economy and have been severely affected by the crisis, the closure of the Cooperative Bank, the policies of the banks that were facilitated not just through legislation the Anastasiades-DISY government promoted and, finally, the abolition of regulated shop opening hours. AKEL, inter alia, will continue to fight for protection from evictions of commercial premises and for regulated, beneficial and functional shop opening hours through legislative measures.
  2. The concentration of banking capital, the closure of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank and the institutional/legal framework of the operation of banks which is to the detriment of borrowers and society in general represent the banking system’s new realities. Without having any illusions about the ECB’s policies, our goal is a banking system that should finance the needs of households and small and medium-sized enterprises without unlawful charges and abusive clauses, respecting the right to dignified housing. The targeted protection of primary family homes, small commercial premises and agricultural land from being sold and the restoration of borrower’s right to appeal to courts are priorities of AKEL’s policy.
  3. Furthermore, towards this end, our priority is to fulfill the goal of re-establishing the Cooperative movement, while at the same time recognising the great difficulty of the task. A difficulty that begins, first of all, from the absence of political will on the part of those in power, who bear the sole responsibility for dismantling this enormous social gain. However a broad social alliance, on the basis of proper planning and programming, can make this objective possible.
  4. Sustainable tourism development, while preserving our country’s cultural character and ecological balance and focusing on the benefits for society, is a priority for AKEL, which has drawn up a comprehensive proposal on tourism with elaborated positions. The objective is ensuring the provision of quality services, moving away from seasonality and disengagement from Cyprus’ over-dependence on tourist agents.
  5. The country’s energy policy must enshrine energy as a public social good and aim at saving energy, attaining high energy efficiency and safeguarding the protection of the environment and public health. The formulation of a comprehensive Strategic Energy Plan is demanded.
  6. The turn of power generation to Renewable Energy Sources and the introduction of cheap natural gas as soon as possible are priorities contained in AKEL’s proposals in order to reduce the price of electricity paid by consumers. AKEL submitted proposals for the preparation of a new National Action Plan until 2030. Our goal is optimal development and the use of renewable energy sources in order to put an end to our country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  7. The 23rd Congress of AKEL demonstrates the Party’s determination to resist, together with the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) and all working people, the privatisation of Public Utility Organisations (PUO’s). The privatisation of PUO’s, which are of strategic importance for a country such as Energy, Telecommunications, Water, Ports, Airports and other strategic sectors, is to the detriment of the interests of working people and society. AKEL supports their rationalization and modernisation and supports the establishment or re-establishment of PUO’s where demanded by the interests of the people. Nevertheless, as a consequence of AKEL’s strong resistance in Parliament, the privatisation of the most important public utility organisations, the Cyprus Telecommun9ications Authority (CYTA) and the Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK), has been prevented so far. Preventing privatisations is a political priority for AKEL against the Anastasiades-DISY government’s philosophy, which will undoubtedly return to the policy of selling off public wealth and property more decisively.
  8. Among the priorities AKEL sets is the support of working people’s struggles, the strengthening of the mass mobilisation and participation of the worker’s movement, the restoration of the incomes of working families and pensioners, the shedding of the burdens that the crisis, the Memoranda and the government’s policies have shifted on to working people’s backs. We support the goals of the trade union movement for the protection of collective bargaining and collective labour agreements the promotion of legislative interventions so that the deregulation of labour relations is prevented and unemployed and socially vulnerable workers are supported. The demand so that through legislative intervention labour relations are protected from being eroded and deregulated does not in any way imply accepting the undermining of the system of free collective bargaining. In the context of this philosophy, we are asserting the regulation of mechanisms through legislation that will guarantee minimum fundamental rights for working people who are not covered by collective agreements, such as the minimum wage, the 13th wage, the Providence Fund, paid holidays, etc.
