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Party of European Socialists' Newsletter

23 February 2011

Hot topic HOT TOPIC
road sign left-right

Athens VS Helsinki – two opposite ways for Europe

The 4th March will see the two main pan-European parties – the PES and the EPP – gathering their leaders to prepare the future of economic governance in the EU. The PES will meet in Athens, and theEPP in Helsinki.

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Economy
Conservative ECOFIN Council goes further down ‘austerity only’ dead end

EU Finance Ministers met in Brussels on 15 February to discuss the direction of the new ‘European Semester’. The European semester is an instruments launched by the European Commission to strengthen the coordination of economic policies in Europe. But in the current political context, this coordination is only intended as a mean for financial surveillance and enforcing punishment for already weakened EU Member States. The PES denounces the approach to the crisis defended by the Commission – and endorsed today by EU Ministers – as an attack on the welfare state.

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World
PES condemns violence against protesters in Libya
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi

Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi, who has been in power since 1969 has reacted with a brutal crackdown on demonstrators demanding an end of his 41-year autocratic rule. Civil unrest against the regime of Gaddafi started last week in the city of Benghazi. To bring the demonstrations to an end and to constrain foreign media coverage, the Libyan authorities have interrupted all public access to the internet and mobile phone networks. So far, more than 200 protestors are reported to have been killed by police and security forces in the country.

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PES
PES President meets Labour Party leader Ed Miliband in London
Ed Miliband & Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen travelled to London to meet leader Ed Miliband and senior officials of the Labour Party UK on 14 February.

Mr. Miliband emphasized the importance of a stronger cooperation with the PES and its member parties in order to counter the coordinated attack to the welfare state led by conservatives all over Europe. “The challenges European progressives are facing are the same: across the European Union, right-wing parties have moved even more to the right”, Mr. Miliband said.

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Social Europe
Inclusion of Employment Committee in ‘Single Permit’ debate ‘a good step on a long road’
Migrant worker

The PES welcomes the decision by the European Parliament to broaden the discussion on the EU Single work permit to include the Employment and Social Affairs Committee, but warns against a final piece of legislation that could create a “caste system” for workers.

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EDITORIAL

March 2011: A key moment for Europe

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES President

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News from PES members

Follow Terry's Blog on the Irish elections


 
Forthcoming events

24 February - PES Presidency meeting
24 February  - Press conference with Tunisian leader Mustapha Ben Jaafar
25 February - Progressive societies advisory committee
4-5 March - PES Leaders meeting in Athens

 
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Social Europe

Window on more social public procurement rules opens

In the next months, a window of opportunity will open up to improve the quality of public services and to strengthen social cohesion in Europe. The European rules for public procurement – goods and services purchased by public authorities – will be revised. The European Commission has launched a green paper which raises 114 questions on the future of public procurement. Even though it is to be expected that the conservative Commission and Council will push for an even stronger emphasize of the cost criteria in public procurement, with coordination, progressive forces could ensure a different result. If many organisations and individuals demand a stronger focus on quality, social and environmental criteria, the conservatives will have difficulties in ignoring these responses.

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Economy

Failure is not an option: It’s time to move ahead with an EU-wide FTT

As European citizens foot the bill for the financial crisis, Socialist members from the European Parliament argue that a refusal to move forward with an EU-wide Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) would be “irresponsible”.

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World
Demonstration in front of the Iranian Consulate in Frankfurt

PES demands respect for opposition and democratic reforms in Iran

The PES wants to express its solidarity with social movements, trade unions, political parties and also individuals that demonstrated in Teheran and other big cities last week, supporting the wave of democratization in North Africa and claims for democratic reforms in the Iranian regime. The police used tear gas against the protestors and detained dozens of those present, in days of increasing tension after the funeral of a student killed in anti-government protests.

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PES activists city groups map

Join our network of 135 PES activist city groups

The PES invites PES activists to set up city groups. PES activist city groups are bridges between the local and the European level. The groups need to work in good understanding with their own local or regional party branches: usually they have been set-up by a local or a regional party that wants to organize events that include European topics.

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Re:new
A mother holds a placard reading "Berlusconi, like that!" during a demonstration

Leaders as 'bad role models' - the Berlusconi case

Over the last week, about 1 million people took part in synchronised demonstrations against Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Under the slogan "Se non ora, quando? ADESSO!" (If not today, so when? NOW!) Italian women protested in all over Europe and in the entire world against the sexist and diminishing behaviours of the Prime Minister.


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PES Women

Turkish Women at the forefront of PES-CHP Links

In our headquarters on Friday, the PES secretariat met a delegation of representatives from our Turkish Member Party, the Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (CHP). The visit came two weeks after a PES delegation’s visit to the CHP in Turkey.

We were especially happy to see the delegation was gender-balanced and very keen to discuss quotas and strategies of involving women in the CHP’s run-up to the Turkish elections of June 2011. This is the way forward! Like in Turkey two weeks ago, we were also pleased to hear about the CHP’s engagement in changing the Turkish family insurance law and its actions to encourage and improve women’s employment.


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Environment
Saar-Lor-Lux-International members

PES supports stronger cross-border cooperation

After more than 60 years of European unification, artificial national borders continue to exist. Although in the Saar-Lor-Lux-Region more than 200.000 people work in a different country that they live in, the transport links between the regions of the four countries remain very weak. Strengthening transport in the region was the topic of a common conference of the socialist and social democratic parties in Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany), Saarland (Germany), Wallonia (Belgium), Luxemburg, Loraine (France) and the PES.

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