Training, Exchange, Progress - The 3rd PES Training Academy


PES Training Academy - family photo

From the 3 to the 6 December 2015 the Party of European Socialists (PES) organized its third European Training Academy together with the Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ). The training academy brings together PES member party staff and activists to share, train and exchange best practices of political campaigning, organization and communications.

PES Deputy Secretary General Marije Laffeber: "Providing intensive training and a platform for exchange for our party staff and activists has been truly enriching and fulfilling. The 46 participants were fantastically talented and the PES Training Academy is becoming a fundamental part of our European political party".

The participants were honoured that the Austrian Chancellor, Werner Faymann (SPÖ), kicked off the event, sharing his perspective on the current state of the European Union. He spoke in particular about the need for closer cooperation between social democratic parties to solve challenges like the refugee situation. He told participants that events like the Training Academy allow European Socialists to grow closer and combine strengths for a more social Europe.

The trainers included European and American campaigning experts, including Daraka Larimore-Hall, Heather Brown, Julius von da Laar, Katharine Segal and Martin Binder-Blumenthal. Workshops covered the fields of community organizing, social media content creation, Target group campaign designs and strategies against right-wing populism. This detailed program was framed by political debates on topics like the 2016 US Elections and Migration policy.

The highlight of this session was a visit by the President of the EU Parliament, Martin Schulz. In an honest and candid exchange with participants from over 20 PES Member Parties, the President shared his concerns about current developments, but also his hopes: “The reality of the situation is extremely complicated, but at the same time very, very simple: It is up to us, to solve this problems. We are the only ones that offer solutions. And only working solutions can recreate the public’s trusts into this European idea, our European dream.”