FEPS Newsletter 6 March 2024 – 🌹 PES Congress in Rome, far-right, centre-right radicalisation and proposals for the next decade!

Also, European cohesion, Ukaine’s economy, Africa Summit and EU agriculture

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FEPS was at the PES Congress

Last week, a FEPS team delegation travelled to Rome to participate in the Congress of the Party of European Socialists (PES)🌹which gathered progressive heads of states and governments, European Commissioners, other top politicians, party leaders, activists, and supporters. Our workshop on the rise of the far-right, co-organised with the S&D group and PES CoR, drew a full house and illustrated our commitment to fostering a serious intellectual reflection for the progressive movement. The vibrant debates witnessed at this forum energised all participants and prepared the ground for the main part of the Congress on Saturday.


But the threat to democracy is not just coming from the far-right but also the centre-right parties which are letting the more extreme tendencies inside the institutions and tend to normalise their hate speech. Find out more about our recent work on centre-right radicalisation. As important as understanding the current challenges, it is to work on constructive policy proposals for a better future, as the ones included in the the latest volume of the Next Left series.


Among these proposals, the reinforcement of the European cohesion policy is a must, and this happens to be the focus of our upcoming event with Commissioner Ferreira, join us!

Understanding right-wing populism and what to do about it


Understanding right-wing populism and what to do about it

PES Congress fringe event

1 March – Rome, Italy – In collaboration with PES CoR and S&D Group

This successful workshop gathered a full room and an impressive panel of speakers, including Partito Democratico leader Elly Schlein; Nicola Zingaretti, President of Demo, the foundation of the PD; Iratxe García Péréz, Chair of the S&D Group; Vasco Cordeiro, CoR President; FEPS President Maria Joâo Rodrigues,  and many other top-level policy-makers and academics. 


Speakers argued why the rise of the far-right is a real threat to democracy, the welfare state, fundamental human rights and the EU project as a whole, and exchanged views on constructive proposals to protect the welfare state and fight against inequalities.


Professors Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of York) and Tim Vlandas (Oxford University) brought comparative analytical insights into the strategies and voter bases of right-wing populist parties. And thanks to senior politicians from across the EU, we also analysed the specific situation in different EU countries.


📰 Read the news about FEPS participation in the PES Congress

📷 Have a look at the pictures

➡️ Check out the highlights of the debate that took place


The transformation of the mainstream right in Western Europe

Implications for social democracy

By Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser – In collaboration with FES Brussels office, Institut Jean-Jaurès and Karl-Renner-Institut

Read more
Read 'The transformation of the mainstream right in Western Europe'

The challenge to democracy is not just the far-right parties, but some centre-right parties allying with them and normalising their exclusionary discourse.


It is crucial to assess the degree to which the mainstream right in Western Europe is radicalising its policy stances. This policy brief is based on an extensive analysis of empirical data and a detailed examination of six country cases: Austria, Germany, France, Poland, Spain and Sweden. It also includes ideas on how social democracy should face this challenge. Read more. 


ℹ️  A comprehensive policy study on the same topic will be launched in April.

Read 'Progressive Ambition: How to shape Europe in the next decade'


Progressive Ambition: How to shape Europe in the next decade

By Eunice Goes, László Andor, Maria Maltschnig, Andreas Schieder, Ania Skrzypek, Carlo D’Ippoliti, Elinor Odeberg, Marius S. Ostrowski and many more – In collaboration with Karl-Renner-Institut

Read more

This latest volume of the Next Left series highlights the pivotal “role of FEPS in shaping the future of social democracy“, according to MEP Brando Benifei. “It provides guidance for the social democratic movement on how to respond to the most pressing issues of our day and age”, in the words of MEP João Albuquerque. Jane Gingrich commends the volume’s ability to provide “new thinking about European progressive project”. “This book could not be more timely”, emphasises Amandine Crespy.


The book explores in over three chapters how to govern with progressive purpose in turbulent times; how to manage the triple transformation; and examines the implications of tectonic shifts in voter attitudes, including strategies to halt the march of the radical right.


It is the outcome of the work by the FEPS-Karl-Renner-Institut Next Left Focus Group, for which members carried out research and debates under the leadership of Andreas Schieder. Read more.



Reinforcing European cohesion

New goals and tools to share prosperity in Europe

7 March – FEPS HQ

Reinforcing European cohesion

With Commissioner Elisa Ferreira and a panel of policymaking experts, this event will elaborate on the added value and performance of the Cohesion Policy, knowing that the next EU legislature will face difficult debates on the next Multiannual Financial Framework.


Ahead of the upcoming European elections and after the recent launch of the European Commission’s report on ‘Economic, Social, and Territorial Cohesion’, this public event will reflect on the current Commission’s work in this field and outline key elements of the next chapter.

Throughout the history of military conflicts, nations with robust war economies were better positioned to weather the challenges of prolonged hostilities and emerge victorious. However, two years into Russia’s aggression, Ukraine’s economy has not fully transitioned into a wartime model. 


During this online webinar, FEPS brought a panel of policy experts to discuss what a war economy entails, in general, and what policies can be recommended for Ukraine, considering its current challenging circumstances. We analysed actions that have already been taken, ongoing challenges and the next steps to implement. Watch it here.


FEPS delegation, including FEPS Special Advisor on Foreign Affairs Ann Linde, is attending the Summit on ‘The Africa we want and the United Nations we need’ in Abuja, Nigeria. 


In the run-up to the September 2024 Summit of the Future, which will see the adoption of the Pact of the Future, the Africa Summit of the Future Dialogue brings together African and global experts to explore strategies for enhancing Africa’s voice and participation in the United Nations system.

Progressive Post
Read our new Progressive Page on EU agriculture


European agriculture: it’s about farmers’ income, stupid!

By Isilda Gomes, Mayor of Portimão (PES/Portugal) and Chair of the Commission for Natural Resources at the European Committee of the Regions

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