PES……Party of European Socialism
Communism as an alternative to freedom, liberty
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PES Panel championing for progressive approach on international trade
Within the framework of the 2010 PES Council held in Warsaw on December 2nd – 3rd, the Party of European Socialists strongly pledged its commitment to the renewal of a progressive approach on international trade. Delegates and activists witnessed a deep debate on several topics concerning global trade and global economic policy during the last session of the Council.
Thanks to the participation of politicians, trade union representatives, think tanks’ experts and civil society members, the meeting highlighted some central questions to understand where is international trade heading and what should be the “progressive approach”. Among other issues, participants discussed the main role of the inclusion on trade negotiations of social and environmental clauses, such as Decent Work; the debate on the new concept of “juste échange” and its implementation; and how can the EU use practical bilateral agreements to spread its social model and impulse democratic and progressive values.
Five panelists took the floor in the meeting: Sergei D. Stanishev, Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Chair of the PES Foreign Policy Network, BSP, Bulgaria; Alfred Gusenbauer, Vice-President of the Socialist International and former Chancellor of Austria, SPÖ, Austria; Alison Tate, Director of External Relations of ITUC; Henri Weber, Member of the European Parliament and PS National Secretary for Globalization, PS, France; Sabina Dewan, Associate Director of International Economic Policy at the Center for American Progres, USA and Ernst Stetter, Secretary General of the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, as a moderator.
As the G20 meets in London a larger global gathering is taking place in Brussels under the umbrella of the Global Progressive Forum – bringing together progressive politicians, trade unions, NGOs and grassroots activists to discuss a Global New Deal to tackle the economic, energy, climate and food crises. Taking part are former President Bill Clinton, Pascal Lamy, Howard Dean, António Guterres, Juan Somavia, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Lionel Jospin, Vandana Shiva, Salima Ghezali, Susan George, Taslima Nasreen, Aminata Traore and Chico Whitaker. Many participants will on Friday at midday sign a declaration for a New Global Deal based on sustainable development and social justice.
Socialists step up engagement for new global deal
European Socialists are stepping up their engagement with US and Japanese Democrats – and with other progressive political parties, trade unions and NGOs outside Europe – by giving a big boost to the Global Progressive Forum.
Actions taken to boost the Global Progressive Forum, agreed yesterday at a joint meeting of the Presidency of the PES and the Bureau of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, include
• Appointment of Javier Moreno, former MEP and Chair of PSOE Abroad (the Spanish Socialist party’s organization for Spaniards living abroad), as the GPF’s first Secretary General
• Appointment of PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen and Parliamentary Group President Martin Schulz as co-Chairs of the GPF
• Agreement to mobilize for the creation of a campaign ‘Europeans for Financial Reform’ to work alongside the campaigning coalition ‘Americans for Financial Reform’ http://ourfinancialsecurity.org/ with a first announcement on 21 September.
Javier Moreno commented “Europe may be in conservative hands today, but there is a progressive tide sweeping the US, Australia, Japan and Latin America. We European socialists will engage even more actively in building progressive alliances and making better global politics. The victory of the Japanese Democrats, just a few months after the inauguration of a Democrat President in the US (Obama), gives us the best opportunity for many years for a New Global Deal. We don’t want to miss that opportunity.”
The Global Progressive Forum launched its call for a New Global Deal in April at a conference in the European Parliament attended by other 2,000 people that was opened by Bill Clinton and included Pascal Lamy, Howard Dean, António Guterres, Juan Somavia, Salima Ghezali, Susan George, Taslima Nasreen, Aminata Traore and Chico Whitaker amongst others. See http://www.globalprogressiveforum.org/news-and-press/news-gpf-brussels-2009
The Global Progressive Forum is supported by the PES, the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament, and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies as well as the Socialist International.
