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PES Activist Dimas

Dimas_PS.pngMeet Dimas Pestana, the Coordinator of the Party of European Socialists Activists for the Lisbon Federation and for Portugal. Currently Dimas is touring with the "Schulzmobile" all over Europe, meeting fellow activists and collecting support for our common goals. Learn more on Twitter!


1. Why are you a PES activists?

 

To begin, being a PES activist is a question of living the European Citizenship. For me, the ability to interact with other countries and to understand the large panel of different Member States’ issues and needs is the best way to promote the European Union’s development and its values.

The EU, in its origins, is based on solidarity and mutual understanding. In order to promote those values, my conviction is that being active, meet people and interact close to society is what gives us the best perception of the reality, of the way how Europeans live and what are their everyday concerns. Once that experience joins our common vision about Europe´s future, we are getting a step closer to a better life for all European citizens. We all use to speak about others’ realities in a very abstract way referring to history, culture and economic interests, but when it comes to different individuals’ everyday lifes, the conversation is often taking a distinct dimension. Activism is what allows us to change the point of view and so, to understand better the Europe we are living in. Without any doubt, activists are a key element of modern politics and also an exciting and fulfilling human experience. After all, it is thanks to activists that political representatives at global European level are able to act locally. 

 


2. What is your best campaign experience so far?

 

Each campaign adds something special to my life and teaches me a lot of things. There are big differences between campaigns depending on their type, local or national, the concerned population and its density, the local culture, and even the climate conditions. As you can imagine, campaigning in Croatia, Germany, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain or United Kingdom, varies such as the life in those countries does.

However, there are two special campaigns I won’t ever forget:

The first one is the local Labor campaign in London where I got to know an extremely organized party. We used different types of campaigning tools such as phone calls and from door to door presentations. For those door to door actions we used a data base of voters’ names that had previously agreed to participate in a survey on their voting activity over a large period of time. The organization and the coordination were impeccable. Activists were divided into groups, assigned to areas according to the neighborhoods and the campaigners’ profile. There was also something amazing, all campaigners, activists and candidates, were there together, no matter their position in the hierarchy or their political role. All of us were meeting the voters together and the effort of each one was considered and important.

Another campaign that also marked me took place in Spain. What surprised me the most there was the team spirit and the solidarity among the participants. It was really hard work but the spirit, the positive attitude, gave us the strength needed to campaign.

 

3. What would you do or say when you would be EU commission president for one day

In the last few year, the Commission is mainly focused in the establishment of budgetary standards and debt limits. This is dividing us.  But the European construction is much more than that. It is, and must remain, a political and social reference. Therefore I would promote this heritage publishing in the same day and all across Europe a common cover in at least one national newspaper per member-state expressing the magnitude of Europe as a project of future.

It would emphasis that migrations should result from personal ambition and a free will, not from economic despair. I will also point out that along with the Fiscal Compact we must have a Social commitment. As presented in an Activists proposal, Social on Fiscal Compact, countries should not only be forced into budgetary limits but also constrained to respect social standards such as levels of unemployment and poverty.

 

 

4. What is your advice to other activists or to Martin Schulz?

 

Live and promote the European Experience.

During the last decades we have seen a complete revolution in terms of European integration, concepts and ideas such as borders, education and civil society. It is time to realize and to accept this new reality we are living in and to follow its particular dynamics.

Enjoy and promote Europe's diversity. Do Erasmus, go abroad and complement your formation, do tourism in another country. Experience the European diversity is still a luxury activity for many Europeans when it should become a free choice and a way of life. Indeed, this will be the most natural way to promote and develop the idea of common European conscious. We should continue to believe in this future and never give up fighting for our rights.

There is so much culture, so much history, and so many people we can learn from. Enjoy it!

 

Dimas Pestana from Lisbon, is the PES Activsits Coordinator for Portugal the Lisbon City Council International Relations Advisor – Councilor Carlos Manuel Castro office, an elected Member of the board of Santo António District, Lisbon and member of the Secretariat of Partido Socialista Águas Livres – Lisbon Council

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