The Party of European Socialists (PES) is a European political party comprising of thirty-three socialist, social democratic and labour parties from each European Union member state and Norway. PES forms a parliamentary group in the European Parliament, the Socialist Group, which is the second largest grouping with over 200 MEPs.
The Party was founded in 1992 and is led by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen MEP. However the history of the Socialist Group goes back to the beginning of the European Parliament in 1953. Until the 1999 European election it had been the largest group elected in Parliament. The group is currently led by Martin Schulz MEP.
In 1973, Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Community bringing in new parties from these states. The enlarged Socialist Congress meet in Bonn and inaugurated the Confederation of the Socialist Parties of the European Community. The Congress also passed a resolution on social policy, including the right to decent work, social security, democracy and equality in the European economy. In 1975 Socialist Georges Spénale was elected President of the Parliament.
In 1987 the Single European Act comes into force the Socialist Group begin co-operation with the People's Party Group in order to generate the majorities demanded under the cooperation procedure. With the exception of the 1999-2004 People's-Liberal coalition the post of President of the Parliament has been split between the EPP and PES from this point on, with the PES Presidents being Enrique Barón Crespo MEP, Klaus Hänsch MEP and Josep Borrell Fontelles MEP. This left-right coalition has dominated Parliament for this period.
In 1999, the Parliament sparked a crisis when it refused to approve the Commission's handling of the EU budget. Allegations of corruption centred on two socialist members of the Commission (Commissioner Édith Cresson and Commissioner Manuel Marín), leading PES to view it as an attempt to discredit them ahead of the 1999 elections. So while the People's Party withdrew support from the Commission to force the member's resignation, the Socialists defended the Commission and attempted to bloc that move with Pauline Green MEP attempting a vote of confidence in the Commission. During this period the two parties took on a rare government-opposition dynamic with the Socialists taking on the position of the government-supporting party. However they eventually withdrew their support which forced the resignation of the Santer Commission.
In the following elections, the People's Party defeated the Socialists, taking 233 seats to the Socialists' 180. 2004 brought in a further 10 member states and new parties with them. In the 2004 election the Party lost again, winning just 200 of the 732 seats.
Presidents of the Party of European Socialists and its predecessors.
|1.||Wilhelm Dröscher||Social Democratic Party||April 1974||January 1979|
|2.||Robert Pontillon||Socialist Party||January 1979||March 1980|
|3.||Joop den Uyl||Labour Party||March 1980||May 1987|
|4.||Victor Constancio||Socialist Party||May 1987||January 1989|
|5.||Guy Spitaels||Socialist Party||February 1989||May 1992|
|6.||Willy Claes||Socialist Party – Different||November 1992||October 1994|
|7.||Rudolf Scharping||Social Democratic Party||March 1995||May 2001|
|8.||Robin Cook||Labour Party||May 2001||April 2004|
|9.||Poul Nyrup Rasmussen||Social Democrats||April 2004||-|
Presidents of the Socialist Group in Parliament;
|1.||Guy Mollet||French Section of the Workers' International||1953||1956|
|2.||Hendrik Fayat||Socialist Party||1956||1958|
|3.||Pierre Lapie||French Section of the Workers' International||1958||1959|
|4.||Willi Birkelbach||Social Democratic Party||1959||1964|
|5.||Käte Strobel||Social Democratic Party||1964||1967|
|6.||Francis Vals||French Section of the Workers' International||1967||1974|
|7.||Georges Spénale||Socialist Party||1974||1975|
|8.||Ludwig Spénale||Social Democratic Party||1975||1979|
|9.||Ernest Glinne||Socialist Party||1979||1984|
|10.||Rudi Arndt||Social Democratic Party||1984||1989|
|11.||Jean-Pierre Cot||Socialist Party||1989||1994|
|12.||Pauline Green||Labour Party||1994||1999|
|13.||Enrique Barón Crespo||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party||1999||2004|
|14.||Martin Schulz||Social Democratic Party||2004||-|
There are thirty-three member parties from all the twenty-seven member states and Norway (however, the Smer party is currently suspended). There are a further six associate and seven observer parties. PES is an associated organisation of the Socialist International. Ecosy is the youth organisation of PES and PES Women is the party's women's organisation.
The parties meet in the party Congress twice every five years to decide on political orientation, such as adopting manifestos ahead of elections. Every year that the Congress does not meet, the Council (a quarter Congress) shapes PES policy. The Congress also elects the party's President, Vice Presidents and the Presidency.
The President (currently Poul Nyrup Rasmussen MEP) represents the party on a daily basis and chairs the Presidency, which also consists of the Secretary General, President of the PES group in Parliament (see below) and one representative per full member party and organisation. They may also be joined by the President of the European Parliament (if a PES member), a PES European Commissioner and a representatives from associate parties and organisations.
The Leader's Conference brings together Prime Ministers and Party Leaders from PES parties three to four times a year to agree strategies and resolutions.
