Saturday 14 August 2010

EU Commission President: Campaign for a PES-PSE Primary growing by the day

Social media are a wonderful thing. Online you can make contacts and campaign for good causes across borders, such as the Campaign for a PES Primary we looked at yesterday. Check for updates on the active blog, which gets today’s #bkaeb recommendation (the Twitter tag for Better Know A EuroBlog, a #FF or #followfriday for Euroblogs).

In less than 24 hours the online media campaign on Facebook has grown by 60 persons (from 590 to 650). I hope that all members of the social democratic, socialist and labour parties in Europe, especially the activists of the Party of European Socialists (PES; Parti socialiste européen, PSE), join the demand to hold primary elections, involving PES party members across Europe, to select their candidate for the Presidency of the European Commission.

Naturally, I am going to be even more impressed if the PES-PSE shows the way, although as an independent citizen of the EU and Finland I am not included in the target group - party members – but see the campaign in the wider context of developing European level representative democracy.

Since PES-PSE activists were the first off the blocks, my thoughts turn to people active in other constructive national political parties and Europarties. Are they ready to take up the challenge in their own political party at European level, and do they have enough drive to make their Europarty commit to democratic primaries ahead of the European Parliament election in 2014?

There are two parts to the challenge. First of all, each Europarty should clearly and visibly field its candidate for the presidency of the European Commission ahead of the European Parliament election in 2014. Second, the nomination of the candidate should be decided through a democratic primary election in each political party.

A President of the European Commission with a stronger mandate from voters is not enough to turn the European Union into a parliamentary democracy, and it would not by itself institute politically accountable government at EU level, but it is a step in the right direction, well worth campaigning for and deciding on.

In the Euroblogosphere, Jon Worth and The European Citizen wrote about the campaign for a PES primary before the first entry appeared here on Grahnlaw. Follow the stream of new posts on to see when other Euroblogs take up the challenge by spreading the word.

The European public online space keeps growing. Multilingual now aggregates the posts of 648 blogs related to EU affairs (Euroblogs).

Ralf Grahn

P.S. It is easier to understand a language than to use it correctly. As Eurobloggers we could and should promote interaction among Europeans across borders and between linguistic communities. Grahnlaw has adopted a multilingual comment policy:

I do my best to read comments in Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish or Swedish, even if the Grahnlaw blog and my possible replies are in English.

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