Category Archives: PES and sister parties

Brussels Labour joins calls to support the most vulnerable affected by COVID-19

Brussels Labour and joined forces with some of our sister parties in Brussels to call for greater support for the most vulnerable as the lockdown in Belgium, put in place to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, continue to reverberate.

The letter, addressed to Ministre Nathalie Muylle, responsible for Work, Economy and Consumers, while recognising the support already made by the Belgian Government, calls for measures to ensure that the most precarious and vulnerable people are also not left behind; and for a multi-language information campaign to remind employers of their responsibilities during the crisis.

Download the letter (in French and Dutch) here

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Brussels Labour goes local in the Belgian Communal Elections

Two Brussels Labour executive members running in the local elections; Jo Wood in the City of Brussels, and Keir Fitch in Etterbeek. Though neither won a seat, they both ran great campaigns and we would like to thank everyone who showed up to support them.

We were pleased to see PS win in the City of Brussels with Philippe Close as mayor However, for the rest of Brussels and Belgium we need to ensure that the PS and SP.A stay strong, particularly in the approach to the European elections. On the left, the greens made gains, whilst the far-right, though far from a successful night, did win the commune of Ninove.

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Sister party event on election year 2017 – 10 February 18h30, Brussels

Organised by Brussels Labour and the Sister Parties

175 million Europeans will go to the polls in 2017 to elect a new parliament and a new government in i.a. The Netherlands, France, Czech Republic and Germany. In all those countries progressive parties are currently ruling parties.

The issues at stake are high: populism is on the rise across Europe. Fake news and fake solutions with xenophobic and nationalistic slogans are undermining democratic values. Europe integration project is facing a huge challenge. The new governments will define the i.a. EU’s stance on Brexit, visions for society and economy, alternative to an isolationist and exclusive society proposed by right-wing populist movements.
Join us to discuss:
When: February 10, at 18h30
Where: Headquarters of theParti Socialiste (PS), 13 Boulevard de l’Empereur, 1000 Bruxelles

John Crombez, Chairman, sp.a, Belgium
Jiří Dienstbier, Senator and former minister of Human rights, ČSSD, Czech Republic
Alexander Schweitzer, Head of the parliamentary group in Rheinland-Pfalz, SPD, Germany
and TBC:


Laura Slimani, Chair of Young European Socialists, Parti Socialiste, France
Michiel Servaes, Member of Parliament, Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA), the Netherlands
Topics to be discussed:

– Which concrete perspectives are we progressives offering our voters – credible alternatives to the nationalist-conservative scaremongering?
– Austerity: how do we put an end to it? What roles for national or a eurozone budgets?
– Migration crisis: finding solidarity solutions in the EU.
– What will be left from the left if 2017 will mean a radical shift to the right in the EU?

A drink will be served.

Register here or here
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Progressive family launches “TOGETHER – A new direction for a progressive Europe” on 19 October 2016 in Brussels





On 19 October 2016, the progressive family in Europe, on the initiative of the S&D Group, is launching an 18-month project designed to find answers to the problems the EU is facing. The project called ‘TOGETHER – A new direction for a progressive Europe – Stand up for our future!’ goes beyond a traditional political consultation: it means involving citizens in building a progressive Europe.

TOGETHER is a joint project by the S&D Group and its partners, including the Party of European Socialists (PES), social-democratic representatives of national parliaments, the PES Group in the Committee of the Regions, Socialist Group in the Council of Europe, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS), Global Progressive Forum (GPF), SOLIDAR, civil society and progressive NGOs. The project is open to the public and over the next 18 months, events will be held all across the EU encouraging people to contribute to this new direction for Europe.

The TOGETHER event will take place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 19 October 2016 from 16h00 – 19h00 in room JAN4Q2 (access via the JAN entrance of the EP).

Speakers at the event will include:

•    Gianni Pittella, S&D Group President
•    Sergei Stanishev, PES President
•    Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the UK Labour Party
•    Elio Di Rupo, President of the Belgian Socialist Party
•    Bruno Le Roux, President of the Socialist Group at the National Assembly of France
•    Martin Schulz, European Parliament President
•    Federica Mogherini, EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs
•    Frans Timmermans, Commission first Vice-President
•    Luboš Blaha, Chairman of the European Affairs Committee of the National Council of the Slovak Republic
•    Michele Nicoletti, President of the Socialist Group, Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe
•    Massimo D´Alema, FEPS President
•    Aurélien, Mauzy, President Rainbow Rose
•    Luca Visentini, ETUC General Secretary
•    Jan Zielonka, Professor of European Politics and Ralf Dahrendorf Fellow, St Antonys College, University of Oxford

The full programme of the launch event can be found here

Please join us online using #EuropeTogether.

Click here to follow the live stream of the event



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Next branch meeting on the Irish Presidency – 29 May

Picture1ieThe next Brussels Labour branch meeting will take place on Wednesday 29 May from 19:30.

The meeting, which will take place at the Socialist House of Europe, Rue Major Debreucq 40 (just off Place de Londres), is due to feature an Irish (Labour) government minister and will focus on the Irish Presidency as well as the 40th anniversary of Ireland’s membership of the EU.

Also, don’t forget to reserve your place at the Brussels Labour 40th anniversary dinner, which will take place on Wednesday 19 June, by contacting us at You can reserve a copy of our book on 40 Years of Labour in Brussels too, at the subsidised price of €20 – contact

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Join the Fête du Progrès on 30 April

To celebrate May Day on 1 May, the Brussels Federation of the Parti Socialiste is organising the latest Fête du Progrès on Tuesday 30 April from 20:00.

The event takes place at La Tentation (28 rue de Laeken – 1000 Bruxelles)

Tickets are on advance sale for €5 from the local sections and from the Federation (galerie Ravenstein 28/7 – 1000 Bruxelles)

For more info, go to



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S&D/FEPS conference on Failed Austerity in Europe

The Launch Conference of the S&D Group / FEPS Progressive Economy Initiative takes place on Thursday 7 March in the European Parliament.

You can find more information on the conference, which will focus on Failed Austerity in Europe, by clicking here. Registration is available until 4 March.

If you can’t make it in person, there will be live webstreaming via the same link.



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FEPS/IPPR event: Staying in – Winning the debate to keep Britain in the EU

On 18 February, FEPS and IPPR will hold a joint event entitled ‘Staying in – Winning the debate to keep Britain in the EU’.

Following David Cameron’s intention to hold a referendum on UK membership of the EU, is a timely debate on Britain’s future in Europe.

Speakers include Emma Reynolds MP (Shadow Europe Minister), Jo Leinen MEP (President of the European Movement), Giles Merritt (Secretary General of Friends of Europe) and Will Straw (Associate Director at IPPR and author of the report‘Staying in’).

The event will be chaired by Ernst Stetter (Secretary General of FEPS) with concluding remarks by Massimo D’Alema (President of FEPS and former Prime Minister of Italy).

Date & Time: 18 February , 17:00-19:00

Venue: FEPS office, rue Montoyer 40, 1000 Brussels

Registration: email FEPS events

More information: please contact Charlotte Billingham at FEPS

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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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