PES Academy shapes new progressive agenda

09/10/2019

PES Academy participants in Leuven

PES Academy participants in Leuven

The PES Academy has brought together young professionals and activists representing over 20 PES parties and organisations for an intensive training programme, for the fifth consecutive year.

40 people gathered in Brussels and Leuven, Belgium, from 3-5 October 2019 for ‘Our new progressive agenda for 2019 – 2024: fighting fake news and hate speech, and campaign tools and skills to win elections’.

PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber, who founded the PES Academy in 2014, said:

“It is really great to see that our member parties have nominated such excellent participants again. During the last five years we have trained young people who are engaged and committed to our progressive family. Amongst them government ministers and party leaders. It is inspirational for participants, trainers, speakers and for us as the PES.”

The three-day programme of workshops and discussions kicked off on Thursday 3 October at the PES Headquarters in Brussels. The central theme during the afternoon was ‘Our new progressive agenda for Europe’, with PES President Sergei Stanishev, President of the S&D Group Iratxe Garcia, and General Secretary of S&D Group Michael Hoppe.

The event then moved onto Leuven, where speakers on modern campaigning, tackling populism, attracting voters, and the PES agenda in the context of global trends, included:

  • Katarina Roth Nevedalova, PES Vice-President
  • Maj Jensen, General Secretary of YES
  • Balazs Barany, International Secretary of the MSZP Hungary
  • Sebastiaan Timmermans, PvdA Campaign Manager
  • Antton Rönnholm, Secretary-General of SDP Finland
  • Laura Ballarin Cereza, PSOE European Secretary
  • Ivan Doherty, Director of National Democratic Institute
  • Matt Browne, Center for American Progress
  • Camila Garfias, President of Rainbow Rose
  • Paul Richards, communication expert
  • Lord Iain McNicol, former General Secretary of UK Labour
  • Chloe Green, digital campaigning expert

Alongside learning from experts in their field, participants to the event shared experiences from across the progressive political family, put forward ideas for the next session’s programme, and discussed the most pressing current political issues. The next PES Academy will take place in the new year.

Images from the event are available to view on Flickr.