Labour Party

The election of Martin Sculz as President for a further five years was, unfortunately, not the end of the shenanigins in the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.  We had further “elections” yesterday morning, this time for Vice-Presidents and members of the Bureau (Executive Committee).  The Vice -President positions are important as each V-P has responsibility for a number of subject areas and convenes Group meetings to look at their particular portfolio.  The posts therefore have the potential to be quite powerful.

Given this, you may have though a democratic election would be a generally good idea, healthy competition for leading positions and all of that.  Sadly, no chance.  That’s just not the way the new Progressive Socialists and Democrats in Europe work.  In fact, the label “progressive” is significant in that it was often used by former communist parties to explain their policies.  Politburo would accurately describe some of the attitudes and actions of our new Group.

It’s a sad tale.  Originally there were to be seven Vice-Presidents.  This was increased to nine, I think but am not entirely certain, because nine people had expressed an interest in V-P positions.  Accordingly the number went up to nine.  Not surprisingly, this didn’t solve the problem and there were 11 nominations in the end.  So, what do you do when you have too many candidates?  If you’re the leadership of the Progressive Socialists and Democrats you get people to stand dow.  When two candidates had gone, we were left with the correct number and then had a phoney “ballot” to confirm the nine.

They are:

Name                                                                                                             Portfolio

Maria Badia i Cutchet (Spain)         Press and communications, including new media

Monika Benova (Slovakia)               Civil liberties, home affairs

Veronique de Keyser (Belgium)    Foreign affairs, international trade and development  

Stephen Hughes (UK)                         Employment, economic affairs, internal market, women

Stephane le Foll (France)                 Budget planning and control

Adrian Severin (Romania)               Legal affairs, constitutional matters, culture

Gianluca Susta (Italy)                         Environment, agriculture, fishing

Hannes Swoboda (Austria)               Parliament co-ordinator (whip)

Marita Ulvskog (Sweden)                  Industry, energy, research, transport