State and Society

71.Education is a non-negotiable public and social good, which must be provided free of charge to all young people, be of high quality and offer equal opportunities of access, participation and success for all. This presupposes resistance to neoliberalism’s onslaught in education promoted by the Anastasiades government at all education levels. AKEL has elaborated a comprehensive package of positions and demands on education issues. AKEL’s vision is a modern, democratic and humanist school, far from any social exclusions and learning inequalities, a school in which children are guided by the teacher to discover knowledge, develop critical thinking, a school of joy, happiness, arts and creativity. AKEL will continue to struggle for the provision of effective state student care and the creation of a climate of equal opportunities through equal opportunities for young people at all levels of education. The Party considers the contribution and development of university education in our country to be important. It supports the university community through the further institutional enhancement of academic autonomy and freedom, ensuring dignified terms and conditions of employment, both in the private and public sector, strengthening inter-university cooperation and research.

  1. In conditions of economic, social and health crisis and economic inequality, the safeguarding of the right to health care is more than necessary. Health care is a right and a social good which a state has an obligation to provide for its citizens. The health sector in Cyprus is suffering on the one hand, because of the intensity of commercialization and on the other hand, due to the inability of the public health sector to meet the needs of modern, people/patient-centred and quality health care. The implementation of the National Health Scheme (NHS) was made possible because it had the decisive support of AKEL. The course of the NHS to date confirms the great need that the low and middle income strata of our people had for a universal, equal and accessible health care system based on solidarity. At the same time, however, at this stage it faces problems too, which are rooted in the fact that the Anastasiades government left the public health sector underfunded and unprotected. The 23rd Congress of AKEL underlines that the Party will systematically monitor the implementation and operation of the NHS and will intervene to solve any problems, make improvements and defend its character and philosophy. The smooth operation of the NHS presupposes the modernisation and upgrading of public hospitals so that they can fulfill their social role. They should constitute in practice the backbone of the NHS and the reference point of the health sector. Public hospitals should be non-profit organisations, socially beneficial, with autonomy in decision-making, and be financially robust. The role of public hospitals remains irreplaceable. It is the state’s duty to maintain public hospitals functional, efficient and sustainable.
  2. AKEL demands a substantial increase in public expenditure on social policy, which has been severely affected by the neoliberal policy pursued by the DISY-Anastasiades government. A modern progressive social policy promotes a fairer redistribution of the wealth produced, whilst state interventions reduce social inequalities.
  3. AKEL is struggling for a comprehensive housing policy that is socially oriented, so that every person in our country can have dignified quality and affordable housing. Among the proposals we have submitted and which are a priority is the implementation of a rent subsidy scheme and social housing programmes. Expensive rents, unfeasible borrowing, the state’s inadequate housing policy and the liberalization of foreclosures make the provision of dignified housing for young people, low and middle income groups, students and immigrants, unaffordable. AKEL rings the alarm that the problem of homelessness is real in Cyprus as well.
  4. The policy with regards persons with disabilities demands the elaboration and implementation of a comprehensive strategy of measures and actions based on the principle that the cost of disability is a matter for society, a social and not an individual responsibility. The key issue is that people with disabilities fully enjoy all the rights set out in the UN Convention.

76.We assert the guarantee of adequate pensions for the elderly and a network of care, social support, recreation and social integration services so that the State can ensure in practice their right to dignified quality living. Among other things, AKEL will intensify the struggle, both inside and outside Parliament, for the abolition of the unfair and levelling 12% penalty on pensions for those who choose to retire at the age of 63 and for securing the right to a widow’s pension for all male widowers.

  1. AKEL underlines the multiple responsibilities of the state towards the enclaved people (in the occupied areas) and the problems that have been exacerbated due also to the particular socio-economic conditions, with the goal of improving their quality of life and limit the daily difficulties they face.
  2. The verification of the fate of the missing persons is one of the most important aspects of our struggle. AKEL will continue to demand in all forums the full cooperation of Turkey and to support the exhumation programme and efforts to identify the remains of the missing persons. The Congress appeals to all those who know, to provide information so as to determine the fate of the missing persons.
  3. AKEL asserts a comprehensive policy to provide support to families and children – with social infrastructures, schemes and benefits – as well as policies to offer effective support to various types of families. These policies aim to address the deteriorating demographic problem and support young couples on low and middle incomes.
