Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
|Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats|
|European parliamentary group|
|Name||Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats|
|English abbr.|| (23 June 1953 to 1958)|
|French abbr.|| (23 June 1953 to 1958)|
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (23 June 2009 to present)
|European parties||Party of European Socialists|
|Associated organisations||Progressive Alliance|
|From||23 June 1953|
|Chaired by||Gianni Pittella|
The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (abbreviation S&D) is the political group in the European Parliament of the Party of European Socialists (PES). The group 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. S&D is currently the second-largest group in the European Parliament and adopted its present-day name on 23 June 2009.
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The Socialist Group was one of the first three groups to be created when it was founded on 23 June 1953 in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. The Common Assembly was the predecessor of the European Parliament. A group bureau and secretariat was established in Luxembourg. The group continued through the creation of the appointed Parliament in 1958 and, when the Parliament became an elected body in 1979 following the first European election, the group became the largest in terms of returned MEPs.
In 1987, the Single European Act came into force and the group began co-operation with the European People's Party (EPP) to secure the majorities needed under the cooperation procedure. The left–right coalition between the Socialists and EPP has dominated the Parliament since then and (with some exceptions) 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, creating the Confederation of Socialist Parties of the European Community in 1974. The Confederation was succeeded by the Party of European Socialists (PES), in 1992. As a result, the parliamentary group was renamed the Group of the Party of European Socialists on 21 April 1993.
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.
The group was renamed again to the Socialist Group in the European Parliament on 20 July 2004 and was given a different logo, to further distinguish the PES group organisation from the PES European political party.
In 2007, the Socialist Group was the second largest group in Parliament, with MEPs from all but two member states, Latvia and Cyprus. However, the 2009 European election saw a reduction in the number of PES MEPs returned from 2004. The group sought additional members in the Democratic Party of Italy, which is not affiliated to the PES. By the conclusion of the 2004-2009 parliamentary term, the Democratic Party had 8 MEPs in the Socialist Group (coming from Democrats of the Left), but also had 8 MEPs in ALDE (coming from The Daisy). The Democratic Party is a big tent centre-left party, strongly influenced by social democracy and the Christian left, and had MEPs who were former Christian Democrats or had other political views. So a new and more inclusive group name had to be found.
The group was going to be named Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe (ASDE) but this was seemed too similar to Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). The name Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats was suggested on 18 June by group president Martin Schulz and it was renamed on 23 June 2009. The English abbreviation was initially unclear, being variously reported as PASD or S&D Group or PASDE. 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. 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 and the abbreviation was S&D.
The S&D Group joined the Progressive Alliance upon its official foundation on 22 May 2013 and is a member of the organisation's board. The group was formerly an Associated Organisation of the Socialist International.
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.
Presidents of the Group
Presidents of the Group include:
Current Vice-Presidents of the group appointed at the start of the current legislature in 2014 
- Victor Boştinaru (Romania),
- Tanja Fajon (Slovenia),
- Isabelle Thomas (France),
- Enrique Guerrero Salom (Spain),
- Marju Lauristin (Estonia),
- Jörg Leichtfried (Austria),
- Knut Fleckenstein (Germany),
- Maria João Rodrigues (Portugal),
- Kathleen Van Brempt (Belgium),
- Péter Niedermüller (Hungary)
Previous Vice-Presidents of the group appoited at the start of the 2009 legislature:
- María Badía i Cutchet (PSOE, Spain) – Communication Policy and Public Relations
- Monika Beňová (Smer, Slovakia) – Europe of the Citizens
- Véronique De Keyser (PS, Belgium) – Human Rights, Development and International Trade
- Stephen Hughes (Labour, United Kingdom) – Economy and Social Policy
- Stéphane Le Foll (PS, France) – Budget and Territorial Cohesion
- Adrian Severin (PSD, Romania) – Foreign Policy and Defence
- Gianluca Susta (PD, Italy) – Agriculture and Fisheries
- Hannes Swoboda (SPÖ, Austria) – Parliamentary Affairs and Relations with International Organisations
- Marita Ulvskog (SAP, Sweden) – Sustainable Development and Competition
Previous Vice-Presidents of the group for the 2004-2009 term were as follows:
- Harlem Désir (PS, France)
- Bárbara Dührkop Dührkop (PSOE, Spain)
- Robert Goebbels (LSAP, Luxembourg)
- Linda McAvan (Labour Party, UK)
- Pasqualina Napolitano (Sinistra Democratica, Italy)
- Hannes Swoboda (SPÖ, Austria)
- Kristian Vigenin (BSP, Bulgaria)
- Jan Marinus Wiersma (PvdA, Netherlands)
Current/previous Treasurers of the group are as follows:
Current/previous Secretaries General of the group are as follows:
- Manfred Michel (West Germany)c1970-c1985
- Paolo Falcone (Italy)c1986-1989
- Julian Priestley (UK)1989-1994
- Joan Prat (Spain)1994-1999 (Deputy Sec Gen Richard Corbett UK)
- Christine Verger (France)1999-2004
- David Harley (UK)2004-2006
- Anna Colombo (Italy) since 2006
MEPs from the following parties sit in the group:
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- On 14 October 2007 the Democrats of the Left merged with Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy to form the Democratic Party. A minority of Democrats of the Left MEPs did not join the Democratic Party and sat in the PES group affiliated with Democratic Left.
- The party became the Italian Socialist Party in October 2007. The Italian Socialist Party had 4 MEPs for the remainder of the 2004-2009, the additional two from Socialists United for Europe, formerly Non-Inscrits.
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