Martin Buschmann defends record after resignation from GUE/NGL group

Buschmann’s resignation comes after it emerged that he was a member of the German “far right and ultranationalist” NPD political party in the 1990s.

Photo credit: European Parliament Audiovisual

By Martin Banks

Martin Banks is a senior reporter at the Parliament Magazine

28 Feb 2020

German MEP Martin Buschmann has made a passionate defence of his record after he resigned from the GUE/NGL group in Parliament due to revelations about his past.

GUE/NGL said it was “shocked and deeply concerned” by the news and accepted his decision to resign from his position in the group with immediate effect.

Buschmann was elected an MEP in the European elections last May and was part of the GUE/NGL group from July until January when newspaper revelations were made public. He now sits as a non-attached member.


He said that a weekly newspaper reported that he was a member of the NPD about 25 years ago, adding, “This statement is correct insofar as the entry was personal, and not political, in nature.”

The Hamburg-born deputy went on, “I had fallen in love with a woman who was a member there. Ultimately, it doesn't matter. This ‘party’ acted like a sect. When you're a young person, it's difficult to withstand the dynamics of the group.”

He said, “That actually resulted in my name being made available to me for posts. I was not active, in the sense of posters, campaigns or public appearances.”

“This ‘party’ acted like a sect. When you're a young person, it's difficult to withstand the dynamics of the group”

“After I left and the spook was finally over, a liberated life began for me. Now I've also been married to my wife, who comes from Asia, for almost seven years. I worked in international companies and travelled the world.”

“I am surrounded by a multicultural environment, live and love our open, democratic society, for which I am fully committed. A world community based on solidarity and an EU commitment to human rights are very important to me.”

The 50-year-old noted that in 2009 he joined the Human Environment Animal Welfare Party, adding, “Only two people who are no longer part of the party had I informed about my past when I joined the party.”

“Both saw no problem, since I naturally do not have any right [-wing] views. The rest of the party learned nothing, however, and I didn't want to burden anyone with it.”

He accepts, “But now it is a burden that I was not open about it,” adding that the experience taught him “how wrong and destructive right-wing organisations are.”

Since 2014 he has been head of the Working Group for International Cooperation and later co-founder of the Working Group against Law.

“Nothing disgusts me more than racism, anti-Semitism, fascism and all kinds of discrimination.”

“For many people it is now a huge disappointment that I have not been open about my past; that I am simply silent about it out of sheer shame. However, human rights, environmental protection and animal rights require my tireless efforts today, which is why I would like to continue to work for them in the European Parliament.”

“For many people it is now a huge disappointment that I have not been open about my past; that I am simply silent about it out of sheer shame”

He adds, “In the committee on petitions, I would like to ensure that petitions on the environment, animal and human rights are not disregarded but must be dealt with by the Commission. In the agriculture committee, I would like to speak out and tackle factory farming, animal transport or pesticide use.”

“Therefore, despite the clear mistake I made regarding my biography, I ask for further support for my political work.”

The MEP said, “It is inexcusable that I have not been completely transparent with my past, but I still hope that you will continue to support my political work. An open and honest debate on my part will be held on this in the future.”

“Through my ongoing commitment to environmental protection, human and animal rights, I want to do my best to ensure that trust in my political work can continue.”

“This will only be possible through daily, active commitment to a better future for everyone. This is more important than ever now and I want to convince with my political results.”

In a statement, the GUE/NGL group it was “troubled by the fact that the group, his party, and the public are only now being informed about this, and disappointed in the breach of trust that has been committed.”

“As a voice for left values in Europe and beyond, anti-fascism, anti-racism, and international solidarity are fundamental principles in our daily work.”

“Today, and throughout our history, the Left has been dedicated to the defence of migrants, women, minorities, and others that find themselves under attack from the far right in Europe. We cannot tolerate any doubt about our group’s determined and long-standing commitment to this crucial struggle,” the group added.

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