Fifth PES Training Academy connects rising stars from parties across Europe
Some 45 political campaigners and party staffers from around Europe are gathering in Leuven, Belgium, this weekend for a series of political masterclasses hosted by the Party of European Socialists.
The PES Training Academy brings together hand-picked representatives from progressive socialist and social democrat parties across Europe, each of whom works in a prominent role in his or her own party, in a national or European parliament, or in public office – and all of whom are under the age of 38.
The delegates are taking part in a four-day intensive training course featuring workshops, debates and team exercises designed to develop skills. The same delegates will gather again in the autumn and in spring 2018 for two more courses before graduating from the Training Academy.
Training is led by a team of experts that includes veterans from the campaigns of Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Labour in the UK and sp.a in Belgium.
As well as developing advanced skills in policy, campaigning and party development, delegates will also build and strengthen links with each other and with PES staff -- connections that will prove invaluable not only for exchanging best practice in the future but also in helping to shape the PES's pan-European election campaign in 2019.
PES deputy secretary general Marije Laffeber said:
"One of the key aims of the Party of European Socialists is to connect likeminded political parties and movements all over Europe, so they can share expertise and learn from each other – not to mention developing personal friendships and strengthening the bonds of solidarity that bind our political family together.
"This will be now the fifth EU-wide Training Academy, and it has already proved itself to be a highly successful way to promote exactly those aims.
"Delegates go away from our courses energised, upskilled and newly focused on how to make a difference in their own political contexts."