PES Academy: Learning and exchanging best practices
From 23 – 26 July 2016 the Party of European Socialists – in close cooperation with the SPO Austria - organised its 4th European Training Academy in Vienna. 51 participants, from 24 parties and 23 countries took part. Main aim was to provide tools, policy information and strategies on modern campaigning. Speakers included PES President Sergei Stanishev, Vice-President Jan Royall and Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber.
Starting on the day of the British referendum, “change” was the central theme. Kicking off the academy with a session on political analyses, opportunities and chances for progressive parties a comparison between European politics and US politics was made.
Content-wise the academy focused on the main policy areas for progressive parties to work on: climate change; international trade; the PES “European Youth Plan”. These themes were the lines along the workshops were organised. On social media, speechwriting, political language, coalition building etc.
On Friday, PES President Sergei Stanishev analysed the results of the UK referendum:”Now is the time for everyone who believes in the European Union to act. The European Socialists and Democrats are such believers. We put our heart and soul into the European project and now is the time to make sure that it will endure. Our responsibility, as the progressive political family, is to take leadership during this historical moment for Europe and set a new agenda for the EU. We already started this process with the PES high level summit in Paris. We have our European Plan for Youth. We introduced a Programme of Progressive Reforms. But to succeed, it needs all of us”, encouraging each of the participants and every progressive to join these efforts..
The trainers included European and American experts on campaigning, including Daraka Larimore-Hall, Elisabeth Wehling, Thomas Kvicala, Ana Urlic and Martin Binder-Blumenthal.