Labour in Europe

Party of European Socialists

The Labour Party is a member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) which brings together all sister parties within the European Union, plus Norway. Sergei Stanishev (former Prime Minister of Bulgaria) has been President of the PES since 2011.

PES has 32 full member parties from the 27 EU Member States, Norway and Croatia. In addition, there are eleven associate and ten observer parties. The PES was founded in 1992 following the Treaty on European Union and the recognition of the importance of political parties at a European level in Article 191 of the Treaty. It succeeded the Confederation of Socialist Parties of the European Community, which had been set up in 1974.

The PES Congress, which meets twice in every five year period, decides on the political orientation of the PES and elects the President and the Vice-President(s), who lead and represent the PES on a daily basis. Every year without a Congress, the Council contributes to the shaping of PES policy. The Leaders’ Conference gathers Prime Ministers and Party Leaders from PES Member parties 3 to 4 times a year to define the strategy and adopt common resolutions.

The Presidency, elected by the Congress, is the highest organ for the management of the day-to-day business of the PES. The Labour Party is represented by Emma Reynolds MP in the Presidency. The Secretary General, Achim Post, also convenes the Co-ordination Team to discuss the planning, preparation, follow-up and financing of PES activities. The Labour Party is represented by its Head of International Liaison at the Co-ordination Team. The Secretariat, based in Brussels, ensures the daily running of the PES.

YES and PES Women are respectively the Youth and the Women’s organisation of the PES. Young Labour and Labour Students are both members of YES.

Members of the Labour Party can become PES activists and get involved in PES activities and campaigns that promote progressive politics at a European level. PES provides PES activists with regular updates on European political debates and offers a common space for discussion.

European Parliamentary Labour Party

Labour has 13 Members of the European Parliament which make up the European Parliamentary Labour Party (EPLP).  The EPLP has its own leadership and spokespeople representing the Labour Party in the European Parliament.  The EPLP is part of the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (S & D) which is the second largest group in the European Parliament and has 190 MEPs from all 27 EU countries and 7 observer members from Croatia.

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