Progressive parties meet in Oslo to discuss elections and fighting fake news
Secretaries general, campaign managers and senior organisers from progressive, socialist and social democrat parties across Europe met today for an intensive discussion of electoral strategies, campaign experiences and insights.
The meeting of the PES Secretaries General Network – the tenth such annual gathering – was hosted by the Norwegian Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party) in Oslo and chaired by Achim Post, Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists.
The meeting was hosted by Kjersti Stenseng, Secretary General of the Arbeiderpartiet, whose party is preparing to fight national elections in September.
Alongside reports on recent election results across Europe and discussions on upcoming campaigns, delegates also exchanged views on fighting populism, countering voter abstention and dealing with 'fake news'.
Special guest speakers included Amy Dacey, CEO of the Democratic National Committee in the USA during Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, and Deborah Mattinson from the polling organisation Britain Thinks – both of whom shared their expertise on current challenges facing progressive parties.
The meeting took place only a few hours after the news of the terrorist bombing in Manchester, UK. Delegates began their meeting by reflecting on the news and Mr Post expressed solidarity on behalf of all member parties with the British people.
Mr Post said:
"Our parties are facing electoral and political challenges across Europe – many of which are similar, but with many unique aspects distinctive to each country.
"One of the great strengths of socialist and social democrat parties is our mutual solidarity and support. One of the most important roles for the Party of European Socialists is to act as an umbrella network so that member parties can communicate with each other, support and help each other.
"In a year when many of our parties face crucial electoral challenges, opportunities to exchange best practices are invaluable."
In attendance at the meeting were:
- Achim Post, Secretary General
- Marije Laffeber, Deputy Secretary General
- Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General
- Kjersti Stenseng, Secretary General
- Odd-Inge Kvalheim, International Secretary
- Kristine Nordenson Kalset, Assistant Secretary General
- Halvard Ingebriktsen, Campaign Leader
- Amund Vik, Head of Policy Department
- Kiril Dobrev, Secretary General
- Deniza Slateva, Deputy Chairwoman
- Jan Juul Christensen, Secretary General
- Simon Redder Thomsen, International Secretary
- Kristen Kanarik, Secretary General
- Antton Rönnholm, Secretary General
- Tero Shemeikka, International Secretary
UK Labour party (by video conference)
- Iain McNicol, Secretary General
- Guntars Jirgensons, Secretary General
- Iveta Sers, International Secretary
- Linas Jonauskas, Secretary General
- Marcin Kulasek, Secretary General
- Andrzej Szejna, Vice-President, Acting Leader
- Marian Neacsu, Secretary General
- Dejan Levanič, Secretary General
- Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Adviser to Secretary General
- Lena Baastad, Secretary General
- Andrine Winther, International Secretary
- Vidar Aronsson, Strategist
- Lesia Radelicki, Coordinator
Young European Socialists
- Tuulia Pitkänen, Secretary General
Socialists & Democrats Group in the EP
- Javier Moreno Sánchez, Secretary General
Foundation for European Progressive Studies
- Elena Gil, New Media Adviser
- Conny Reuter, Secretary General
- Jose Santoro, Secretary General
City of Oslo
- Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor
- Marte Ingul, Head of Communications