- About the PES
- PES in the EU
- The President
- The Vice-Presidents
- The Congress
- The Council
- The Leaders' Conference
- The Presidency
- The Secretary General
- The Secretariat
- PES documents
- Political initiatives
- Economy and finance
- Social Europe
- Migration & Integration
- News & media
- PES Women
Poul's blog (archived)
I am announcing that, after the PES Council and Convention, I will be stepping down as PES President. Everything has its time. For me, the time has come to start a new chapter of my life. I have had the honour and the pleasure to contribute to a crucial phase of development for our common European party. Friends, I feel the PES has been with me all my political life. I first took part in many PES leaders' meetings in my capacity as party leader of the Danish Social Democrats, and then as Prime Minister for nine years, before being elected as President of the PES in April 2004.
Our Convention is based on engagement and inclusion. There can be no better feeling than being part of a group of people coming together, sharing progressive ideas and most importantly, using those ideas for common action. This creates a sense of ownership and a spirit of togetherness. Such an atmosphere of optimism is precious and priceless.
This last week was a week of contrasts. On Wednesday I attended an extraordinary conference, organised by the Global Progressive Forum. The conference, entitled ‘building the road to democracy’, focused on the strengthening of relations between the Party of European Socialists and Middle East and North African representatives from progressive political parties.
(6 October, 2011) Over the last two weeks there have been two constants in this latest chapter of the Euro-crisis saga. One is talked about in great detail. One is hardly mentioned.
What has become deafening is the chorus of voices lambasting Eurozone political leaders for acting too slowly. Commentators have called the agonized EU policy response; “a crisis of political will”, “becoming experts in meeting low expectations” and most elegantly, “a grudging incrementalism”.
Europe supported Libya and Egypt, now is the time to support the Palestinians at the United Nations
Last week, an extremely positive moment occurred when leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament Martin Schulz and I supported the Palestinian bid for recognition in the United Nations. Following the momentous changes that have occurred in the region since the beginning of the year, it is reasonable that Palestinian demands for UN recognition are met.
We are faced with the Eurozone crisis, as we have been for well over a year now. Despite offering the best solutions to the crisis, the PES is, unfortunately, not in power. Instead, right-wing Governments, lead by France and Germany, dominate the EU landscape. During that time, Conservative politicians have gone from denial to panic to reluctant acceptance of the need to act. However, the words they have used have not changed. Now we start the countdown to the European Council on 23-24 June. We cannot afford the same conservative mistakes. We have signed up to the appeal of progressive forces calling for a new direction.
Recently, I was at an event which declared its aims as being to tackle the ‘post-crisis’ landscape. I have to say that I really took offence to this title. For millions of unemployed Europeans we are certainly not ‘post-crisis’. The effects of the economic meltdown, the crisis times, are still being experienced right across the continent. More and more people in Europe are unemployed and even protesting on the street. And yet financial magazines and newspapers talk about a ‘return to growth’. This dissonance between market fantasy and human reality is embarrassing.
Having just returned from Tunis last weekend I am happy to testify that the forces of progressive change are alive and well. The 3 days in the evolving democracy of Tunisia were inspiring for me and for all the 120 participants at our ‘freedom and progress’ conference. Our sister party FDTL (the Democratic Forum for Work and Freedom) under the leadership of my dear friend Mustapha Ben Jaafar, showed the level of commitment that is needed at this time. The courage shown by the representatives from all over the region – Libya, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Algeria, Egypt was inspiring. Their testimonies gave further resolve to those gathered. Our message of support for FDTL’s efforts and to all progressives across the region was clear: the EU is not all borders and walls. There is a progressive Europe that is fighting for your interests.
By: Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Attila Mesterhazy, Victor Ponta, Sergei Stanishev, Grzegorz Napieralski
As we witness the European Federation of Trade Unions (ETUC) demonstration in Budapest (9 April) there is a growing realisation among European citizens that the situation today is not “politics as usual”. In the last two and a half years the continent has been shaken by the biggest economic crisis for 2 generations. An initial honeymoon period of neo-Keynesian policy was soon washed away by a Conservative driven ‘austerity-only’ agenda. Now people all over Europe are feeling the pain, the social exclusion, and the injustice of this agenda. Nowhere is this more evident than in the ‘new’ EU Member States.
There is now an urgent need to change track for Europe. There is a growing desire for a new progressive way in the European Political Space. March 2011 has seen events confronting the European Union at an accelerated pace. From our leaders meeting at the start of the month to the European Council fudge on economic governance, from the rapid escalation of the Libyan crisis to the human consequences, there have been ample examples why a strong European Union is needed.