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Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
European Parliament group
PASD logo.jpg
Group logo
Name Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
English abbr. S&D[1] (23 June 2009 to present)

PES[2] (21 April 1993[3] to 22 June 2009)
SOC[2] (1958[4] to 21 April 1993[3])

S[5] (23 June 1953[3] to 1958[4])
French abbr. S&D[6](23 June 2009 to present)

PSE[7] (21 April 1993 to 22 June 2009)
SOC[2] (1958 to 21 April 1993)

S[5] (23 June 1953 to 1958)
Formal name Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament[1] (23 June 2009 to present)

Socialist Group in the European Parliament[7][8] (20 July 2004[3] to 23 June 2009)
Group of the Party of European Socialists[5][9] (21 April 1993[3] to 20 July 2004[3])
Socialist Group[4][10] (1958[4] to 21 April 1993[3])

Group of the Socialists[5] (23 June 1953[3] to 1958[4])
Ideology Social democracy
European parties Party of European Socialists
From 23 June 1953[3]
To present
Chaired by Martin Schulz
MEP(s) 183 (23 June 2009)
184 (2 July 2009[11])

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (abbreviation S&D[1]) is the social-democratic political group of the European Parliament. It dates its ancestry via various names back to the beginning of the European Parliament in 1953. Until the 1999 European election it was the largest group in Parliament. Its current incarnation is the second-largest and was founded on 23 June 2009.[12]

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The Socialist Group was one of the first groups to be founded when it was created on 23 June 1953[3][13] in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Parliament's predecessor. A bureau and secretariat was established in Luxembourg. The group continued through the creation of the appointed Parliament in 1958 and, when the Parliament became elected in 1979, it was the biggest group.

In 1987 the Single European Act came into force and the group began co-operation with the EPP group to secure the majorities needed under the cooperation procedure.[14] That left-right coalition has dominated Parliament since then[15] and (with some exceptions[16]) the post of President of the Parliament has been split between the two groups ever since.

Meanwhile, the national parties making up the group were also organising themselves on a European level outside the Parliament, with the parties creating the Confederation of Socialist Parties of the European Community in 1974.[5][4][17] The Confederation was succeeded by the Party of European Socialists, in 1992.[4][17] As a result, the group was renamed to the Group of the Party of European Socialists on 21 April 1993.[3]

In 1999, the Parliament refused to approve the Santer Commission's handling of the EU budget. Allegations of corruption centred on two PES Commissioners,Édith Cresson and Manuel Marín. The group initially supported the Commission but later withdrew their support, forcing the Commission to resign.[18]

In 2003 the group celebrated its 50th anniversary. In its first 50 years it had had 13 chairmen, among them two women. Celebrations were held in Brussels, under the slogan "proud of the past, confident of the future".

It had become difficult to distinguish between PES (the group) and PES (the party). So the group was renamed again, this time to the Socialist Group in the European Parliament[7] on 20 July 2004[3] and was given a different logo, making it easier to distinguish the group from the party.

In 2007, the group was the second largest group in Parliament, with MEPs from all but two member states, Latvia and Cyprus.[19] But the 2009 elections saw a reduction in PES MEPs. The group sought members from outside the party, and found them in the Italian Democratic Party.[20][21]

The Democratic Party already had 14 MEPs in the group, but it also had 8 MEPs in ALDE. It was (and remains) a big tent centre-left party, strongly influenced by the ideas of social democracy and the Christian left, and had MEPs who were former Christian Democrats or had other political views.[22] So a new, less explicit, group name had to be found.

The group was going to be named Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe (ASDE) but this was too similar to ALDE.[23] The name Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats was suggested on 18 June by group president Martin Schulz[24] and it was renamed on 23 June 2009.[12] The English abbreviation was initially unclear, being variously reported as PASD[25] or S&D Group[26] or PASDE.[27][11] Dissatisfaction by Socialist MEPs towards the new name led Martin Schulz to admit that the name was still under consideration and that the group was to be referred to as the 'Socialists and Democrats' until a final title was chosen.[28] On 14 July 2009, the first day of the constitutive session of the 2009-2014 term, the full formal group name was Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament[1] and the abbreviation was S&D.[1]

Presidents of the European Parliament

For Presidents of the European Parliament from the group, see President of the European Parliament.


