Activists’ Corner

by Robin

PES lining up for 2019 elections with strong nominees for common candidate

With two submitted nominations for common candidate so far and a strong desire to lead progressive change in Europe, the Party of European Socialists kicked off its 2019 EU election campaign during the meeting of the prime ministers and leaders in Brussels today.

Heads of government, EU commissioners, Members of the European Parliament, social-democratic members of the Committee of the Regions, along with leaders of the PES member parties, met to discuss the European elections in 2019 and exchange views ahead of the European summit, which will focus on Brexit, migration and the EMU.

PES President Sergei Stanishev said:

“The PES has the will and the means to lead a powerful and engaging campaign for the 2019 European elections. Next year’s vote will be a turning point for the European Union. There is an urgent need to regain citizens’ trust to ensure that the Union survives, improves and refocuses on the people.”

At the meeting the PES heads of state and leaders welcomed the two candidates – Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union and Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission for Better Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The PES deadline for nominations expires at 23.59h on 18 October.

“The PES is committed to the open and transparent process of selecting the common candidate.So far we have two strong nominees - Maroš Šefčovič and Frans Timmermans. I am certain they will both inspire our supporters to participate in our open selection process and the European elections next year. Engaging citizens with policies focused on achieving real improvements in their lives is the key to keeping the European dream alive, and to opposing the dangerous influence of nationalism”, Stanishev added.

The PES is holding an inclusive and open process for selecting its common candidate for President of the European Commission. All the PES member parties are free to decide how they nominate a candidate. This is typically either a primary, online ballot,or a vote at their conference or executive bureau.

At today’s meeting, leaders were also briefed on the process of shaping the resolutions for the PESCongress in Lisbon in December, where all the member parties are involved as well as representatives from all PES partners, trade unions, NGOs and PES activists from all over Europe. The political resolutions will be the basic layout for the PES Manifesto in the 2019 elections, along with the input of the common candidate.

PES is currently drawing up campaign plans and will be sending out information to activists in due course.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Sergei Stanishev, President, Party of European Socialists
  • Antonio Costa, Prime Minister of Portugal
  • Stefan Löfven, Prime Minister of Sweden
  • Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta
  • Peter Pellegrini, Prime Minister of Slovakia
  • Pedro Sánchez, Prime Minister of Spain
  • Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health & Food Safety
  • Corina Cretu, European Commissioner for Regional Policy
  • Maros Sefcovic, Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union
  • Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission for Better
  • Regulation, Interinstitutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
  • Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions
  • Maria Joao Rodrigues MEP, Vice President of the S&D Group, President of Foundation for European Progressive Studies
  • Javier Moreno Sánchez, Secretary General of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats
  • Achim Post, Secretary General, Party of European Socialists
  • Jean Asselborn, Deputy Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Leader of Luxembourg LSAP
  • Lodewijk Asscher, Leader of the Dutch Pvda
  • Vjačeslavs Dombrovskis, Latvia Saskana
  • Colum Eastwood, Leader of the Northern Irish SDLP
  • Elio Di Rupo, Leader of PS Belgium
  • Olivier Faure, Leader of PS France
  • Fofi Gennimata, Leader of PASOK, Greece
  • Maurizio Martina, Leader of the Democratic Party, Italy
  • Deniza Slateva, Bulgaria BSP
  • Pavel Poc, Czech Republic CSSD
  • Gyula Hegy, Hungary MSZP 
  • Andrzej Szejna, Poland SLD
  • Andreas Schieder, Austria SPÖ
  • Tanja Fajon, Slovenia SD