  4. There is an urgent need for a radical modernisation of Social Welfare Services, which as they are currently structured cannot fulfill their role as a pillar of social policy and support. The decentralization of structures and the devolution of social policy services to local authorities is a key priority of our proposal.
  5. In contrast to the Anastasiades government that has curbed policy on the 1974 refugees, AKEL asserts that displaced persons’ access to housing should be strengthened and that the quality of life in the refugee settlements be upgraded, Turkish Cypriot properties should be better utilised and the schemes of the Central Agency for the Equal Distribution of Burdens, which must be modernized to meet the current needs of refugees, be enriched. Policy on refugees is about sharing the burden of the occupation equally among all citizens, not just the displaced persons.
  6. AKEL is at the forefront of the struggle against discriminations and the curtailment of human rights and democratic freedoms, phenomena which have been exacerbated by the government’s policies and attitudes, but also by the acute social inequalities and absence of comprehensive strategies and mechanisms to combat them. We call for the adoption of a national action plan for the promotion of human rights the incorporation of human rights and the fight against discrimination in all state structures and actions, as well as in school curricula.
  7. The cause of gender equality must become a priority for both society and the Left – not as a confrontation between men and women – but as a struggle against the socio-economic system that reproduces the exploitation of people, inequality, oppression, patriarchal structures and the concepts that accompany them. AKEL will continue to be the pioneering force, both inside and outside Parliament, for equality at work and the fight against wage inequality, support for maternity as a social responsibility, combating gender violence, eradicating stereotypes in education, at the workplace, the mass media and institutions, the full guarantee of women’s sexual and reproductive rights, for measures and policies that liberate women and support and encourage their participation in social and political life.
  8. The 23rd Congress of AKEL confirmed the Party’s determination to continue to be in the front line of struggle against racism, xenophobia, hate rhetoric, against the policies of the EU, the “ghettoization” of immigrants, institutional racism and against all the causes that are uprooting the peoples from their countries. AKEL is working for the implementation of all the necessary measures for effective international protection, dignified living conditions and equal integration of refugees and asylum seekers into society with full respect for the relevant international conventions. At the same time, a transparent, fair and effective migration policy based on rights and equal integration and incorporation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families is demanded.
  9. AKEL is at the forefront of the struggle against homophobia and discrimination against LGBTI people which is still rooted in legislation, in the practices of the state and institutions, in society’s perceptions. AKEL calls for measures to combat discrimination, particularly at the workplace, for the strengthening and implementation of the legislation on hate rhetoric, an end to discrimination in childbearing and IVF.
  10. AKEL is not hostile to the Church, nor to anyone’s religious beliefs. At the same time, AKEL supports the complete separation of the State and the Church and an end to the Church’s economic and political entanglement. It demands the overall regulation of the Church’s financial obligations to the state and transparency in its business transactions, the promotion of constitutional amendments to put an end to the Church’s anachronistic privileges in relation to its property, an end to its interference in education and the promotion of the educational system’s secularist character and the modernisation of family law.
  11. The stamping out of corruption is a universal demand of Cypriot society, since its magnitude has reached unprecedented proportions during the years of the Anastasiades-DISY government, while the ‘golden’ passport scandal has discredited Cyprus all over the world. The most glaring aspect in this landscape of entanglement/interwoven interests, non-transparency and conflict of interest is the fact that these phenomena affect Nicos Anastasiades himself and his family circle, as well as members of his government. AKEL has tabled a series of drastic proposals to further strengthen meritocracy, transparency and accountability, to increase the mechanisms of exercising scrutiny and prevention, as well as those mechanisms responsible for crackdowns and delivering punishment.
  12. At the same time, as far as the Party itself and especially its cadres are concerned, the longstanding and pressing demand for honesty and the need to lead society by the power of our own example has become imperative. AKEL is strict on these issues, because the bar of society’s expectations of the Party of the Working People and the Left, particularly on these issues, is and must be higher. Otherwise, our distinctive role in society, which also derives from our ideological approach, will be altered. In the effort to radically confront the phenomena of interwoven interests and corruption, which implies a change of mentality and a different more advanced social consciousness, the ongoing effort to educate the Party and society at large plays a decisive role. For the Left, a society that tolerates such phenomena, or worse, reproduces them, is not a healthy society. At the same time, we must continue the steps taken to enhance transparency in the Party’s finances.
