The Socialist Party and the European Social Democracy on the brink of divorce

The Socialist Party and the European Social Democracy on the brink of divorce

Analysis. The tweet, which went almost unnoticed, dates back to May 4: “We welcome the gathering dynamics of the French left in which the @partisocialiste participates, with a view to # legislative elections. » The Party of European Socialists (PSE) thus reacted to the constitution of the New People’s Ecological and Social Union (Nupes), which brings together the Socialist Party, Europe Ecologie-Les Verts and the French Communist Party under the leadership of Insubordinate France (LFI ) by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Founded in 1992 and chaired by Bulgarian Sergei Stanichev, the PSE, which has thirty-four parties, aims to “The strengthening of the socialist and social democratic movement in the European Union [UE] and the rest of Europe ”.

PS membership, officially still “Reformist”, at the Nupes, marks a divorce with the Social Democratic family. According to the definition of Jacques Delors, former Minister of Economy and Finance of François Mitterrand, social democracy is the result of“A double compromise between labor and capital, the state and the market.” On the contrary, LFI is based on a radical break with capitalism.


At a time when Sweden and Finland, led by Social Democrats, want to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the PS joins Mr Mélenchon, who is calling for France to succeed. An earthquake that has caused a lot of questions and reservations among the “brother” parties, but little public comment, with the exception of Michael Roth, SPD chairman of the Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, who exclaimed: “How can the PS ally itself with this populist?” »

At the PS Congress in September 2021, the Social Democrats of Europe were conspicuous by their absence. And during the presidential campaign, only Socialist Prime Ministers Pedro Sanchez (Spain) and Antonio Costa (Portugal) showed their support for Anne Hidalgo. “There is a form of misunderstanding among our partners, linked to our institutions, observes Gilles Finchelstein, general manager of the Jean Jaurès Foundation. Why this four-round election? “This will accentuate the isolation of the PS, Alain Bergounioux, President of the University Office for Socialist Research, points out some parties saw him on the same slope as the Pasok [Mouvement socialiste panhellénique]Greek »which had fallen in the January 2015 legislative elections with 4.7% of the vote.

Also read: Legislative Marriage Program: points of convergence and disagreement between LFI, EELV, PS and PCF

We are far from the golden age of the late twentieth centurye century: in 1997, out of the fifteen EU countries, twelve including France – were led by Social Democrats. But a battle was then pitted against Lionel Jospin, who was loudly defending his socialism “Europe’s most left-wing prime minister”proudly asserted in 2000, Mr. Mélenchon, his Minister Delegate for Vocational Education – to Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder, Apostles of a “Third Way” opening in the center. A fragmentation bomb-shaped cleavage. To the left of the reformist parties have appeared anti-capitalist parties: Syriza in 2004 in Greece, Die Linke in 2007 in Germany, Podemos in 2014 in Spain. In 2015, Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader of the British Labor Party in a very radical line, fervently backed by LFI until his ouster in 2020.

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