The group is led by a President and a Bureau of Vice-Presidents. There is also a Treasurer and a Secretary General.[29]


Presidents of the Group

Presidents of the Group include:[30]

Number President State National party From To
1. Guy Mollet  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1953 1956
2. Hendrik Fayat  Belgium Socialist Party (PS) 1956 1958
3. Pierre Lapie  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1958 1959
4. Willi Birkelbach  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1959 1964
5. Käte Strobel  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1964 1967
6. Francis Vals  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1967 1974
7. Georges Spénale  France Socialist Party (PS) 1974 1975
8. Ludwig Spénale  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1975 1979
9. Ernest Glinne  Belgium Socialist Party (PS) 1979 1984
10. Rudi Arndt  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1984 1989
11. Jean-Pierre Cot  France Socialist Party (PS) 1989 1994
12. Pauline Green  United Kingdom Labour Party 1994 1999
13. Enrique Barón Crespo  Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 1999 2004
14. Martin Schulz  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 2004 -


Incoming Vice-Presidents of the group are as follows[31]:

Previous Vice-Presidents of the group for the 2004-2009 term were as follows:


Current/previous Treasurers of the group are as follows:

Secretaries General

Current/previous Secretaries General of the group are as follows:

  • Anna Colombo (Italy)[29]


MEPs from the following parties sit in the group:[32]

State National party MEPs 2004-2009 MEPs 2009-2014
 Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria 7 4
 Belgium (Flemish Community) Socialist Party Different 3 2
 Belgium (French Community) Socialist Party 4 3
 Bulgaria Bulgarian Socialist Party 5 4
 Cyprus Movement for Social Democracy 0 1
 Cyprus Democratic Party N/A 1
 Czech Republic Czech Social Democratic Party 2 7
 Denmark Social Democrats 5 4
 Estonia Social Democratic Party 3 1
 Finland Social Democratic Party 3 2
 France Socialist Party 31 14
 Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany 24 23
 Greece Panhellenic Socialist Movement 8 8
 Hungary Hungarian Socialist Party 9 4
 Ireland Labour Party 1 3
 Italy Democratic Party 8 21
 Italy Democratic Left 3 0
 Italy Italian Socialist Party 4 0
 Latvia National Harmony Party 0 1
 Lithuania Social Democratic Party of Lithuania 2 3
 Luxembourg Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party 1 1
 Malta Labour Party 3 3
 Netherlands Dutch Labour Party 7 3
 Poland Democratic Left Alliance-Labor Union 5 7
 Poland Social Democratic Party of Poland 3 0
 Portugal Socialist Party 12 7
 Romania Social Democratic Party 10 11
 Slovakia Smer – Social Democracy 3 5
 Slovenia Social Democrats 1 2
 Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party 24 21
 Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Party 5 5
 United Kingdom Labour Party 19 13


  1. ^ a b c d e "Seats by political group in each Member State: definitive results at 14 July 2009 at 09:00 CEST", 14 July 2009, from
  2. ^ a b c Democracy in the European Parliament
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l PES on Europe Politique
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Confederation of the Socialist Parties of the European Community Collection
  5. ^ a b c d e Political Groups of the European Parliament
  6. ^ [ "Sièges par groupe politique dans chaque État membre 14 juillet 2009 à 09:00 CEST"], 14 July 2009, from
  7. ^ a b c Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006
  8. ^ European Parliament profile of Martin Schulz
  9. ^ European Parliament profile of Pauline Green
  10. ^ European Parliament profile of Ernest Glinne
  11. ^ a b
  12. ^ a b "European socialists change name to accommodate Italian lawmakers" from
  13. ^ "Organisation - History - The Socialist Group in The European Parliament". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2009-04-02.  
  14. ^ "EPP-ED Chronology - 1981-1990". EPP-ED Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-07.  
  15. ^ Settembri, Pierpaolo (2007-02-02). "Is the European Parliament competitive or consensual ... "and why bother"?" (PDF). Federal Trust. Retrieved 2007-10-07.  
  16. ^ "Interview: Graham Watson, leader of group of Liberal Democrat MEPs". Euractiv. 2004-06-15. Retrieved 2007-11-01.  
  17. ^ a b How does the PES work?
  18. ^ Ringer, Nils F. (February 2003). "The Santer Commission Resignation Crisis" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2007-10-07.  
  19. ^ "MEPs by Member State and political group – sixth parliamentary term". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2007-11-07.  
  20. ^ New alliance emerges in European Parliament | Policies | EU governance | Parliament | European Voice
  21. ^
  22. ^ Italiani All'Estero - Parlamento Europeo - Il Pd Nell'Asde (Alleanza Dei Socialisti E Dei Democratici). Il Cammino E' Cominciato Anche In Europa" / News / Italian Network
  23. ^ Julien Frisch: PES not to become ASDE?
  24. ^ Schulz: «Sì dei socialisti europei al gruppo parlamentare Pse-Pd» - Il Sole 24 ORE
  25. ^
  26. ^ News - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
  27. ^
  28. ^ - Socialists bid to grab key Commission portfolios | EU - European Information on EU Treaty & Institutions
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Presentation". Socialist Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-07.  
  30. ^ "History". Socialist Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-11.  
  31. ^ News - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament
  32. ^ "PES Members". PES website.,en/. Retrieved 2007-11-07.  

External links


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