  13. Under the Anastasiades-Association government, Cypriot society has experienced unprecedented authoritarianism and regime-type practices by the government ruling forces through confrontations and attempts to put institutions and independent officials under their control, the suppression of peaceful demonstrations, the curtailment of political and social rights, the absence of the assumption of responsibilities and the sharp rise of cronyism/clientelism within the context of the attempt to turn the state into a ruling DISY party mechanism. AKEL will continue to fight for the protection, strengthening and democratic control of institutions and independent officials, for the enhancement of the rule of law through mechanisms of transparency, accountability, scrutiny and punishment, as well as for the promotion of meritocracy, equality before the law and good governance.
  14. A key pillar for safeguarding the rule of law is the progressive direction of legislation, the timely administration of justice and the impartiality that is currently being questioned as a result of cases of conflict of interest that have affected the Judiciary. AKEL attaches great importance to the need for a comprehensive reform of the judicial system in Cyprus, which represents a collective demand and social necessity. Among other things, the digital upgrading of the justice system is imperative in order to assist citizens and justice officials. Our proposals aim at the real, effective, impartial and speedy administration of justice in a transparent manner, with a view to ensuring the right of access to justice regardless of income capacity.
  15. The area of public order and security is intertwined with justice and the rule of law. The utilisation of the security sector by the government to serve its selfish political interests provokes major problems for the functioning and effectiveness of the Police. AKEL’s proposals aim to strengthen the labour rights of the members of the Police force, the National Guard, the Fire Brigade and Civil Defence, to strengthen meritocracy, review structures and legislation, to improve the functionality and democratic control and scrutiny over the Central Intelligence Agent (KYP).
Quality of life
  1. The 23rd Congress of AKEL addresses an appeal to Cypriot society to be vigilant and raise awareness about the environmental dangers facing the planet due to the exacerbation of climate change. At the same time, it points out with concern that Cyprus is bottom of the table across Europe in relation to environmental issues. AKEL is struggling for a Sustainable Development model that is inspired by key social and environmental principles, such as the right of all, as well as future generations, to live in a healthy environment. It defends the respect for natural and human-made ecosystems and the rational management of limited natural resources, which it regards as collective, social goods. The issue of ecological destruction is profoundly political question and the degree of organisation of the forces resisting the destructive course being pursued is expected to determine the future coming generations will experience. AKEL will be at the forefront of this struggle.
  2. AKEL’s position is that development needs a strong town planning system to guide, promote and regulate urban and rural development. This system must serve the real needs of the country, with respect for the identity of Cyprus and its people, with an emphasis on the quality of life, the environment and the principles of sustainability. A priority in AKEL’s proposals is the elaboration of a Plan for the Island and the simplification of the procedures for development licensing and scrutiny.
  3. An integral part of the plan regulating the development of any city is the road network. It is necessary to put an end to the anarchic development, complete the road network and redesign it on the basis of established scientific principles, and begin planning immediately for a modern, flexible, reliable and well-planned public transportation system.
  4. Culture has been and remains a priority in AKEL’s activity, interwoven with its very existence. It gives a platform and a voice to the creators of cultural values in our country. It supports their just demands, submitting proposals for the promotion of intellectual creation and all the arts. AKEL has elaborated a package of proposals and demands on every aspect of cultural activity in our country, with the primary assertion being the participation of the people of culture/arts and letters in decision-making, the need to drastically increase expenditure on culture, the utilisation and assertion of increased European funds which must reach artists. The 23rd Congress of AKEL addresses an appeal to the Anastasiades government to stop being indifferent and elaborate a policy recognising the damage that the pandemic has dealt to culture and art workers in our country.