Washington top level progressive forum plans crisis recovery path
On 7 October, the Global Progressive Forum (GPF) Geneva Group met at the AFL-CIO Headquarters in Washington DC. Concerned with progressive strategies to overcome the ongoing global crisis, the topics of discussion included international financial market regulation; the global promotion of green economies and sustainable development as well as; ‘The Way out of the Crisis’, a catalogue of progressive strategies aimed at a lasting global economic recovery and to foster mechanisms for financial regulation, future crisis prevention and a fair and green world.
Thanking the host, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, PES President and Co-Chair of the Global Progressive Forum Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said; “There is a great sense of unity among the leaders gathered here today, in our shared vision to identify a progressive way out of this economic crisis”.
He continued saying that; “the EU now stands alone with its continued pursuit of the destructive path of austerity measures. Progressives around the world have proven that long-term investments are more effective in creating jobs and a true recovery. Recent research shows that fiscal stimuli in US and Japan had a sizeable impact, while Europe’s recovery is threatened by fiscal consolidation that is too deep and too fast. Together, we must continue working with our international partners and friends to make these progressive strategies for a lasting recovery a global model and an EU priority”.
President Trumka said; “the AFL-CIO is pleased to host the Global Progressive Forum’s Washington meeting. The Forum’s agenda of a global New Deal and making the worlds financial markets the servant rather than the master of the real economy is critical to making globalization work for all. We have a jobs crisis worldwide– 210 million unemployed. The progressive agenda for action on jobs offers hope to working people and should guide world leaders facing the continuing economic crisis. “
The Geneva Group meeting of the 7 October featured amongst others PES President and Co-Chair of the Global Progressive Forum Poul Nyrup Rasmussen; Massimo D’Alema, President of the FEPS and Former Prime Minister of Italy; Mr. Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO; Mr. Pascal Lamy, Director-General, World Trade Organisation WTO; Mr. Pravin Jamnadas Gordhan Finance Minister of the Republic of South Africa and Mr. Bernie Sanders, United States Senator for Vermont.
Alongside the Geneva Group meeting, on 7-8 October, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) hosted a high level conference on Global Economic Governance. Keynote speeches were delivered by Massimo D’Alema, former Prime Minister of Italy and President of FEPS, and Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, former Prime Minister of Denmark and President of the Party of European Socialists.
The conference was followed by a public discussion and press conference (Friday, 8 October 2010 from 14:30-16:00) with Joseph Stiglitz, co-president of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue at Columbia University, Justin Lin, chief economist and senior vice president of the World Bank, Pascal Lamy, director-general of the World Trade Organization, and Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Assistant Secretary General for Economic Development at the United Nations.
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Denver – PES was there
The Party of European Socialists was well-represented at the US Democratic National Convention where Barack Obama was nominated Democratic Presidential candidate.
The PES was represented by Ruairi Quinn, PES Presidency member and Treasurer, and Philip Cordery, PES Secretary General. PES member parties had high level representatives including Mona Sahlin, Leader of the Swedish Social Democrats; Eamon Gilmore, Leader of the Irish Labour Party; Caroline Gennez, Leader of the Flemish Socialists SPa; Lilianne Ploumen, Chair of the Dutch Labour PvdA; Ivailo Kalfin, Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Hubertus Heil, Secretary General of the German SPD; Eero Heinäluoma former Leader of SDP Finland; Josef Kalina, from SPÖ Austria, Ed Miliband MP from the UK Labour Party; Juan Fernando López Aguilar from Spanish Socialists PSOE, Nicolai Wammen from SD Denmark; and many others as well as Walter Veltroni, Leader of the Italian Partito Democratico.
PES participants were hosted by the Chair of the National Democratic Committee Howard Dean. They had a full agenda and took part in the International Leaders Forum (ILF) organised by National Democratic Institute, meeting with prominent policy makers and politicians, including Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives. Many also took the opportunity to meet other progressive American organisations such as ‘Take Back America’ and the trade union AFL-CIO.
PES Secretary General Philip Cordery said “The European socialists and social-democrats support Barack Obama for President. His ‘Plan for America’ is a progressive agenda which we believe would bring many benefits to the American people and to the world.”