The parliamentary group consists of 215 MEPs, the second largest group in Parliament, from all but two member states. It is led by a President, currently Martin Schulz MEP, and a Bureau of Vice-Presidents.
Parties in the Council of Ministers and the European Council are some times subject to coalitions. At present the following countries are led PES members (European Council member in brackets): Bulgaria (Sergey Stanishev), Hungary (Ferenc Gyurcsány), Lithuania (Gediminas Kirkilas), Portugal (José Sócrates), Spain (José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero) and United Kingdom (Gordon Brown). PES is in coalition in a further six countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Italy and Luxembourg. PES is, like the other parties, also present in other minor institutions such as the Committee of the Regions. There it has 110 members as of 2007.
|State||Name (original language)||Name (English)||abbr.||MEPs|
|Sozialdemokratische Partei Österreichs||Social Democratic Party of Austria||SPÖ||7|
|(Flanders)||Socialistische Partij Anders||Socialist Party - Different||sp.a||3|
|(Wallonia)||Parti Socialiste||Socialist Party||PS||4|
|Българска социалистическа партия|
Bălgarska Socialističeska Partija
|Bulgarian Socialist Party||BSP||5|
|Movement for Social Democracy||EDEK||0|
|Česká strana sociálně demokratická||Czech Social Democratic Party||ČSSD||2|
|Sotsiaaldemokraatlik Erakond||Social Democratic Party||SDE||3|
|Suomen Sosialidemokraattinen Puolue||Social Democratic Party of Finland||SDP||3|
|Parti Socialiste||Socialist Party||PS||31|
|Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands||Social Democratic Party of Germany||SPD||23|
|Πανελλήνιο Σοσιαλιστικό Κίνημα|
Panellínio Sosialistikó Kínima
|Panhellenic Socialist Movement||PASOK||8|
|Magyar Szocialista Párt||Hungarian Socialist Party||MSZP||9|
|Magyarországi Szociáldemokrata Párt||Social Democratic Party of Hungary||MSZDP||0|
|Partito Socialista||Socialist Party||PS||4|
|Latvijas Sociāldemokrātiskā Strādnieku Partija||Social Democratic Workers' Party of Latvia||LSDSP||0|
|Lietuvos Socialdemokratų Partija||Social Democratic Party of Lithuania||LSDP||2|
|Lëtzebuerger Sozialistesch Arbechterpartei||Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party||LSAP||1|
|Partit Laburista||Malta Labour Party||MLP||3|
|Partij van de Arbeid||Labour Party||PvdA||7|
|Det norske Arbeiderparti||Norwegian Labour Party||DNA||N/A|
|Sojusz Lewicy Demokratycznej||Democratic Left Alliance||SLD||5|
|Unia Pracy||Labour Union||UP||0|
|Partido Socialista||Socialist Party||PS||12|
|Partidul Social Democrat||Social Democratic Party||PSD||10|
|Smer – sociálna demokracia||Direction - social democracy||Smer||3|
|Socialni demokrati||Social Democrats||SD||1|
|Partido Socialista Obrero Español||Spanish Socialist Workers' Party||PSOE||24|
|Sveriges socialdemokratiska arbetareparti||Social Democratic Workers' Party of Sweden||S||5|
|Social Democratic and Labour Party||SDLP||0|
|Non-PES parties who sit with the PES Group in the European Parliament|
| Партия Български социалдемократи|
Partija Balgarski socialdemokrati
|Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats||PBS||1|
|Partito Democratico||Democratic Party||PD||9|
|Sinistra Democratica||Democratic Left||SD||3|
|Socjaldemokracja Polska||Social Democracy of Poland||SDPL||3|
|Samoobrona Rzeczpospolitej Polskiej||Self-Defense of the Republic of Poland||SRP||1|
|State||Name (original language)||Name (English)||abbr.||Status|
|Partit Socialdemòcrata||Social Democratic Party||PS||Observer|
|Socijaldemokratska Partija BiH||Social Democratic Party||SDP||Observer|
| Партия Български социалдемократи|
Partija Balgarski socialdemokrati
|Party of Bulgarian Social Democrats||PBS||Associate|
|Socijaldemokratska Partija Hrvatske||Social Democratic Party of Croatia||SDP||Associate|
|Samfylkingin||Social Democrat Alliance||S||Observer|
|Vitality - Together||MY||Observer|
| Социјалдемократски Сојуз на Македонија|
Socijaldemokratski Sojuz na Makedonija
|Social Democratic Union of Macedonia||SDSM||Associate|
|Partito dei Socialisti e dei Democratici||Party of Socialists and Democrats||PSD||Observer|
| Демократска странка |
| Sozialdemokratische Partei der Schweiz /|
Parti socialiste suisse
|Social Democratic Party of Switzerland||SP/PS||Associate|
|Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi||Republican People's Party||CHP||Associate|
|Demokratik Toplum Partisi||Democratic Society Party||DTP||Associate|