  5. Sport, as a social good, has been altered by commercialization and phenomena such as corruption, match-fixing, doping, illegal gambling, violence at sports venues and racism, which derail it from fulfilling its social role and mission. The emphasis on dealing with all the above phenomena must be on prevention rather than the implementation of measures that violate individual freedoms and human rights. For AKEL, sport is not only about championship sport and the pursuit of records and glory, but our goal and priority is to support and ensure the mass participation of people in amateur sport, the broadening of social sport to provide sporting opportunities for every citizen and the clearing up of sporting bodies at all levels.

97. AKEL does not compromise with the phenomenon of the use and abuse of addictive substances, legal and illegal, which is one of the main challenges of modern capitalist society. The multidimensional nature of the problem demands a comprehensive approach, with the priority being the prevention of use, especially among young people, and the destigmatisation of people with a substance dependence problem.

  1. A party of principles with a vision. The 23rd Congress reaffirmed the ideological identity of AKEL as a modern communist party that is guided by the worldview of Marxism-Leninism which finds its content dialectically in the specific conditions of our era and country. Our ideology is neither a burden/obstacle, nor a dogma, but a tool of thought that “develops with the unstoppable progress of knowledge and economic and political development”. For AKEL, capitalism – a system that generates inequalities, exploitation, wars, fascism and ecological disasters – cannot be the final stage in humanity’s History. The world of socialism is necessary, timely and feasible, because it can unleash the true potential of humanity, to the benefit of humanity as a whole. AKEL gave its own content to this vision by outlining ‘Our Own Concept of Socialism’ which, three decades onwards, we need to update. It is this vision, these ideas and principles that make it imperative that AKEL should constantly be renewing itself and be outward-looking, open to the people and society, modern and pioneering.
  2. With the People, for the People. AKEL exists to serve the people, drawing its strength from the people and accountable only to the people. It is relies on its ties and daily interaction with the people and working people, at the workplaces and educational institutions, in the neighbourhoods and districts, in the movements and struggles. AKEL’s oxygen is its contacts with the people and this is the daily task of the entire party structure, its cadres and members. This relationship guarantees that the Party can feel the pulse of society and our times. It enables it to draw lessons from its mistakes and weaknesses. To gain its pioneering role by winning the trust of the people, which it must earn in practice every day. The 23rd Congress recognises, with a sense of self-criticism, that this relationship has deteriorated and declares the Party’s total determination to strengthen it again at every level.
  3. Mass and leading role. AKEL was, is and will be the great force that embraces the Cypriot Left and personalities of the New Forces and the entire progressive and democratic people of Cyprus. Every citizen who demands progressive changes in society, the economy, the state and institutions. It asserts a leading intervention in political life, in Parliament and in local government.
  4. A force of assertion for the many. The policy, demands and activity of AKEL address the overwhelming majority of Cypriot society which, in the system we live in, calls for and needs to be defended: the working class and the modern world of labour in general, the self-employed and small and medium-sized businesses, farmers, the youth and the socially vulnerable groups of the population.
  5. Forging alliances for change. Throughout its history, AKEL has been and is building alliances and cooperation at every level with other political and social forces, based on principles and objectives that serve the people. Today, as the main pole of the opposition, it is playing a leading role in creating the social majority that will bring progressive change in governance that our country needs and deserves.
  6. The hope of Cyprus and Cypriots. AKEL is the force of the whole of the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. It is at the forefront of the struggle against the occupation, partition and nationalism-chauvinism and has as its immediate strategic goal the patriotic duty of the liberation and reunification of Cyprus and its people. It struggles to make Cyprus a bridge of peace and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean region.
  7. A united, collective and democratic party. AKEL is a collective and united force that is organised and functions democratically. It is the only political force in the country that seeks to ensure that its grassroots membership, the thousands of Party members, participate in decisions and the fermentation of ideas. With confidence in the collective wisdom of the party members, its constant goal remains the strengthening of inter-party democracy, transparency and accountability. Enhancing creative criticism and self-criticism which presents weaknesses in practical application.
  8. With the momentum of History. AKEL has a history spanning almost a century. A history full of struggles and sacrifices for the homeland, the people and workers. AKEL’s roots with the Cypriot people are deep, soaked with blood and sweat. That is precisely why these roots have withstood and endured every attack and ordeal, against all kinds of enemies. We honor with respect the history of the Communist Party of Cyprus-AKEL and the worker’s movement of Cyprus and we shall continue it with the struggles of our era.
