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Party of European Socialists' Newsletter

25 January 2011

Hot topic HOT TOPIC
Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban

PES announce Budapest Media transparency meeting for March as Hungarian Prime Minister faces the European Parliament

The Party of European Socialists (PES) has announced that it will hold a high level meeting on media transparency in the Hungarian capital, Budapest. The meeting will take place on 17-18 March. Participants will consist of Senior Press spokespeople from EU Socialists and Social Democratic member parties. The decision by the PES is a direct response to the recent law passed by the Conservative Hungarian Government which severely restricts the freedom of the press.

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Economy
Conservative Finance Ministers ‘refusing to use EU rescue fund in the way it was designed’

At their meeting in Brussels on 18 January, the EU Economic and Finance Ministers again failed to ‘get ahead’ of the Eurozone crisis. In particular, Conservative Finance Ministers, lead by Germany, refused to adapt the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in the light of current pressures. The week saw Portugal, Spain and Belgium come under increased pressure from market speculation.

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Social Europe
Commission Annual Growth Survey a ‘frontal assault on workers’
Jose Manuel Barroso, E.C President

Despite the crisis that has engulfed the Eurozone, and the massive job losses that have resulted, the European Commission has seen fit to publish a document which directly attacks workers rights, unemployment benefits and in broad terms, the already much weakened Social Model in Europe.

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World
The PES calls for democratic election in Tunisia

After several weeks of political and social instability, Tunisia is witnessing crucial stages for the country’s future. Following the departure of President Ben Ali, who has left the country in response to the crisis, the power vacuum provoked by the absence of the country’s head of state requires immediate action.

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Environment
PES call for 95% renewable energy target by 2050 as EU heads set to outline major energy initiative on 4 February

One of the key challenges facing the EU is assuring access to clean, secure and affordable energy. For the first time this issue will be debated at European level during the next European Council, on 4 February.

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EDITORIAL

The European Union is in the wrong hands

PES President, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen
The last seven days have seen some shocking developments on the European level. Workers Rights, Freedom of the Press and a sustainable economic recovery have all come under attack. And still some people wonder why the popularity of the European Union is at an all time low?
The culprit for all these attacks is one Political Party – the European Peoples Party (EPP). The Commission under Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU Presidency under Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, and the self-styled holder of the European purse strings, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, all hail from this political party.
And yet there is next to no public awareness that a cabal of politicians are pursuing extreme policies, in a co-ordinated, and profoundly undemocratic way.

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News from PES members

Bulgarian conservatives rely on extremists to pass controversial confidence vote

PES Secretary General meets PASOK representatives

PES Secretary General in London : PES and Labour together to bring forward fresh ideas

 
Forthcoming events

23-27 January - PES Delegation to Turkey
4 February - European Council
8-11 February - World Social Forum

 
Re:new
My PES
Economy
Social Europe
Environment
World
PES Women
PES
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Re:new

A Fundamental Programme for the PES! – Join the debate on Re:new

The last days have seen a new entry on the Re:new platform; we welcome Björn Hacker, researcher from the German Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), the first expert to join the PES consultation on the web. And what better to start than their brand new paper "A Fundamental Programme for the PES". Based on the assumption that today’s challenges are mainly of an international and cross-border nature and that only by acting together would the progressives be able to affect Europeanisation and globalisation, the study clearly states the need for a new connecting European narrative to replace the “3rd way discourse”, which has been so dominant during the past ten years.

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PES Women

At the start of 2011…

A new year, a new set of challenges for gender equality. What has 2010 brought the EU and its member states in 2010, and what is ahead of us?

Looking back at 2010, there was plenty to discuss on gender equality in the Council. The European Protection Order, for instance. Although the Spanish Presidency pushed for measures to protect victims of violence- the majority of which are women victims of domestic violence- regardless of where they move to in Europe, a number of countries are now objecting to adapting their legislation.

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World
Protestors demonstrating against elections in Belarus (19.12. 2010 Minsk)

PES strongly condemns flawed elections in Belarus

The 19 December presidential elections, which resulted in a landslide victory for incumbent President Aleksandr Lukashenka, have been followed by several weeks of violence, tension and uncertainty. The opposition accused Lukashenka of massive fraud. As demonstrations were held on the eve of the election as well as in its aftermath, demonstrators clashed with the police, several presidential candidates were detained and hundreds were arrested.


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World
Protest in Algiers against price hikes

PES expresses concern on social protests in Algeria

The Party of European Socialists voices its concern on the ongoing demonstrations in Algeria. Riots, which started on January 4th, were staged by hundreds of young people in dozens of cities, including the capital, Alger. Demonstrators denounced the rise of the price of some basic commodities, such as sugar and oil, and also demanded jobs and opportunities in a country characterized by a high level of unemployment.

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