Change or die is the message to the PES from Poul Nyrup Rasmussen on Labourlist today, and he has this to say about the EP:
We now face the least progressive European Parliament in its history, with a far more eurosceptic and nationalist right-wing than ever before. Moreover, we also risk seeing a more assertive right-wing European Commission
But the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament (PASD) is already up against it – stick to the old ways of playing the game, or stick their necks on the line?
One particular problem is neatly summarised by the Eurosocialist blog, namely the game being played between the left and right in the EP regarding the allocation of the top positions in the EP. Joesph Daul of the EPP Group is openly playing a game against the PASD, stating that the left must back Barroso as Commission President before any deal could be struck to ensure that the EPP backs a leftist candidate for the Presidency of the European Parliament for the second half of the parliamentary term.
Daul it seems is playing a good game, he’s putting the left in a corner, making it look like they lose either way – back Barroso and the Portuguese is strengthened, or not get the Presidency of the Parliament and the old two-parties-control-the-game in the EP is broken, at the expense of the left. You can just imagine Schulz scratching his belly and wondering what to make of this, even with a few extra Italian MEPs in his camp. Does the left stick to its ideology and lose out on all of the top positions, or does Schulz lose the position as EP President that he allegedly craves?
If I were in the shoes of a leftist MEP I would refuse to play the game with the EPP, and aim to develop a clear and coherent opposition to the right in the EP throughout the next 5 years. That doesn’t need a socialist as the President of the EP to be achieved, and might help the left determine what it stands for before the 2014 elections. I somehow suspect that won’t be the way many MEPs in the PASD will see it. Contrast that to Poul’s statement and the position of the left looks rather schizophrenic.