The new IU Exterior (United Left Abroad) federation was created because it is our understanding that the context of migration has changed and we need a new structure that better adapts to it. The old federal structure, arranged by countries, was suitable in the context of the migration waves during the 60’s and 70’s, when large numbers of people would migrate to one place in particular, either as industrial “guest workers” or to fill other jobs, and stay there for years, or even decades. The migration process starting in 2010 as a result of the economic crisis presents very different characteristics.
Most of the 2.5 million people that left Spain since 2010 are located in medium and large cities in countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France or Belgium, but many also live in other European countries such as Austria or Switzerland, in Latin America, USA, or even Asia. The historical federations, which were located in countries such as France, Germany or Belgium, were not an effective way of coordinating the contributions of members living outside of those countries. The new internal structure not only brings the party’s federal structure closer to its members, it also allows people to join IU Exterior even when they live far away from where the historical federations used to be established.
Our main challenge is to make possible that every Izquierda Unida (United Left) member living abroad can collaborate in an organized manner, regardless of the city, country or even continent they live in, strengthening existing base assemblies as well as creating new ones. We have also set ourselves the goal of having our members get involved in industrial conflicts that affect migrants, either by participating in existing activist networks or by creating new ones where these don’t exist.