  1. The foundation of AKEL remains the Party Base Groups (PBG’s). The systematic and effective functioning of the PBG’s is one of the biggest challenges the Party faces today. The main priority must be to enhance the role and voice of the PBG’s and, consequently, of Party members. Members must be and feel like the real masters, actively participating in the formulation of policies, decision making and in the submission of proposals. At the same time, the main focus of a PBG’s activity must be transferred to intervention in local communities, participation in mass organisations/agencies and institutions.
  2. The Party’s leadership bodies need to constantly strengthen their daily contacts and interactive communication with the Party’s grassroots membership. They should guide, without substituting. They should exercise control and proceed to an assessment in their own field of responsibility, but also the activity of their members. The members of leadership bodies, in addition to effective participation in decision-making, must take the lead and set an example in the implementation of decisions and in the daily work of the Party.
  3. The full and active use of new technologies and social media in the daily work and promotion of the Party’s positions and actions is one of the biggest challenges before us. With systematic and organised work, making use of specialised know-how and investing resources and potential, new technologies can multiply the dynamics of conveying AKEL’s messages in society.
  4. ‘Paragontismos’ (Note: permanent goal of pursuing personal ambition/advancement by abusing positions of power), self-promotion and careerism are behaviours alien to the morals and principles of the Left, contrary to the character and statutes of the Party. They undermine the cohesion of the Party and dishearten our most conscious members, especially the young generation. They reinforce the destructive perception among society that “they are all the same” especially among youth. The Code of Conduct is there to be enforced, regardless of whether we update it from time to time. The relevant bodies must demonstrate the necessary will and determination to stop these phenomena, especially when they involve cadres holding civil/state or party positions. What distinguishes AKEL from other parties in this field is a badge of honor and we must safeguard it.
  5. The Auxiliary Bureaus of the C.C. are an important branch of the Party assigned with the task of producing and transmitting policy positions, ideas and proposals to leadership bodies. What is needed today is a new and comprehensive plan with regards their composition, guidance, structure, role and mode of operation that should correspond to the demands of our times. This demands grouping them into common thematic areas, the decentralization of work and the exercise of creative scrutiny with annual assessments, continuous monitoring of developments and extensive expertise on the relevant subject matters. The main challenge is that they manage to open up through their daily contact with society, the scientific community of their specific thematic fields, movements and organisations.
  6. The presence of AKEL in mass bodies in professional sectors aims to give these bodies a progressive and assertive character. For this intervention not to be fragmentary or even non-existent, the Party must proceed to the effective functioning of Party factions, organising new ones or strengthening those where they exist, establishing a two-way interactive relationship with Party members participating in them and structuring a mechanism for their coordination.
  7. In the 30 years of the course of the New Forces, we identify both positive and negative experiences. However, they to be a necessity and a conscious political choice, as an expression of the Party’s extrovert approach, its confidence to open up and broaden its influence, and to listen to new ideas. The choice of personalities must be based primarily on their qualitative characteristics and to a lesser extent on their electoral appeal. There is still a need for a further systematic dialogue and exchange of views with the New Forces, their effective utilisation in Party bureaus and policy-making committees. The constant evaluation of the custom taking into account the given prevailing circumstances is necessary.
  8. As an internationalist party and as a party of a struggling people, the International Relations of AKEL constitute an important area of work. We have a long track record and a recognised creative contribution to the international communist and left movement, which is disproportionately big to our country’s size. At the same time, with our international prestige and the multi-level relations we develop, we draw support and solidarity with our country’s struggle. AKEL seeks to constantly deepen its comradely bilateral relations with fraternal parties from all over the world, but at the same time seeks dialogue and contacts with forces from a wider spectrum too. Acknowledging the ideological and strategic differences that exist, AKEL is working for the joint action of the Communist and Worker’s Parties through their International Meeting. These Meetings need to be strengthened and upgraded, preserving their unity and character, so that they can respond to contemporary challenges. At a European level, AKEL is an active member of the Political Group of the Left in the European Parliament (GUE/NGL) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (United European Left). At the same time, AKEL seeks to be present in the processes taking place in the wider left spectrum of Europe and thus, despite our reservations, we participate as observers in the Party of the European Left. We seek to strengthen the international anti-imperialist movement, supporting the activity of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, the World Peace Council, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the World Federation of Democratic Women.
