th December 2013
Dear Friends, As we head into the winter holiday period we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a peaceful and prosperous new year.
In 2013 we have achieved much. Just a few weeks ago, many of you joined us in Paris to Knock the Vote for Martin Schulz. We want to make sure that you have all the tools you need for a successful campaign between now and next May. We need to get people who are progressive to vote progressive and that means talking to our families, to our friends and to our neighbours about the PES, about Europe and about Martin Schulz. Paris wasnt our only event in 2013. In March, at the PES activist forum in Budapest we talked together on issues that concern our political family such as the rise of extremism and the fight for equality. When elections were called in Bulgaria, you volunteered your time as observers to ensure that democratic process was followed. Then at the Sofia council we met again to discuss our timeline towards 2014. We have always endeavored to keep you at the heart of what we do and this will continue. We hope you have all saved the date for the 28
th of February and the 1
st of March, to join us in Rome, the eternal
city, for the PES Election Congress. However, these are just the events we organize. We want to take this opportunity to thank you for
the events you have organized this year. There have been successful election exchanges in Germany, Portugal and Croatia. We have seen the work you have done in inviting participants, arranging an itinerary for them and working with your local party to make everyone feel involved. Again, our Romanian activists have been an example to all by arranging events both big and small all year around, it is activities like this that keep PES activists Romania growing. Our activists in Turkey, Spain, France, the Netherlands, and Sweden have been organizing themselves and meeting on a regular basis while in the United Kingdom, despite the rise of Euro-skepticism, the Labour Movement for Europe continues to grow, giving us hope that our message is strong and the future of our European family is bright.
We wish we could say that our battles have been won, but there is a lot more work to do. An
important example of this is the PES Women campaign: Equal Pay, its about time! This campaign raises awareness about the 16.2% gender pay gap that exists at European level and puts forward specific demands to close this gap in advance of the 2014 European Elections. Please share our video on twitter and Facebook and help people to realize that an alternative is possible. Our parties which were founded by workers are based on equality; equal work should mean equal pay.
Following the holidays we have a lot of work ahead of us. The adoption of the PES manifesto and the Election of the common commission candidate are just two of the tasks facing us. We are currently planning to continue your training so that you can successfully campaign with your member party and your local MEP. As you know we need a majority in the European parliament and we need to convince citizens that we deserve their vote. For this reason we ask that you convince your fellow party members to become PES activists and that you ask your friends and families to follow what we do on Facebook. Until we meet again in Rome. Yours sincerely,
Sergei Stanishev Zita Gurmai PES President PES Women President