Social democracy was able to influence decisions and establish itself as a sort of European 'opposition', a vector of a different conception of Europe, albeit a minority one. Faced with the crisis of the European project, socialists had a great and unique opportunity to revitalise their European strategy. The minority participation of socialists in European institutions favoured a role, which would have consisted of steering the socialists' political and programmatic activity through the Party of European Socialists (PES) and the leaders' conference. The debt crisis had contributed to the inauguration of a new phase in the development of Euro-parties. The financial crisis on the one hand, and the sovereign debt crisis on the other, had restored the possibility of European reform. Compared with the political systems produced by the nation state, the European system had complicated the strategies of 'strong reformism' in unprecedented fashion, at national and European levels alike.