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About the PES

The Party of European Socialists (PES) brings together the Socialist, Social Democratic and Labour Parties of the European Union (EU). There are 33 full member parties from the 28 EU member States and Norway. In addition, there are 13 associate and 12 observer parties.

PES aims include:

  • the strengthening of the socialist and social democratic movement in the Union and throughout Europe;
  • contributing to forming a European awareness and to expressing the political will of the citizens of the Union; 
  • defining common policies for the European Union and to influence the decisions of the European institutions;
  • leading the European election campaign with a common strategy and visibility, a common Manifesto and a common candidate to the European Commission Presidency, elected through an open, transparent and democratic competitive process


  • Congress - meets twice in every five year period, decides on the political orientation of the PES and elects the President and the Vice-President(s)
  • Council - every year without a Congress, the Council contributes to the shaping of PES policy
  • President - leads and represents the PES on a daily basis
  • Leaders' Conference - gathers Prime Ministers and Party Leaders from PES Member parties three to four times a year to define the strategy and adopt common resolutions
  • Coordination Team - discusses the planning, preparation, follow-up and financing of PES activities
  • Secretariat - based in Brussels, ensures the daily running of the PES.

Young European Socialists (YES) and PES Women are respectively the Youth and the Women’s organization of the PES. 


Party of European Socialists 20122013, 2014

PES President

Sergei Stanishev

Former PES Presidents 

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen (SD-DK)
April 2004 - November 2011 
Poul's blog (archived)

Robin Cook (LP-UK)
May 2001 – April 2004

Rudolf Scharping (SPD-DE)
March 1995 – May 2001

Willy Claes (SP.A-B)
November 1992 – October 1994

Guy Spitaels (PS-B)
February 1989 – May 1992

Vítor Constâncio (PS-P)
May 1987 – January 1989

Joop Den Uyl (PvdA-NL)
March 1980 – May 1987

Robert Pontillon (PS-F)
January 1979 – March 1980

Wilhelm Dröscher (SPD-DE)
April 1974 – January 1979

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President's blog

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The reports of the death of Social Democracy have been greatly exaggerated. The PES is back on the track of jobs and growth and calls for investing in European Youth

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This week, we European Socialists and Democrats marked 40 years of the Helsinki Act, which facilitated dialogue between East and West and brought a certain security in Europe.

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Over the last few days the PES has worked hard to tackle two very important issues. First of all the PES organised together with the Global Progressive Forum, the Socialist & Democrat Group in the European Parliament and the Arab Social Democratic Forum a conference on the refugee crisis in...