This article traces the development of two post-communist parties—the Czech KSČM and the German PDS—illustrating how they may continue to shape hard left policy in an expanded European Union (EU). It analyses three policy areas in detail (security and defense policy, employment policy and policies towards the institutional reform of the EU) and argues that, providing the parties avoid internal ideological conflict, they may come to play significant roles in influencing hard left policy in future years. The PDS is likely to act as a bridge for other hard left groups with more conservative agendas while the much larger KSČM may attempt to shift the ideological balance back towards more structurally conservative anti-capitalist policies.

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