PES Presidency sets out battle plans for European Election Campaign
The PES Presidency met today in Brussels to discuss the coordination of its European election campaign. Member parties made clear that they will demonstrate in the coming six weeks the clear and fundamental differences between the Party of European Socialists (PES) member parties and the Conservative parties of the EPP group.
PES President Sergei Stanishev, commenting on the first TV debate between PES Common Candidate for European Commission President, Martin Schulz ,and Jean-Claude Juncker told members that "Martin Schulz gave an excellent performance, drawing clear differences on social and economic policies, and laying the blame clearly with the conservatives for the 10 million more unemployed Europeans which is the legacy of the outgoing EPP-led Commission."
There was also an important message to member parties from Zita Gurmai, PES Women President, that the female vote will play a central role in putting Schulz in the European Commission. "Martin has promised to make women's empowerment a central theme, and I am pleased that he plans to close the gender pay gap, and about his conviction that his daughter must have the same opportunities in life as his son."
All 28 PES member parties agreed that this campaign will be about the different values that PES and EPP hold. The PES candidates across Europe will make clear that despite the EPP member parties trying to present a soft image at election time, the damage of their economic policies are undeniable. As Martin Schulz had commented after the debate; "the EPP intend to campaign as sociialists but govern as hardline conservatives". The PES will underline to voters that our parties have fought against this approach for five years and will change the painful austerity-only policy after the elections.