Apparently a few PES activists have launched a good new Website “A-New-President.eu“. It has a similar message to the AnyoneButBarroso.eu initiative Jon and me started about two years ago.

Its main element is the petition (I have also signed):

The European Parliament will elect the next European Commission. We, the voters on June 7 do not only decide the composition of the European Parliament, we also decide upon the driving seat of the EU: The European Commission. The composition of the executive EU body – the European Commission – has to reflect the vote of us EU citizens on June 7.

We call for the PES to build a new progressive majority with a strong Commission President.

We demand respect for our democratic rights! We demand that the Presidency of the European Council makes sure that the European Governments nominate a Commission President that reflects the majority in the European Parliament.

Besides the petition the activists put up relevant information on the building up of the Commission and speculations about Barroso’s replacement. – Not bad. However, the focus could be a little less PES-based. Given their awful record in the past months and the complete absence of leadership from Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the one and only credible candidate for the Commission President job remainining is Guy Verhofstadt in my view. The positive thing is that also Greens should be able to live with him and as a federalist I have obvious big sympathy for him.

Let us hope that PES leader Martin Schulz also comes to the realisation (at least on election day) that it is up to him to bring together the progressive forces in the EP to block the Barroso appointment and propose an alternative candidate. Why not go for the big package deal together with PES-Greens-Liberals in the EP in which he could secure his own role as Parliament president and install the “social” Commission he is always talking about?! Greens and others are waiting for your first step. – Over to you Schulz!


Comments

2 Comments so far

  1. Aleksander on May 26, 2009 15:54

    Nice and well to mention our website. I fully agree on tribute we should give to anyonebutbarroso.eu website.

    Our basic idea is not only to oppose the still current President of the EU Commission than focusing on an progressive alternative.

    I do not share your opinion about Poul Nyrup. If the PES turns into a real european political party, it’s mainly his achievement. Remember how vague Robin Cook’s or Rudolf Scharping’s PES look like compared to current one.

    The unanimous adoption of the PES Manifesto in Madrid, the way it has been drafted through a bottom-up process (instead of the too usual top-down), the common political tools and agenda provided are Poul’s ideas.
    That’s why, he benefits from a strong and large support from the grassroot activists.

    Besides that, it’s up to the PES to decide who it wants to promote as candidate, not its parliamentary Group. On this, I personnaly back the Cohn-Bendit stance about a Rot-Grün coalition with Poul N. Rasmussen having the leadership.
    Considering the electoral campaign, a broader coalition giving the lead to a Liberal won’t get the support of many member parties. Ranging from the belgium PS to the Labour through french Parti socialiste.

  2. Jan on May 27, 2009 0:08

    Aleksander,

    your focus on a progressive candidate is good. Even though I think the PES as the second biggest political movement should not just support “a” progressive candidate but one of their own – but up to you :)

    AnyonebutBarroso was started quite a while ago, when the debate needed ANY challenger to start with. I see your new project as a good and useful follow-up to ours. No contradictions there :)

    I could have lived with Nyrup Rasmussen as well – if he had only put himself forward!! Why hasnt he brought this to a vote or simply declared himself to run?! – You mention that Belgian PS or Labour wouldnt support Verhofstadt. – But who hasnt supported Poul Nyrup?!

    Yes, on a pragmatic level the PES has consolidated as a European political party. But so have the others. The real contest is whether you are ready to get challenged in elections. And by not fielding a candidate for the highest office – as the second biggest political movement – the PES clearly shows that it is not yet up for it, I believe.

    But good luck to the grass-roots! You are probably the best organised of all European parties.

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