Europe's socialist leaders meet in Spain

The former social democratic prime minister of Sweden, Stefan Löfven, has been re-elected President of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

Voting took place at the two-day 2023 PES Congress in Malaga, Spain, in cooperation with the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE).

Addressing the Congress before his re-election, PES President Stefan Löfven said: “We must put Europe in the lead. To address the climate crisis and create opportunities for citizens. To stand for international law and democracy. To create prosperous societies where people live in dignity. And we can do it together.”

The conference was addressed on its second day by acting Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, whose decision to cut a deal with Catalan separatists to give him a working coalition in parliament, triggered violent protests by right-wingers earlier this week.

It had also been a difficult week for the ruling socialist party in Portugal, with Prime Minister Antonio Costa standing down as police began a corruption investigation into the award of energy contracts by elected officials.

The PES conference welcomed a new full-time member, the Democratic Coalition from Hungary, and observer delegations from Kosovo, Serbia and Belarus