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Socialists and Democrats

PES energy policy in Euro Elections

Socialists and Democrats 51%

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PES is a federation of state parties that are either part of, or closely related to, the Socialist International, being the political group at the European Parliament that is formally closer to the way state parties function. Still, it gathers politicians with very different approaches to Society, diluting its identity.

Unlike in the US, where the word Socialism is a synonym for Planned Economics, in Europe it still retains some of its philosophical meaning of solidarity and equality. Especially during the rebuilding process following the Second World War, Socialism (or Social-Democracy in some states) in Europe became associated with John Maynard Keynes' recipes for economic growth, in what can be considered a politicized process of popular Economics. The oil crisis (that hit Europe hardest during the 1980-1985 period) brought this Social-Economic view into question, with revamped interpretations of Monetarism becoming popular again, especially among Liberal parties, but extending to large swathes of the population. That, coupled with the fast expansion of the European Union (that brought rapid economic growth to many states), ended up moving some state-level socialist parties much closer to Liberalism. 

In recent years some socialist parties were able to implement policies that directly impacted social equity, like indirect tax increases, in states such as the United Kingdom or Portugal. On the other hand, in places like Scandinavia or France, socialists remained closer to post-WWII philosophies. Thus, the concept of a European socialist is today something rather hard to define and largely dependent on geography. For foreign readers to understand, a large portion of PES would be registered with the Democratic party in the US, while the remainder would not find a home with any other party there, even with the Socialist Party of America, which is largely a Scientific Socialist bloc.


PES adopts essentially the same posture as the EPP-ED on Nuclear, leaving development decisions for the state level. Is this the Common Energy Policy referenced in the opening paragraph? At PES this hand-washing is not only a symptom of lack of commitment, but possibly of serious internal differences on the matter. Apart from that, the proposal for Union level safety motorization is welcome.

There's a lot left to be desired for from such meager lines. Digging deeper into the election website it is possible to find something a bit more elaborate. At the Documents page, under a section entitled "Save our planet", is buried a link to a resolution with the title "Secure energy supply and smart, green growth: a. new social democratic energy policy [pdf!]". This is an 11 page document dedicated entirely to Energy, produced at the 7th PES Congress, held in December of ... 2006.


 by Luis de Sousa

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