  9. The ideological front in contemporary conditions and especially in the conditions as they are developing in Cypriot society in recent years, assume great importance. The ideological front today begins with class consciousness and the organised struggle against the subordination of people’s consciences to the system and its ideological concepts. The defence of science and objective knowledge against irrationality, misinformation and bigotry. The defence of the principles of humanity and social solidarity as opposed to individualism. Respect for every human being regardless of race, gender, religion and sexual orientation, against racism, sexism, homophobia and hate rhetoric. Patriotism against nationalism. Internationalism against chauvinism. The ideological battle also includes the defence of the Party’s history and policy against bourgeois (nationalist and liberal), but also leftist criticism. Ideological work can neither be disconnected, nor detached from the Party’s organizational and daily political work. It demands the formulation of a long-term programme of educational work and Marxist education for Party cadres, the utilisation of the mass media and the Party’s social media networks, and the encouragement of self-education.
  1. AKEL was and is the heart and consciousness of the People’s Movement of Cyprus. It is linked to the class-based trade union movement, but also to the farmer’s, women’s and youth movement that are active among the Cypriot people. The 23rd Congress declares the need for a complete revitalization of the mass organizations of the People’s Movement, so that we can halt the attack by big capital and the government on popular interests and social gains.
  2. As the Party of the working class and of the entire working people of Cyprus, AKEL, is inextricably linked to the worker’s movement, the class trade union movement of PEO. In the current conditions characterised by attacks on workers’ rights and on trade unionism itself, it is necessary to revive the Party’s focus on work in the trade union movement and for AKEL members to be at the forefront of trade union activity. The Trade Union Bureau of the C.C. must broaden its role in coordinating and guiding by charting a strategically oriented intervention in the trade union spectrum, both in the private and public sector.
  3. The farmer’s movement of the Union of Cypriot Farmers (EKA) is active and struggling in the adverse environment for farmers created by the accession to the EU and which is being exacerbated as a result of the government’s policies. With our position on the need to strengthen the primary sector and develop the agricultural economy as a principal goal, AKEL is strengthening EKA’s struggle and actions by taking initiatives both inside and outside the House of Representatives and the European Parliament, but also with its daily presence in rural areas and on farm units.
  4. The problems, demands and aspirations of the young people of the country must become a top priority of AKEL and its intervention in society. AKEL is and wants to continue to be the Party of Youth and for this it needs to respond to the changes and demands of the times. EDON, despite the difficulties and challenges it faces, remains the leading organised force within Cypriot youth. It is the main bastion against the extreme right-wing nationalist forces that are poisoning young people and against the climate of depoliticisation and depreciation being cultivated by the system. The Party’s support towards EDON must take on a concrete character, starting at the level of Party Base Groups and EDON Local Organisations. The transition and integration of EDON members and student militants into the Party’s ranks is a crucial challenge. At the same time, the Party will continue to support the organised school pupil’s movement – the Pancyprian Coordinating Committee of School Pupils (PSEM) and the Pancyprian Federation of Student Unions (POFEN) respectively – and their struggles.
  5. Gender equality is an integral part of our social vision, ideas and principles of the Left. So long as women’s inequality continues, an autonomous women’s movement with a class and progressive orientation needs to exist and develop its struggle. AKEL is called upon to cooperate with the women’s movement of POGO to deepen its intervention on issues concerning women and gender, to elaborate our proposals on contemporary issues, for movement-type activities. The Party should immediately dedicate forces and prioritise the strengthening and renewal of the POGO Women’s Movement itself. It is imperative that effective measures are taken to address the shortcomings with regards the role and presence of women in the Party, their participation in party life, in our leadership bodies and on our ballot lists. The 23rd Congress underlines that special work is demanded to promote women militants and combat stereotypes about the role of women that exist in our Party as well.
