Limits of consensus?
The Party of European Socialists and the financial crisis
in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
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This chapter examines the response of the Party of European Socialists (PES) to the financial crisis and focuses on two objectives. The first was related to theories of the development of Euro-parties. The second was to explore issues relating to social democracy through an analysis of the PES. The chapter explores how the PES sought to build a common social democratic response to the financial crisis at the European level. There were three distinct phases of the PES policy response. First, the PES essentially reiterated existing policy proposals relating to financial regulation. Second, the PES began to try to develop new ideas and policies, by challenging the growing move towards austerity programmes and instead calling for ambitious investment programmes. Third, the PES began to focus particularly on the future cohesion of the single currency and of the European Union (EU), trying to find a means of encouraging European unity.


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