The runners for the next President of the PES

21st November, 2011 2:17 pm

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen has today announced he is standing down as President of the PES. Over a period that has been one of relative decline for the left across Europe, Poul has been a voice of determination and reason; I’m sad to see him go, especially as he’s miles better than his counterpart at the S&D Group.

So then, who are the possible replacements?

I write this on the basis of no inside information whatsoever. I have just tried to compile a list on the basis of the names and characters who would be eligible. These would have to be former prime ministers, high ranking ministers or Commissioners. Feel free to add more suggestions or comments.

Alfred Gusenbauer (Former Chancellor of Austria)

Since being replace as Chancellor in Vienna, Gusenbauer has been a regular visitor to Brussels, often popping up at events run by FEPS and the Renner Institut. He’s well known in the Brussels circles, although lacks any star quality. He would be a safe but uninspiring option.
Chances: good

Frank-Walter Steinmeier (Former German Foreign Minister)

A big beast without a role since the end of the grand coalition in Germany in 2009, Steinmeier’s political future has been an open question. He would bring gravitas to the role, but does he still harbour a further shot at Germany’s top job in 2013?
Chances: unknown. Would he want it?

 

Mona Sahlin (Former leader of the Swedish Social Democrats, former government minister in Sweden)

It didn’t work out for Sahlin as leader of the Social Democrats, but she has respect within her party and the Swedish Social Democrats are well connected and trusted within the PES. The PES also has never had a female President.
Chances: medium

José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (Outgoing Spanish Prime Minister)

He probably retains more respect at EU level than nationally within Spain. The most recent Social Democratic Prime Minister of a large EU country. However he backed Barroso for Commission President in 2009 – has everyone forgotten that?
Chances: low. Probably too soon for him.

 

David Miliband (Former Foreign Secretary in the UK)

Whenever there’s a top EU job available, David Miliband’s name always crops up. Probably the only Brit with the skills, respect and experience to take the job. But would he want it? What are his plans? No-one really seems to know except the man himself.
Chances: if he wants it then the job could well be his

Other possible names: Anna Diamantopoulou, Josep Borrell, José Sócrates?

(All images CC License from Wikipedia: Gusenbauer | Steinmeier | Sahlin | Zapatero | Miliband)

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the info Jon.   What is the difference between the PES and the S&D?

    • http://twitter.com/RalfGrahn Ralf Grahn

      PES is the European party. It’s MEPs sit in the S&D group in the European Parliament.

      • Anonymous

        Thanks Ralf.

Latest

  • News Unite might refuse to Burnham if he won’t commit to an anti-austerity message, reports suggest

    Unite might refuse to Burnham if he won’t commit to an anti-austerity message, reports suggest

    Andy Burnham has been pegged as the leadership candidate that the unions will back since he announced he was entering the contest. Although in terms of financial backing, Burnham has said he would rather unions gave their money directly to the party to help the rebuilding process instead of his campaign. However, it now seems that support for Burnham from one of the country’s biggest unions, Unite, isn’t as definite as has previously been said. The Telegraph (£) have reported […]

    Read more →
  • Featured News John Healey announces he’s standing to be deputy leader

    John Healey announces he’s standing to be deputy leader

    John Healey is joining the race to become Labour’s deputy leader, making him the 7th MP to do so. Healey, who was a housing minister under Gordon Brown, made this announcement in an article in the Guardian. He said that he hadn’t planned on standing but has been “dismayed at how narrow and shallow Labour’s debate has been so far.” He also wrote: “I know I’m a late entrant when others have been up and running for some time. But […]

    Read more →
  • News Shadow Minister backs Liz Kendall to be Labour leader

    Shadow Minister backs Liz Kendall to be Labour leader

    Ivan Lewis, Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, has announced that he’s backing Liz Kendall to be the next Labour leader. In an article for the New Statesman, Lewis dismisses terms such as “Blairite” (a label that has been applied to Kendall) and says that although he thinks that “Tony Blair did more good than bad for Labour” neither “Liz Kendall or I believe that Labour’s route back to Government can be charted via the New Labour handbook.” He gives […]

    Read more →
  • Comment The Labour Party needs a peasants’ revolt, not a palace coup

    The Labour Party needs a peasants’ revolt, not a palace coup

    So we lost a General Election. Rather badly. I start with this uncomfortable observation as it seems already to have been brushed aside by many in the party delirious with the fever of electing a new Leader. The thinking of too many seems to be: “The previous Leader was weak or wrong on too many issues for the British electorate. All we need to do is find the right spearhead and everything will be fine”. Yet this is the most […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Labour must make the case for culture

    Labour must make the case for culture

    Over the next few weeks, for those of us in politics the hard work of another five years in opposition begins in earnest. A new programme of government legislation, a new agenda to shape and respond to, and the little matter of a leadership election to complete. But for many people outside of politics, the next few weeks are the start of a summer of UK cultural events; international music festivals such as Glastonbury and the BBC proms, a summer […]

    Read more →
Share with your friends










Submit