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Thursday, November 24, 2011

PES Council 2011 adopts selects resolution

PES Council has just adopted major resolution establishing democratic selection process to choose PES candidate for President of the European Commission at next Euro-elections.

Process will be open and democratic but flexible for national parties to choose their most appropriate method. Will involve direct or indirect consultation with national party members. Candidates need nomination of 6 national parties or organisations. Final votes cast proportionally at extraordinary PES Congress in 2014.

Nominations open/close October 2013. Determination of positions of national parties takes place in December 2013 and January 2014. Special PES Congress takes place to select candidate and adopt manifesto in February 2014.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PES Resolution adopted at Warsaw Council

The PES Council has unanimously adopted a resolution establishing a working group under the leadership of Ruairi Quinn TD (Irish MP pictured opposite) to bring forward proposals for the selection of the PES candidate for President of the European Commission at the next European elections. This is a hugely historic decision which builds on the decision taken at the Prague Congress (December 2009) that the PES will present an agreed candidate for Commission President at the next elections in 2014.

There are no predicted outcomes to this process and the Campaign for a PES Primary will continue to campaign for the selection of our candidate for Commission President through democratic primaries. However, we warmly welcome the very important step forward that the PES Council has taken and look forward to submitting our proposals to the working group.

A copy of the full resoluton can be read here.

The members of the working group are listed below:


Ruairi Quinn                                Labour, Ireland


Karl Duffek                                SPÖ Austria
Gilles Mahieu                              PS Belgium
Saïd El Khadraoui                      sp.A Belgium
Tero Shemeikka                         SDP Finland
Alain Richard                             PS France
Achim Post                                SPD Germany
Paulina Lampsa                         PASOK, Greece
Tibor Szanyi                              MSZP, Hungary
Piero Fassino                            PD Italy
Frans Timmermans                   PvdA, The Netherlands
Titus Corlatean                         PSD, Romania
Andrej Horvat                          SD, Slovenia
Diego Lopez Garrido                PSOE Spain
Ann Linde                                SAP, Sweden
Wayne David                           Labour, UK
Petroula Nteledimou                 ECOSY
Zita Gurmai                              PES Women
Martin Schulz                           S&D Group in the EP


Philip Cordery                          PES

Thursday, December 2, 2010

PES Presidency Resolution on selecting Commission candidate

The PES Council meeting in Warsaw is about to debate a PES Presidency resolution entitled, "A democratic and transparent process for designating the PES candidate for the European Commission Presidency." The draft resolution is not yet on line (I wil provide a link when it is published) but its key contents are as follows:

"We, European socialists and social democrats, will select our candidate through a democractic and transparent process. We will take this step towards a more democratic European Union in an open and confident approach ..."

"We will apply these principles to our own house and strengthen the internal democracy of the PES by bringing on board all our parties and all levels within the parties. Our common candidate will be chosen in an open way, we need to reinvigorate European citizens' engagement with European politics, and thus engage our members in one way or another. If we want to be a credible, modern and forward-looking alternative, the PES must have a democratic, transparent and inclusive process, which is both understandable and flexible and ensuring both the quality and the legitimacy of the candidate."

"Therefore, the PES sets up a Working Group "Candidate 2014", to discuss and propose a process. The discussion could include:
- the criteria to stand as a candidate, including proposals for endorsement
- the scope of the electorate
- the selection procedure
- the organisation and financing of the selection process
- a timetable for the selection"

"The decision on the process on how to select the PES common candidate will follow this timetable:
PES Council 2010: Establishment of the Working Group "Candidate 2014"
June 2011: Intermediary report of the Working Group "Candidate 2014" to the PES Presidency
September 2011: Final Report ... to the PES Presidency
PES Council 2011: Proposal from the PES Presidency to the Council. Adoption of the process by the Council"

The debate is to begin shortly ... follow its progress on www.pes.org or at www.twitter.com/pesprimary.

Blogging from the PES Council in Warsaw

Members of the Campaign for a PES Primary are blogging from the PES Council in a very cold and snowy Warsaw. You can follow our tweets here or on our Facebook page here.

