Friday, March 30, 2007

If it is not fun, it is not ECOSY...

Many of my best memories and friends in politics are connected to all the congresses, camps and meetings organized by Young European Socialists (ECOSY). This weekend ECOSY has its 8th congress in Warszawa, Poland. I was invited as a veteran, and since I knew I would meet a lot of old friends, I decided to go. Also, since we always make at least one international page in Aktuellt i Politiken every week, this was an excellent opportunity to write an article or two.

So here I am, in a nice and huge hotel next to the airport in Warszawa, and I have already updated my knowledge of European politics in numerous ways [please note that this is based on chats and gossiping]:
  • I have listened to a speech by Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, and combined with a chat we had, this will become an article about his visions regarding the Party of European Socialists.
  • I have learnt that there are elections in Switzerland this autumn, but our sister party will face a tough match since immigration is a huge issue.
  • In Britain, Gordon Brown (and not David Miliband) will succeed Tony Blair, and Brown is not as moody as the rumors say.
  • Czech politics are a mess, and the Conservative bloc does not always have a majority in the very tight parliament.
  • The Italian economy is improving, partly thanks to Fiat who is increasing its share of the European car market. Casini is not as close to Berlusconi anymore, but is not joining Prodi yet.
  • Our Danish friends are very optimistic about the next election, even if the closing of a youth/cultural center in Copenhagen mostly hurt the Social Democratic Mayor (and not the Conservative government).
  • Our French comrades are happy that Bayrou is dropping in the polls, meaning that Royal should make it to the second round. Given the pessimistic mood in the country and the bad legacy of Chirac, the left still has a chance, but then Royal has to be the people’s choice for progressive change.
  • In Finland, my friends seemed a little embarrassed to have become only the third biggest party. But the generation of Social Democratic Finns born in the 1970s and 1980s seems very strong to me, and I hope they will get more influence in the party.
  • My Estonian friend and I just concluded that we will talk over a beer later, so more reports will follow!
  • Now Pascal Lamy of the WTO is speaking, and his main point is that the socialist movement have been trying to regulate and make use of market economy and capitalism for 150 years, but now we have to do it on a global scale. I could not agree more.
In short: ECOSY is as fun as always. As a matter of fact, this is European politics for real.



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