Category Archives: Election campaigning

Join us for our general election campaign weekends

The Brussels Labour Executive Committee has been discussing campaigning activities ahead of the general election and has decided to propose three campaign weekends:


17- 19 April 2015 – South West, with campaigning activities centred around Bristol

It is likely that campaigning activities will start around 10am on the Saturday morning (18 April) in Bristol. Bristol West CLP has very kindly offered accommodation for the weekend. We very much hope that Brussels Labour members will be able to participate in this campaigning weekend – please inform the Secretary if you are able to come along (and if you need accommodation).


24-26 April 2015: London

1-3 May 2015: South East, with campaigning activities in a number of constituencies, including Dover and Deal and Thanet South (note that Friday 1 May is a public holiday in Belgium)


The Executive Committee proposes to set up a campaign fund of 500 EUR per campaign weekend to help Brussels Labour members participate in these campaigning activities. We welcome applications to this fund. Brussels Labour can provide financial support of up to 100 EUR each for five Brussels Labour members to take part in each campaigning weekend.

To apply, contact the Secretary specifying the dates when you plan to campaign. You can apply to take part for one day or for a weekend. If your application is accepted you will then receive a simple form to submit within a week of your return with proof that the trip cost at least 100 euro (e.g. a copy of the travel ticket), a short report (up to 250 words) and some photos of the campaigning activities that we can publish in our newsletter, Germinal. In justified cases, the payment can be made before you travel (on the basis of a copy of the travel ticket) and the report and photos submitted within a week of your return.


Further information about the London and South East campaign weekends will be posted in due course.

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Autumn dates for your diary

September means a return to work, a return to school… and a return for Brussels Labour.

Here are our upcoming events:

Wednesday 18 September – 19:30
Extraordinary General Meeting + Meeting on Scotland and the EU, and the Independence Referendum 
with Lord McConnell of Glenscorrodale, former First Minister of Scotland
at the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels

Sunday 22 September – 12:30-14:30
LME, Brussels Labour and the European Movement: Winning in Europe in 2014
with Emma Reynolds MP, Kathleen van Brempt MEP, Glenis Willmott MEP, Julian Priestley, David Schoibl, Jo Wood, Petros Fassoulas, and candidates and speakers from socialist societies and unions
at Screen 7, Odeon Brighton, West Street, BN1 2RE

Wednesday 16 October
John Fitzmaurice memorial lecture 2013
with Martin Schulz MEP, President of the European Parliament
at Press Club Europe Brussels, rue Froissart, 1040 Etterbeek
Please register at

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Support the PD Italian election campaign this Monday

On Monday 28 January, Hannes Swoboda, President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament will be present at an event with Brussels branches of progressive and socialist parties in Europe.

The event, which is held in support of the Partito Democratico campaign for the Italian elections on 24-25 February, will be held at Mediterraneo, Rue de Trèves, 40, 1050 Ixelles. It begins at 19:00.

For more information click here (link to Facebook)

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Reminder – Registration for the Communal elections

Should you wish to vote in the next local elections in Belgium on Sunday 14 October 2012, you will need to make sure you are registered by Tuesday 31 July 2012.

For Brussels residents, registration is very easy. Just print out and complete the application form in the link below and send it to your “Maison Communal” (see links below for your commune).

Anderlecht | Auderghem | Berchem-Ste-Agathe | Bruxelles Ville | Etterbeek | Evere | Forest | Ganshoren | Ixelles | Jette | Koekelberg | Molenbeek-St-Jean | Saint-Gilles | Saint-Josse-Ten-Node | Schaerbeek | Uccle | Watermael-Boitsfort | Woluwe-Saint-Lambert | Woluwe-Saint-Pierre

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Richard Corbett to speak to Brussels Labour on the financial crisis

The next Brussels Labour branch meeting takes place next week:

Richard Corbett – Member of the Cabinet of Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council

‘Out of its depth? The EU and the Crisis’

Tuesday 24 April – Horloge du Sud, Rue du Trône 141, 1050 Ixelles – 20:00

The meeting begins at 20:00. The venue opens at 19:30. If you would like to eat, please come early and order before the meeting starts.

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Forthcoming meetings include:

London Mayoral elections campaign day

Tuesday 1 May – Join Brussels Labour in Hackney and Islington and help get Ken Livingstone elected! A group of Brussels Labour members will be going to London to help Ken’s campaign – please contact the Secretary if you would like to join


Branch Meeting

Wednesday 30 May – Horloge du Sud – Further details tbc


Pascal Smet – Flemish Minister for Education, Youth, Equal Opportunities and Brussels Affairs

‘The Belgian communal elections’

Wednesday 20 June – Horloge du Sud, Rue du Trône 141, 1050 Ixelles – 20:00

The meeting begins at 20:00. The venue opens at 19:30. If you would like to eat, please come early and order before the meeting starts.

