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Party of European Socialists' Newsletter

8 October 2010

Hot topic HOT TOPIC
Philip Cordery, Catherine Trautmann, Zita Gurmai, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

Party of European Socialists march for a recovery based on jobs

"These thousands demonstrating on the street of Brussels today are the hardworking ordinary citizens of Europe who have had to carry too heavy a burden in the aftermath of the economic crisis," said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES President. "European leaders, using European solutions, must define a new balanced way to recovery that illustrates that the lessons of the crisis have been learned and the burden shared."

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Social Europe
PES President outlines future of social democracy in top academic journal
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

In a headline article for the academic journal Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft (‘International Politics and Society’ published by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation), PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has outlined ten theses on the future of social democracy in Europe.

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PES
EPP hypocrisy as their Dutch Member Party climbs into bed with Wilders
Leader of the Dutch Christian party CDA Maxime Verhagen shakes hands with leader

“The European People’s Party’s reaction to the new Dutch government has shown the true intellectual weakness of the Conservatives in Europe”, said PES General Secretary Philip Cordery. “Reading the statement by the EPP President, Mr Martens, we see that all the rhetoric cannot hide their true motivation – power whatever the cost”.

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Economy
EU Tax Commissioner criticised for Financial Transaction Tax ‘cynical stalling’
PES President, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

The PES campaign for a European Financial Transaction Tax went onto an attack footing last week, as PES President, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen used a Committee of the Regions Conference (28 September) to criticise EU Tax Commissioner Algirdas Semeta for cynical stalling on a financial transaction tax. Mr. Rasmussen was referring to a ‘non-paper’ produced by the Lithuanian politician’s team. The paper, tabled before EU finance ministers on 7 September purported to be a neutral document but went on to summarily dismiss the FTT concept. The PES President told the assembled audience of EU tax experts that the document ‘was not the kind of work we should expect from the Commission’.

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Economy
Commission Economic Governance proposal forgets that creating and saving jobs is the best indicator of recovery

PES say that instead proposals will punish the economically weak

Speaking on the European Commission’s proposals on economic governance which were formally issued on September 29th, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES) said, “On a day when thousands upon thousands of workers are demonstrating in Brussels about how vulnerable their jobs and conditions have become, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs Olli Rehn decides to publish a proposal that essentially says ‘let’s punish the weak”.

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EDITORIAL

For our ‘fair growth’ way we have the numbers and we have the answers

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, PES President
Standing shoulder to shoulder with 100,000 of my trade union brothers and sisters last Wednesday, I was filled with a sense of optimism that the real fight-back from the crisis was underway. The demonstration, organised by the ETUC, was the largest ever to be organised around a European theme – in this case our shared opposition to an ‘austerity only’ approach. We have been on a rollercoaster since the crisis hit, in two years going from what we thought were solid stimulus packages to a Conservative slash and burn of the public budgets. Now, in a latest twist, we find this ‘bonfire of the amenities’ has even been criticised by the IMF of all sources. Last week, as reported in the Economist and the Financial Times, the Fund stated that austerity measures are having a significant impact on the rate of growth. And still the Conservative Governments march on in their ideological blindness.

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News from PES members

PES Secretary General in Budapest to back MSZP’s fight for democracy and social justice

PES Secretary General in Riga to denounce Dombrovskis’ killing the social welfare system

PES sends strong message to Labour Party Conference: we need to work together to present a solid alternative to conservatism

PES meets Socialist Senegalese Leader

 
Forthcoming events

12 October - PES Social Europe Network
13 October - FEPS Conference - The Lack of Global Governance - What Consequences for the World’s Natural Resources?
14 October - PES Presidency Meeting

 
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PES
Ed Miliband, UK Labour Party leader

PES President congratulates Ed Miliband on his election as Labour Party leader

PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen congratulated Ed Miliband, former UK State Secretary for Climate, on his election as Labour Party leader.

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Economy
Andreas Schieder

Enough of lame excuses: Europe needs an FTT now!

The PES financial and economic network met in Brussels on 30 September. During the meeting, network members agreed to push for a European-wide Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) as an instrument to balance the effects of the present crisis.

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Social Europe
PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen

The Spirit Level: why equality is better for everyone

Whatever your social position is in any given society, the more equal this becomes, the better off you will be. On Thursday, 28th September, the authors of The Spirit Level (Wilkinson and Picket, 2010) were able to explain and prove this in front of a room full of actors from civil society. Invited by the European Trade Union Institute, PES President Poul Nyrup Rasmussen said: « that equality is better for everyone is the argument for a well-tailored welfare state and the core of Social Democracy. By imposing austerity in Europe, the right is proving that they understood this too well. It is precisely because equality does not matter to them that they are dismantling the welfare state.

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Environment

It’s not just the economy that must grow

How does success in life look like? For the great majority of people it means a healthy family, a well paying job and actually having enough spare time to live a little. People obviously care about more than just money and economic growth. So how come we only measure material wealth when we evaluate the success of society as a whole? Is it not sad that the only body known for talking about “things in life money can’t buy” is a major credit card company!?

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UNITED International Day Against Fascism and Antisemitism poster

You are invited to join the UNITED “International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism” on 9 November

On 9 November PES activists can join a European Action Day for the International Day against Fascism and Anti-Semitism. The day is organized in protest against the rise of neo-fascism in the EU.

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World

Middle East Peace Process

Breaking an almost two year deadlock, direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine finally recommenced under US sponsorship on the 4 September 2010. The settlements issue has loomed over the discussions. Both negotiating sides prioritized the issues of borders, the status of refugees, security and the final status of Jerusalem.

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World
Kristian Vigenin, eurodéputé bulgare, rapporteur du réseau du PSE sur les Balkan

PES Balkan network calls for balanced socio-economic strategy from EU

The Party of European Socialists convened its Balkan network on 30 September. Bulgarian MEP Mr. Kristian Vigenin, and chair of the meeting, said that ‘’The EU needs to increase its assistance to all Western Balkans countries whether they have candidate status or not. We must avoid the piecemeal country by country approach in EU policy implementation towards this region. This could prevent Europe from achieving its 2020 strategy goals. The EU needs a new approach that embraces the region and allows all Western Balkan countries to prosper.”

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World

PES welcomes Dilma Rousseff first ballot victory on Brazilian presidential elections

The Party of European Socialists (PES) welcomes the ballot results of Dilma Rousseff, who has obtained 46,56% of approval on the Brazilian presidential elections held on October 3rd 2010. The candidate of the Workers’ Party is leading the elections, which will have a run-off vote on October 31st, and is one step away from becoming the first female President of Brazil. Ms. Rousseff has previously served as Minister of Energy and President Lula’s Chief of Staff.

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World

PES condemns attempted coup d’état in Ecuador President Correa praised for ‘calm leadership’

The PES is very concerned about the recent violence aimed at destabilizing the established authority of Ecuador and calls for EU and international support for the democratically elected Government of Ecuador.

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PES Women

Protection for all Women in Europe

On October 8th, EU Justice Ministers will be debating the European Parliament Womens’ Committee position on a European Protection Order (EPO). A very important debate for women in the EU: the EPO tries to protect victims of violence, particularly women who have suffered gender-based violence, regardless of what EU country they are in. The LIBE/FEMM report proposes to specifically protect minors and young girls across Europe from being taken to another country for genital mutilation or forced marriages.

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PES

Coming soon! PES to launch inclusive debate on the future of progressive societies

The PES will launch soon an open consultation on the values of progressives for the 21st century.

Questions we will ask:

How should we update concepts that shape our political agenda – role of the states, markets, reforms needed – and keep our core values?

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