We are living through very turbulent times. The global financial and economic crisis has created unprecedented turmoil, and the political consequences for our social democratic family have, at times, been difficult. Our member parties are facing some common problems at this time. I believe that these can best be answered together. At our Prague Congress in 2009 the PES launched a long term project Our Vision for Progressive Societies in the 21st Century. This project aims to discuss and debate the renewal of social democracy and to investigate how our family can reformulate our core values and their expression in today’s globalised world.
If we want to win back power in Europe we need to develop a coherent alternative to the conservative austerity only agenda which is currently dominating Europe. We have to be strong on our values, ideas and policies. The 2014 elections are getting closer everyday so we need to work together now to formulate credible and coherent answers to the problems people are facing. We need to evaluate how our values and principles apply in today’s Europe, which is near paralyzed by a prolonged and entrenched crisis.
The online platform Re:new was specifically created as part of the PES renewal process to collect all of your views and discussions. Our first step in developing a strong and progressive European alternative takes place in 2011 with the adoption of the PES declaration of principles at our Council this November. Understanding how our values and principles can be adapted in the face of the changing world forms a central part of this declaration and we need your views on this. The renewal process will then continue with the adoption of the PES fundamental programme at the PES Congress 2012.