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Belgian local elections – don’t miss your chance to vote!

The next communal elections in Belgium will take place on Sunday 14 October. Did you realise you can vote?

Electoral law in Belgium recognises the right of all EU citizens to vote in – and stand for – local elections, and casting your vote could make all the difference in your commune.

But you have to register. If you haven’t done so yet, then don’t delay!

Brussels Labour strongly urges you to take up this opportunity to support the socialist candidates in the Brussels communes, who will include candidates from other EU member states. At least two Brussels Labour members will stand.

Your registration form has to be submitted by 31 July 2012 and copies are available at the electoral registration service (service électorat) in your commune, with specific details provided on their websites. If you registered for the 2006 elections, then you don’t need to do so again.

You can find out why your commune matters to you here.

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Next Branch meeting: Ken Livingstone’s campaign team

The next Brussels Labour branch meeting takes place this week:

Peter May – London Labour Party

‘The London Mayoral elections’ 

Wednesday 25 January – Square Ambiorix 6, 1000 Brussels – 20:00

The meeting begins at 20:00. As this event is not in a bar or restaurant, there will be no food served, and you are invited to bring a bottle.

Forthcoming meetings include:

Sister Parties meeting & reception – Preparation for Communal Elections 

Wednesday 29 February – Further details tbc

Brussels Labour Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 21 March – Further details tbc

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Does Your Commune Matter To You?

The Parti Socialiste – in collaboration with sister parties – has produced a new leaflet (click here to download the PDF) on the communal elections in Belgium. These elections will take place on 14 October 2012, and all EU citizens can register to exercise their right to vote.

Download the leaflet to find out why it is important to vote in the communal elections and please share the leaflet with your friends.

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Guest blog from Duncan Enright: ‘Winning Labour’s first seat from the Tories in 2011′

Duncan Enright is a councillor for the Witney East ward on Witney Town Council. The town’s MP is David Cameron. Duncan is son of Derek Enright, who was a Member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and then an MP from 1991 until his death in 1995.

For the last 15 years I have lived in Witney, a lovely market town in West Oxfordshire. My three children, Katy (15), Lucy (11) and Tom (8) all go to local schools, including the outstanding Wood Green High School where my wife Sally-Ann is a teacher. I’m a publisher and like many of my neighbours I commute. However I enjoy Witney – I play football with other local dads, we go to the local Catholic church, and I work for the local Labour Party and have stood locally for many years. The highlight until now has been having local MP Shaun Woodward defecting from the Tories in 2000 and signing his Labour Party membership card in our sitting room! 

Last year the Tory town councillor for Witney East, Louise Chapman, was barred from office because she didn’t turn up for six consecutive months. Odd this – they are adept at managing this sort of situation. One of the other Tories (there are four for Witney East and 15 on the council of 17, one Lib Dem who votes with them) hasn’t been seen for two years, and has got away with it.

The Tories wanted to coopt a replacement. They did the same in 2009 when the only Green stood down (found it too hard going). Despite promises to the gullible Greens, they replaced him with a Tory ex-mayor! Instead I collected the ten signatures needed to force a by-election.

The Tory constituency agent, who is also the debarred councillor’s father, railed against the expense of a by-election, and rather backed them into a corner. I took the opportunity to ram home the need for a local voice on various key local issues, which you can read about at It was a great chance to state my platform, and had the advantage of being the absolute truth – these are key issues where the town councillors have done nothing, or worse still the wrong thing.

We started early, posting a letter through all doors before the nominations closed. I have the advantage of being the candidate in every election since 2007, and living right in the heart of the ward. My kids go to the local schools, my wife teaches at one, and I play football with local dads (badly). I was able to press this advantage before the Greens and Lib Dems had even decided to stand. (I did in fact write to them to ask them to stand aside in my favour, so we could challenge the Tories directly on the big local issue of a disputed £20m bypass – I’m against and the Tories are for. Subsequently the Lib Dem candidate, also against, has been abandoned by his County colleagues who voted for unanimously. Same old Lib Dems!)

To be honest, when the list closed I was disappointed not to have a Tory candidate, and also assumed that their support, which is pretty substantial locally, would naturally transfer to their mates the Lib Dems. Continue reading

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