  6. A mass and assertive pensioner’s movement has been built with the Union of Cypriot Pensioners (EKYSY) affiliated to the trade union federation of PEO. In addition to supporting the Party in its demands to ensure a dignified life for the elderly, practical organisational support to the local movements of the ESYSEA is demanded.
  1. The Parliamentary Group of AKEL-Left-New Forces is the force in Parliament defending the interests of the people, by exercising militant opposition, putting forward proposals and demands, seeking to form majorities in order to promote solutions. It is called now upon to act in the new framework shaped by the parliamentary elections of May 2021. Our MP’s must continue to stand out for their seriousness, preparation and knowledge of their specific issues, for their activity and initiatives. The Parliamentary Group must continue to stand out for its unity and collective operation and work. The significant steps taken in the coordination of MP’s with the Party’s District Committees, in the annual appraisal/scrutiny of Parliamentary work, in cooperation with the Auxiliary Bureaus of the C.C. and in the projection of our parliamentary work in society must continue.
  2. The European Parliamentary Group of AKEL and our AKEL Delegation in the Left Group have been developing for 17 years a multifaceted activity that is recognised beyond the borders of Cyprus too. Indeed, the esteem in which the Party is held by the forces of the left on our continent enables AKEL to take initiatives and assume responsibilities that have over time contributed creatively to the unity and effectiveness of our Group. The emphasis must be on linking our work in Brussels with Cyprus, promoting our activity among the AKEL grassroots membership and society in general, ensuring better coordination between the Party’s European Parliament and Parliamentary Group, given that most of the issues that come before the House of Representatives have already been discussed at the level of the European Parliament.
  3. AKEL’s relationship with local government is longstanding and spans decades, representing a key component of our daily intervention in society. AKEL supports and contributes creatively to the shaping of the reform of local government in order to liberate creative forces of local communities and render local authorities even more democratic and effective. For that reason, AKEL is in favour of the administrative and financial autonomy of local authorities. This is why the 23rd Party Congress insists on the need to hold local referendums on changes to the Local Government charter. At the same time, AKEL’s presence in Municipal and Community Councils demands the careful selection of our representatives, their collective and proper preparation, their daily presence in local societies, their accountability and evaluation by the local party organisations. The 23rd Congress calls on the people of the left to rally their forces in view of the December Municipal and Local Community Elections.
  1. The 23rd Congress recognises and stresses the need for the Party to open up with confidence and develop a solid and two-way interactive relationship with the social movements of our era. Such a relationship will give momentum to the social struggles for the small and big changes that the country needs. AKEL and its members and militants need to strengthen our ability and readiness to cooperate and engage with people and social groups who, while not fully identifying with us ideologically, are active around specific objectives that we share. AKEL must in a sincere and combative manner march together on the same path with social movements that stand critically and assertively against state power; that put forward demands that coincide with or approach those of the Left. This relationship also enables the Party to constantly enrich its own positions and actions.
  2. As for this opening up to the spectrum of movements, we need to link our parliamentary action with the demands and actions of movements and organisations, so that we can transform society’s demands into political demands and proposals in Parliament. We need to hold frequent meetings to elaborate positions and initiate actions. We need to encourage our militants to participate in these movements and organisations, with a presence that does not give the impression of any manipulation, but a presence governed by ethos, respect and seriousness. We should coordinate and listen daily to our members who are active in these movements.
  3. We have a different relationship with voluntary “charity” organisations that are active to alleviate specific social problems. We recognise and support where we can their selfless work. However, we insist that this cannot be a substitute for the welfare state’s responsibility and shifting the state’s responsibility to private initiatives.
  4. The Peace Movement is a top priority for the Party, whose ideology, identity and history are governed by internationalism, the anti-imperialist struggle, the expression of solidarity with struggling peoples, the struggle against wars. In the face of the dangerous militarisation of the Eastern Mediterranean and the adventurist policies pursued by the Anastasiades government in relation to foreign policy, AKEL stands on the side of the Cyprus Peace Council, in its struggles and its efforts to develop a mass character and broaden.