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Friday, July 30, 2010

Open Letter to PES activists and supporters

"Activists of the Party of European Socialists are doing a most important job. You are bridge-builders across frontiers, creating a true, cross-border democracy."

So said Poul Nyrup Rasmussn, PES President, in Madrid in 2008. But what does building European democracy mean for us, the activists of the PES?

The Lisbon Treaty mandates that the President of the European Commission must come from the political family that wins the European Parliament elections.

Last year the PES and its member parties were unable to agree on a candidate to lead our campaign in the European Parliament elections. Our party's voice was reduced to silence and we failed to attract the support of the people of Europe for our vision of a new Social Europe.

The result was the renewal of Barroso's mandate and continued inertia and complacency at the heart of Europe's government to deal with the economic crisis, social exclusion and the demands for greater equality. How different would Europe's response be to the need to create jobs, make the transformation to a green economy and secure social inclusion and gender equality if we had won those elections and the Commission was led by a European socialist or social democrat?

We cannot let the same mistakes be made again. In 2014 the people of Europe will return to the polls to elect the next European Parliament. The PES has agreed that we will select a candidate to lead us in that campaign and so maximise the prospect for increasing our representation in the European Parliament. But that candidate cannot be selected in secret, or only by the leaders and officials of the member parties. It is essential for the further democratisation of Europe that the PES lights the way and first democratise ourselves.

And as Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said in Madrid in 2008, "PES activists ... are the bridge-builders across frontiers, creating a true, cross-border democracy."

WE want to be involved in selecting the candidate who will lead our party in 2014.

WE want to make European democracy a reality for ordinary citizens.

WE demand the holding of primary elections, involving PES party members across Europe, to select our candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission.

Join the Campaign for a PES Primary!

Co-signed: Desmond O'Toole (Co-ordinator, PES activists Dublin)
José Reis Santos (Co-ordinator, PES activists Portugal)


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