Wednesday

20th Sep 2017

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 and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  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.

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

MEPs have approved Juncker's new EU commission, with a slightly smaller majority than in 2010, and following a number of concessions on portfolios.

News in Brief

  1. Hungary set for fresh campaign against public enemy Soros
  2. Iceland's PM leads in polls ahead of October elections
  3. Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds cancel referendum
  4. Ireland to hold referendum on ownership of water
  5. Report: May to offer €20bn as Brexit bill in Florence speech
  6. Merkel poised to win election despite CDU dip in polls
  7. EU unveils cyber security ideas
  8. EU must do more to cut emissions, auditors say

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  2. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  3. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  4. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  5. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  6. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  7. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  8. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel
  9. Mission of China to the EUPresident Xi Urges Bigger Global Role for Emerging Economies
  10. EU2017EEAre We Socially Insured in the Future of Work?
  11. European Jewish CongressFrench Authorities to Root Out "Societal Antisemitism" After Jewish Family Assaulted
  12. European Federation of Local Energy CompaniesClean Energy for All? On 10.10 Top-Level Speakers Present the Clean Energy Package