Category Archives: Brussels Labour

Labour Party conference: FEPS meetings

Next Left: Insecurity, fairness and the new social democracy

Monday 27 September, 0800 to 0930 // Lord Mayors Parlour, Manchester Town Hall, 2 Albert Square, Manchester M60 2JT

John Denham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government,

Dr Alfred Gusenbauer, Former Chancellor of Austria,

Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint

Sunder Katwala, General Secretary of the Fabian Society

With the support of the Fabian society

European Social Democracy: The Path Back To Power

Monday 27 September, 1230-1430 // Midland Hotel, Alexandra B

Roger Liddle, Policy Network

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, Party of European Socialists

Claude Moraes MEP, EPLP Deputy Leader

Roland Rudd, Business for New Europe

Rushanara Ali MP

In cooperation with the European Parliamentary Labour Party

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Commissioner Damanaki’s speech to Brussels Labour in full

On Wednesday 15 September, Maria Damanaki, the Commissioner for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, spoke to Brussels Labour. Here is the full transcript of her speech:

The European debt crisis – lessons for the left

Dear colleagues/comrades, I would like to thank you very much for giving me the opportunity to address you today. I think it is very important that we increase our cooperation inside the European socialist family. I know that the Brussels branch has been very active all this years, and has played a historic role in our political family. I thank you for it. Such collaboration is particularly important in this period when the majority of European governments are led by more conservative voices.

I agreed to speak today about the European debt crisis, a fundamental problem that we need to tackle urgently. Many in the socialist family insist that the European debt crisis is one element of a much wider issue, namely the European economic crisis. And rightly so. Look at the forest, not just the tree.

We should be careful however not to let this very valid point dilute the importance we ascribe to the debt crisis, and to the concrete responses we must take. Look also at the tree, not just the forest. Continue reading Commissioner Damanaki’s speech to Brussels Labour in full

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Autumn events

A reminder of our upcoming events in 2010:

Wednesday 13 October

John Fitzmaurice Memorial Lecture, to be delivered by Martin Westlake

The Centre, Avenue Marnix 22, 1000 Brussels

Wednesday 10 November at 19.30 (note change of date!)

Brussels Labour Quiz, with Michael Cashman as compere

The Staff, Rue de Trèves 42, 1050 Brussels

Teams of four can register by emailing the Secretary and making a transfer of €20 to the Brussels Labour account: 001-1128765-52. Please include your team name and indicate that it is for the quiz.

A raffle will be held to raise funds for the flood victims in Pakistan.

Wednesday 8 December

Brussels Labour Christmas Social, hosted by David Earnshaw and Jo Wood

Square Ambiorix 6, 1000 Brussels

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ETUC Day of Action – Brussels 29 September



1 September 2010

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), in reaction to the austerity measures in force in a number of European countries, is sponsoring a major European mobilisation on 29 September, with support from all its member organisations. Around 100 000 people are expected to take to the streets in Brussels and protest actions will also be held in different European countries.

A major day of action organised by the European trade union movement will be held on 29 September. Trade union delegations from across Europe will march in the streets of Brussels to protest against austerity measures. Employees cannot be the only ones to pay for the irresponsible speculation of certain financial institutions. In parallel with the Euro-demonstration in Brussels, a general strike will be held in Spain and protest movements are planned in Portugal, Italy, Latvia and Poland. The effort of the trade union organisations is focused on the Euro-demonstration in Brussels.

ETUC General Secretary John Monks commented : “On 29 September, we will demonstrate to voice  our concern over the economic and social context, which will be compounded by austerity measures. We are particularly alarmed over unemployment and rising inequalities. To cope with increasing precariousness, priority must be given to quality jobs.”

Call to demonstrate:

Link to the page dedicated to the European Day of Action :

Information for the press:

The European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) speaks with a single voice on behalf of the common interests of workers, at European level. Founded in 1973, it now represents 82 trade union organisations in 36 European countries, plus 12 industry-based federations.

The ETUC is also on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr. To subscribe to the ETUC newsletter, please click here.

For more information:
Patricia Grillo.
ETUC Head of Press and Communications
+ 32 (0)2 224 04 30
+ 32 (0)477 7 7 0 1 64
E-mail :

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Brussels Labour events in January, February and March

The next Brussels Labour event will be on Wednesday 27 January from 19.30 at Arthur’s, 26 Rue de Treves.

Our guest speaker will be Jason Anderson, WWF Brussels Head of Energy and Climate, speaking on ‘What next after Copenhagen?’

For future events, we hope to have a joint social evening in February with sister parties. We are planning a crash course on online campaigning, with Jon Worth as our tutor.

And the AGM is scheduled for Wednesday 24 March. Further details all these events will be shown here once they are firm.

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New Secretary

Sarah Millar, our Secretary, has left Brussels to take up a post in the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change: their gain and our loss! We are delighted for Sarah and wish her every success as well as thanking her for her dedication to Brussels Labour.

Her replacement will be elected  at the AGM and, until then, Emma Eatwell will be the acting secretary. Any mail can be sent to her on

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2009 highlights

We were very pleased to welcome UK Trade Commissioner Baronness Cathy Ashton to speak at our meeting on November 10.

The annual John Fitzmaurice Leture was given on 14 October at the Centre by ETUC President John Monks. A full report will appear in Germinal, but click here for the text of his speech.

Brussels Labour again hosted a fringe meeting with EPLP at Labour Party conference.  Chaired by Brussels Labour honorary President Lord Kinnock, on the subject of “Trade and Aid – European responses to global poverty”, it should be a fascinating debate.  Speakers were European Commissioner for Trade, Cathy Ashton, Europe Minister Glennys Kinnock and Michael Cashman MEP – or three peers and a queer, in Michael’s memorable description of the panel!

September 9.  We had a speaker from the Irish Labour Party on the forthcomming Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

June 2 – we welcomed Labour’s new MEP, Derek Vaughan, as speaker.  He gave his thoughts on the election campaign, and his hopes for his first term.

May 27 – European Election campaign leafletting

April 29 – Joint hustings with Brussels Liberal and Conservative associations – Brussels Labour was ably represented by Richard Corbett MEP

The Brussels Labour Exec was invited to a brief private meeting with Harriet Harmann whilst she was over to meet the EPLP in February – read more here

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The October 2009 edition of our newsletter is now available online here.  Click here for previous editions.

And here is a preview of three articles for the next edition:

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Party of European Socialists – PES

The PES is probably of particular interest to members of Brussels Labour.

Individual members of Europe’s Socialist, Social Democratic and Labour Parties – and thus of Brussels Labour – are all members of the PES through their national party membership. They can now become directly involved in the PES by becoming PES activist. This important decision was taken at the PES Council in Vienna in June 2005 with full support of the member parties.

Being PES activist offers a new level of involvement for members, complementary to that on local, regional or national level.

Activists can ask questions directly to politicians, take part in discussions with other European socialists and social democrats on a variety of topics, give input on PES policy discussions,  establish political links with local individuals and branches in other PES member parties, receive information on what other European socialists and social democrats are up.

In addition, there are opportunities to attend events such as the PES Congress and Summer University.

Go to for more details on how to become a PES activist – and also for information on PES events and activities.

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