Monday

26th Feb 2018

Focus

French socialists launch EP campaign

  • EP chief Martin Schulz - The French Socialist party is keen to frame its campaign within the wider European debate (Photo: Koerber Stiftung)

The French Socialist Party launched its EU election campaign on Monday (3 March) with jobs and fighting tax evasion as key issues.

The launch date was not chosen by chance: it was two days after the Party of European Socialists (PES) made European Parliament chief Martin Schulz its top candidate for the European Commission presidency.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The socialists are polling poorly in France with just 16 percent of voters saying they will vote for the party, according to a recent poll. This would put them in third place behind both the opposition centre-right (UMP) and the far-right National Front.

So they are trying to frame the political debate on the EU fortunes of the pan-European socialist party – where a recent prediction saw the centre-left winning the EU vote – rather than on the politically less hopeful domestic arena.

The Socialist Party's First Secretary, Harlem Desir, underlined the centre-left's ambition to win the most seats in the European Parliament, therefore providing leverage for getting a politician from its own ranks into the European Commission presidency.

Europe "must turn the page on Liberal and Conservative governments, which for years have harmed the European dream," said Desir.

"Their blind support for deregulation, widespread competition, fiscal and social dumping, has only led to austerity, unemployment and soaring populism across the continent," he said.

"This is why, with Martin Schulz, we will fight for a new Europe, another Europe, our Europe."

The French Socialists also want their campaign to be participative and announced the launch of a website where voters can put questions to both French candidates and Martin Schulz.

Desir said that jobs would be the party's "priority". The unemployment rate in France is 10.5 percent, the highest rate since 1997.

Also high on the party's agenda is the creation of a European energy community, the fight against tax evasion, the regulation of banks, and an EU financial transaction tax.

The socialists are fielding few candidates who are well-known outside France. Desir, who has faced criticism within the party, is running in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris.

Others running include Edouard Martin, a charismatic former trade unionist, and Vincent Peillon, minister of national education in the government.

EUobserved

When two worlds collide

Two worlds collided at the end of last week. The shrill, uncompromising one of British politics and the technocratic, dry, world of the European Commission.

EUobserved

Schadenfreude and fire-walking in the EP

There was outright glee in the EP on Thursday. It was time to dust off everyone’s favourite German word for pleasure in the misfortune of others.

News in Brief

  1. EU calls for immediate ceasefire in Syria
  2. UK's post-Brexit vision is 'pure illusion', Tusk says
  3. EU leaders express solidarity with Cyprus in Turkey drill row
  4. EU to double funding for Sahel forces
  5. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  6. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  7. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  8. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. ILGA EuropeAnkara Ban on LGBTI Events Continues as Turkish Courts Reject NGO Appeals
  2. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  3. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  5. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  6. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  7. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  8. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  9. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  11. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  12. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU agrees budget to focus on defence, security and migration
  2. EU leaders nix transnational lists, cool on 'Spitzenkandidat'
  3. Regions chief: calls for smaller EU budget are 'impossible'
  4. Election fever picks up This WEEK
  5. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  6. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  7. European far-right political party risks collapse
  8. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table