Saturday 20 September 2008

Tracking: European parliament elections 2009 (XV)

The Bureau of the European Peoples Party (EPP), "ahead of the European elections", has approved a paper (PDF) titled "Tackling the Demographic Challenge – Solutions for the Ageing of our Societies". Some measures proposed are a better work-life-balance, flexible retirement schemes, life-long learning, national pension reforms. An interesting paragraph is the following:
"Immigration from outside the EU, provided that regional needs and the particular situation concerning skill shortages in different sectors are taken into account, could help to mitigate the efforts of the falling population between now and 2025, although it will not be enough on its own to solve all the problems associated with ageing and it is no substitute for economic reforms. However, immigration enables us to meet the need for labour and safeguard Europe’s prosperity. Decisions on immigration should always be closely linked to essential efforts in the field of integration."
Altogether, this is a quite general paper and I don't think any national party will be able to build its electoral campaign on its content. It is more a stock-taking than a really inspiring paper.

The European Liberal Democrats (ELDR) do not have anything new concerning the 2009 elections, at least not on their front-page.

The same is valid for the European Green Party (EGP). Nothing new on their main webpage.

On the site of the Party of European Socialists (PES) there is still the link to the Manifesto 2009 page. There, however, not much news with regard to the upcoming European elections.

Under the category "Tracking: European parliament elections 2009" I am following up national and European activities on the path to the European Parliament elections 2009. So far: (14), (13), (12), (11), (10), (9), (8), (7), (6), (5), (4), (3), (2), (1).


Ralf Grahn said...

The PES deserves credit for its online debate and European network of activists.

In comparison the other European level parties look remarkably fossilised.

But the real test of dealing with European questions is how the issues and the links to the European level parties are presented by the national parties.

Most of the national parties seem to live in their traditional cocoons, practically unaware of the importance of Europe. Small wonder that few party activists are aware of our common challenges.

Anonymous said...

Yes, indeed, the PES deserves credit and I have given it in one of the earlier posts of this series. However, after the closure of the consultations, the visible activities with regard to the 2009 EP elections have been reduced considerably.

When it comes to the general involvement of national parties, my feeling and experience is that the European parties lack a proper communication structure into the national or even local level.

I have strong doubts that this will be solved prior to the next elections.