PES to finalise common candidate selection procedure
The Party of European Socialists will finalise the programme for selecting its common candidate for the 2019 elections at a special meeting in Riga, Latvia later this month.
Chaired by PES treasurer Ruairí Quinn, the PES's common candidate working group will meet on Tuesday 19 June to agree the process by which potential candidates must apply, and to establish an open, transparent and democratic method for electing one candidate in the event that two or more candidates submit applications.
The PES working group, established at the PES Council in December 2017, consists of representatives from every member party across Europe. It has had a series of meetings in 2018 to discuss options for the selection process, and will make its final recommendation on Tuesday.
The PES Presidency, due to meet the following day also in Latvia, will discuss and approve the recommendation in time to accept candidates' nominations.
Both meetings will be hosted by Saskaņa ('Concord'), the Latvian social democratic party, which joined PES as a provisional full member in 2017.
PES president Sergei Stanishev said:
"We are delighted to be welcomed to Riga by our newest member party, Saskaņa, and to show the Europe-wide support from our political family for their upcoming parliamentary election campaign.
"At the last elections, the PES led the way as the first European political party to commit to the common candidate process, an initiative that was subsequently adopted by the other parties. It was a clear success in the 2014 elections and we are fully committed to improving democracy and transparency.
"For the upcoming European elections, we want not only to repeat this success, but to develop it further. That's why our parties adopted a resolution at our Council in 2017, committing us to an open, transparent and democratic consultation among party members to choose our candidate for 2019."
Saskaņa party chairman Nīls Ušakovs said:
"We are proud to host our PES partners in Riga. Concord Social Democratic Party is ready to be an active long-term contributor to the work of the PES Presidency, to work hard on better solutions and share experiences with the European Socialist family."
A press release on the agreed process will be published after the Presidency meeting.