Europe’s socialists and social democrats have approved a joint programme for the 2009 European elections. The title is: “People first, a new direction for Europe.” The parties’ followers insist market forces must adapt to modern reality. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists, said: “For too many years, we had the financial speculation and market up here, and we had the real life, the real economy down here. That’s why we have a crisis now, not only on the financial market but also around our jobs and our employment. We want to turn it back to a sound relationship. We want the financial system to be our servant, and not our master. We want them to accept our democracy.”
Some 230 delegates from the 33 member parties of the Party of European Socialists were gathered in Madrid. The common programme for the European elections was hailed as unprecedented for them. The US Democratic Party also sent delegates to the meeting.
The more than 60 proposals for EU voters to consider include job creation with sustainable growth, new financial market regulation and an EU-wide minimum wage pact. Rasmussen said the ongoing economic crisis spelled the failure of conservative party strategies.