I heard the resignation of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, current Party of European Socialists (PES) President for personal reasons, on last Monday. The former Danish Prime minister is quitting his position just after the PES Convention, holding in Brussels the next week-end.
I was very surprised and sad by this announcement. Poul is a man I really appreciate and I was lucky to meet him, several times. His activism and his actions within the PES presidency were so precious and important for the socialist and the social-democratic activists, passing the PES from a party of national parties to a real European party.
I don’t know if Poul is going to visit this blog but I wish to enjoy telling him, telling you dear Poul: “Tak”
Thank you so much for your voluntarism, your energy and your optimism for our movement. I’ll miss you so much!
Take care and good riddance, comrade!
PS : just below, find the Poul Rasmussen’s statement, you can also find here.
“I am announcing that, after the PES Council and Convention, I will be stepping down as PES President. Everything has its time. For me, the time has come to start a new chapter of my life. I have had the honour and the pleasure to contribute to a crucial phase of development for our common European party. Friends, I feel the PES has been with me all my political life. I first took part in many PES leaders’ meetings in my capacity as party leader of the Danish Social Democrats, and then as Prime Minister for nine years, before being elected as President of the PES in April 2004.
Now it is time for change – this time of a personal nature. My entire political career I have listened to the body politic and tried to make the best call. Now it is time to listen to the demands of my own body and make the responsible call. After several decades in national and European politics, the time has come for me to focus on my family, on projects close to my heart in Denmark and trying to stay in good shape.
This crucial phase for the PES has built on our biggest strength – it is based on our fundamental belief in solidarity. For eight years this strength has been a daily presence in my life; from my friends in all our Member Parties, in the S&D Group in the European Parliament and the PES group in the Committee of the Regions, from PES Women to the enthusiasm of our PES activists; from our Foundation FEPS, to the vibrancy of ECOSY, and from our tireless PES secretariat, led so ably by our Secretary General, Philip Cordery.
Our joint efforts have led us to this PES Convention – the biggest ever gathering of European Progressives. Our principles, clearly expressed, are firmly anchored in the roots of socialist and social democratic thought. We have spent eight years painstakingly building our platform. Now it will be up to you to use this platform to relaunch our shared dreams.
“Nothing makes the earth seem so spacious as to have friends at a distance; they make the latitudes and longitudes”. During my time as PES President, and throughout my political career, I have been blessed by fortune. I have been lucky enough to have many, many friends across the globe and across this great continent of Europe. I will remain, as you can expect, full of vigour and passion for our progressive cause. And I look forward to the energy and excitement at our Convention in a few days time.
Thank you so much for the wonderful messages of support.”