Sergei Stanishev was one of the most successful prime ministers of Bulgaria, and leader of the Bulgarian Socialist party for 13 years. He is currently president of the Party of European Socialists and a member of the European Parliament. He was born in 1966, has a PhD in History and has done visiting fellowship in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prior to his political career he worked as a journalist.
Mr Stanishev started his political career in 1996 as international secretary of the Bulgarian Socialist Party, and in 2001 was elected Member of the Bulgarian Parliament. In December 2001 he was elected as leader of Bulgarian Socialist Party (Chairman of the National Council) and then re-elected in 2002, 2005 and 2009. Mr Stanishev led the Bulgarian Socialists for 13 years until 2014, twice winning for the party both presidential and parliamentary elections.
He was Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2005 to 2009. During his term Bulgaria became a member of the European Union and achieved one of the biggest growths in GDP for the last 25 years. Currently he is a Member of the European Parliament and chairman of the Bulgarian delegation within the Socialists and Democrats group.
From 2002 to 2009 Mr Stanishev was a member of the Presidency of the Party of European Socialists. He became Interim President in November 2011, was elected President in September 2012 and re-elected in 2015. During his term as president, the PES launched its first pan-European campaign for a common candidate for president of the European Commission, Martin Schulz, and also adopted the PES Manifesto - a common document for all Socialist, Democrat and Labour parties in the European Union.
His priorities for the PES include promoting and developing the PES alternative to austerity only policies, based on creating jobs and investing in sustainable projects that can ensure a return to growth, fighting youth unemployment, protecting democracy where it is under threat across Europe, and continuing the PES renewal process underway. In early 2016, Mr Stanishev launched the European Youth Plan, a major policy initiative which brings together all PES member parties on a single pan-European agenda to improve the chances of the next generation.