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PES Democracy Network


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PES Democracy Network

The PES Democracy Network was launched by the PES Presidency in June 2013 in Brussels and is chaired by Tanja Fajon MEP, Vice President of the S&D Group.

We created the PES Democracy Network to promote democracy as one of the key priorities of the PES. All of us are very much concerned with the erosion of democratic standards and the emergence of extremist and populist movements that we witnessed all across Europe.

The PES is looking into ways to stop this trend and to strengthen the respect of fundamental values in the different EU member states and at European level. Our main objective is to support all aspects of democratisation, strengthening freedom, equality, solidarity, justice, democracy and the rule of law in Europe, together with PES member parties, at the regional, national and European levels.

The network, composed of delegates of our member parties and organisations, MEPS and experts, meets twice a year. Previous meetings:


Stockholm, 27th April 2015: “Where next for LGBTI equality?” A progressive roadmap for Europe.

This seminar in Stockholm brought together members of our political family to share best practices between our parties and to prepare a Roadmap for protecting the fundamental rights of LGBTI people now and into the future. Writing such a roadmap will not be easy as many of the headings under which LGBTI people are discriminated are areas which can be politically sensitive at the national level.


Brussels, 5th March 2015:  “After Paris - strategies to fight radicalisation” - Preventive measures and protecting the rule of law”

This event sought to promote a common understanding of the issues surrounding radicalisation by inviting front-line stakeholders (politicians, local and regional authorities, civil society organisations and academics) to share their experiences with us. They presented concrete examples of preventive measures already put in practice in their countries, regions or cities. A second element was the discussion whether new mechanisms to guarantee the rule of law should be introduced as one of the main EU tools against extremism, radicalism and terrorism and if so, how we can manage to achieve this.

- Report

- News: United against fear - PES leads fight against radicalisation and protecting the rule of law

- Pictures


Conference Vienna 21-22 November 2014: “Enhancing Democracy: Our Main Priority”

The social democratic family is against all forms of radicalisation, all forms of racial hatred, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia and all forms of intolerance, also expressed as hate speech, which constitutes an incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence inflicted upon communities. We are called to fight terrorism but first of all to protect our democracies and our core values, by guaranteeing European internal security.

Radicalisation, extremism and terrorist threats have no national boundaries and should therefore be addressed at European and global level. Prevention is the most effective tool, but also the understanding of common sensitivities and problems is necessary to tackle these phenomena.

We are witnessing the rise of extremist positions and ideologies within our borders, trying to divide our societies and to increase radical feelings and violent actions. All European countries are called upon to counter this threat, which has many different aspects. The role of our political family is to develop concrete political tools and ideas that make a real difference.

- Declaration "United against Fear", February 2015 (Hyperlink)

- News: PES Democracy Network launches "Enhancing democracy: our main priority"

- Pictures


Conference the Hague 17 February 2014: “Promoting a culture of rule of law in Europe”

The PES aim is to strengthen European democracy and equal societies within the EU, reinforcing social democracy to combat populism, the erosion of the rule of law and electoral abstention. The Democracy Network has also organised several meetings whose core was the promotion of the rule of law and protection of fundamental rights in Europe.

The meeting in the Hague discussed a possible EU mechanism to protect democracy and the rule of law, a “Copenhagen mechanism” to guarantee the “respect for fundamental rights and the Rule of Law not only in those countries applying for membership of the EU but also States who are already Members”.

- News: Promote a European culture of rule of law

What we are fighting for
Read the PES Common Manifesto for the European Elections 2014

Our Campaigns

In some countries as many as one young person out of two cannot find a job. We are calling for a European Youth Guarantee as a way to tackle youth unemployment.

Campaign info

5.7 million young people are currently unemployed in Europe and an additional 1.5 million are forced into precarious jobs. In some countries as many as one young person out of two cannot find a job.

The campaign “Your future is my future – a European Youth Guarantee now” is calling for a European Youth Guarantee as a way to tackle youth unemployment.

Campaign Material

  • Toolkit (EN)
  • PES guide on youth guarantee (EN)
  • PES appeal for a European Youth Guarantee (EN), (FR)
  • PES report: Combating Youth Unemployment (EN), (FR), (ES)
  • Factsheet on Youth Unemployment among Women (EN)
  • Campaign flyer (EN), (FR), (DE), (ES), (NL), (PT), (HU)

Campaign Video

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