Key events at the PES Council are:

Thursday (02 DEC)

13h00    Reception for PES activists from 13h00 in the main restaurant
18h00    Debate on  how the PES will select its candidate for Commission President
              (you can follow this debate almost live at www.pes.org)

Friday (03 DEC)  

13h00    Fringe meeting & Debate on how to select the PES candidate for Commission President

(this meeting wil be addressed by Desmond O'Toole and José Reis Santos of the Campaign for a PES Primary as well as PES activists from France and Paris-based think tanks active in this area).

Monday, October 11, 2010

Rasmussen writes on choosing the next Commission President

In a recent article on the renewal of European Social Democracy published in "Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft" (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung), Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES President, had this to say on the selection of a PES candidate for the next President of the European Commission:

"This is why the PES has committed itself to a course of action that will produce a clear democratically elected candidate to front the European elections. Giving a face to a political platform is imperative in today’s politics, especially in such difficult elections as the European ones. To make this election relevant, citizens must know that their vote can shape the executive and change policies. We have therefore made a commitment to choose a PES candidate for the European Commission presidency for the next European elections. This candidate will be expected to inspire party activists but also, most importantly, potential voters."

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dan Luca (PSD Romania) says David Milliband for EU Commission President.

In a provocative article entitled "David Milliband - President of the European Commission in 2014", Dan Luca, President of the Romanian Social Democrats in Brussels, argues that the Party of European Socialists could attract the brother of the next British Prime Minister to be the PES candidate for Commission President in 2014. In order to attract candidates of the stature of David Milliband to run for the PES nomination it would be necessary to open the decision-making process to the individual members of the PES in democratic primaries.

Dan argues:

From a European point of view David inspires as a real politician, with big potential to become the President of European Commission in 2014. But the EU and the election system needs to change in order to get politicians like David involved at a European level ...

The key of my proposed mechanism is open elections of a representative for the Left as a candidate for the President of the European Commission. The selection phase should be very easy, clear and transparent. The decisive line is empowerment of the members, the activists. Their choice is the most important here. If too many bodies of the Socialists come together to "elect" the leader, this is not good.

In each of the 27 countries there need to be primary elections in 2013, and each country would have a winner who takes the number of the country´s votes. A more complicated election formula will be demotivating for the members.

In my opinion, David Miliband is one of the possible candidates for such an “exercise” and for sure a lot of Socialists would like to see him in the position of the President of the EC in 2014.

Dan finishes his blog article by asking a very loaded question:

Have we spotted a European “Obama” in the political arena?

Paul Alliès (PS France) writes on democratic primaries.

Paul Alliès is a professor at the Université de Montpellier, Secrétaire national adjoint for the Rénovation du Parti Socialiste and President of the Convention pour la 6° République (C6R). In an article on the well-known French blogsite, Mediapart.fr, entitled "Les primaires font tache d'huile en Europe", (Primaries are spreading throughout Europe), Paul discusses the recent meeting of the PES Network on Modernising Politics that was held at PES headquarters on the 23rd September.

In an interesting article, Paul describes the different procedures at the national level to select party leaders in social democratic and socialist parties in Europe. He states "The generalisation of primaries in Europe is a way towards another type of party, more respectful of the choice and weight of ordinary citizens"

Paul also comments on the Campaign for a PES Primary:

Un groupe s'est même formé de "PSE activists" avec principalement des militants irlandais, anglais et portugais pour mener campagne dans les réseaux sociaux en faveur d'une telle perspective (sur Facebook: Campaign for a PES Primary; et sur Twitter@PESPrimary). La généralisation des primaires en Europe apparaît donc comme une voie de passage, modeste mais inéluctable vers un autre type de parti plus respectueux du choix et du poids des citoyens ordinaires. Il n'est pas secondaire que ce soit la vieille social-démocratie qui porte ce changement.

A group has even been formed by "PES activists" comprising mostly Irish, English and Portuguese activists to campaign on social networks to support such a view (on Facebook: Campaign for a PES Primary, and on Twitter @ PESPrimary). The generalisation of primaries in Europe appears to be a path, modest but inevitable, towards another type of party more respectful of the choices and weight of ordinary citizens. Neither is it a secondary issue for old social-democracy to bring about this change."

Translation errors are my own. Desmond O'Toole.