Successful launch of the first PES Training Academy in Vienna
From the 20th to the 23rd of November 2014 the Party of European Socialists (PES) organised its first European Training academy together with the Social democratic Party of Vienna (SPÖ). PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber: "Providing intensive training and a platform for exchange for our party professionals and activists has been a truly enriching and fulfilling experience. The 52 participants were excellent and this motivates us to turn the PES Training Academy into an integrated part of our European political party".
The main aim of the PES Training Academy was an in-depth analysis of campaign strategies and political communication. Former Chancellor of Austria, Franz Vranizky (SPÖ), kicked off the event on Thursday the 20th of November. He gave his perspective on the current state of the European Union. Vranizky was Head of State when Austria joined the EU in 1995 and calls today for more attention towards a social Europe. This was followed by an exchange with the Secretary General of the Slovenian Socialdemocratic Party, Uroš Jauševec. His experience with regional, federal and European elections was the baseline for an exchange on the difference and similarities the participants find in their countries and parties.
On Friday the 21st of November, Marije Laffeber opened with an analysis of the European Parliament Elections 2014. She was in charge of the day-to-day management of the PES campaign for the European elections and the initiator of the pan-European grassroots mobilisation campaign ‘Knock the vote 2014’. Former S&D Group President Hannes Swoboda shared both his hopes and concerns for the current legislative period, while underlining the most relevant issues: Jobs, Environment, Rights and Trade. A message of hope was delivered by Pierre Kanuty, the diplomatic advisor of the French Parti Socialiste. In the late afternoon the group joined the open debate of the PES Democracy and Society Network.
On Saturday the PES Academy was split into three workshop groups, each with a different course and expert. Guillaume Liegey, from the French campaign consultants LMP, introduced in his course state of the art organizational tools and strategic planning. Managing Networks and how to effectively lead and organize people was the topic of Peter Grabner, Professor at the University of Applied Science in Vienna. Martin Binder-Blumenthal, PR-Consultant and copywriter, presented modern forms of campaigning and communications. Each course included practical applications.
PES Women President Zita Gurmai, asked the participants to continue the fight for a more equal Europe. The Education Secretaries of SPÖ Vienna; Ernst Woller and Marcus Schober closed the Training Academy delivering certificates to all participants.
The PES Academy offers state of the art methods of modern organisation and communication, while combining them with current issues at the European level. The 52 participants not only received dynamic training, but were also able to exchange their experiences on Europe, the social-democratic movement and our common fight for a better, more social Europe. Together they have taken the first steps for a successful campaign in 2019.