The landslide election of the UK's Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook as President of the PES (257 votes for, 3 against and 13 abstentions) was expected: his nomination was decided by the Presidents of the different Parties at the Summit of Socialist leaders at the Stockholm Summit in March to make up for the Labour Party losing the Presidency of the PES Group at the European Parliament in 1999. Before the resounding victory, Henri Emmanuelli, former Minister and former First Secretary of the French Socialist Party and current leader of the French Socialist Party's left wing, officially protested - how could the PES be European federalists calling for greater democracy in Europe if they did not accept democracy within the parties themselves, which are seen as no more than tools. He demanded that the President of the PES be democratically elected. The Belgian MEP Jean Marie Dehousse said it was shocking that the retiring President welcomed his successor before the vote had even been held, referring to Rudolph Sharping welcoming Mr Cook at the beginning of the Congress.With 70 signatures, mainly officials elected by universal suffrage in France, Italy, Germany and Greece, but also several Congress delegates, Mr Emmanuelli attempted to promote an alternative programme, "For a Federal and Social Europe", to the Berlin Declaration adopted by the Congress. He did not succeed since the PES Statutes demand consensus and do not allow amendments or motions to be voted on. Result: under pressure from the British, Danish and Swedish delegations, all reference to the Directive on worker consultation, or a European Constitution, or even the term "Political Union" were dropped from the Congress Declaration (Robin Cook preferred the term "United Europe"). The prospect of integrating the Charter of Fundamental Rights into the Treaty was also removed, to the great dismay of the President of the PES Group in the European Parliament, Enrique Baron Crespo, who reiterated that "the Charter must become the Preamble to the Treaty" and repeated his Group's demand that a convention, along the lines of the Convention that had prepared the Charter, be convened in 2002 to prepare the Intergovernmental Conference of 2004. The Greek MEP Ioannis Koukiadis said that the PES' liberalism was heading towards disaster and that 90% of the Berlin Declaration could have been written by the EPP.--Founded in 1992, the PES contains 20 parties with voting rights, including the two...

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