Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats

This article is about the current European Parliament Group and its predecessors dating back to 1953. For the europarty established in 1992, see Party of European Socialists.
"S&D" redirects here. For the Silver & Deming drill bit shank, see Drill bit shank § Straight shank. For the English railway company, see Somerset and Dorset Joint Railway. For other uses, see S&D (disambiguation).
Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
European parliamentary group
Name Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
English abbr.

S&D[1] (23 June 2009 to present)
PES[2] (21 April 1993[3] to 22 June 2009)
SOC[2] (1958[4] to 21 April 1993[3])

S[5] (23 June 1953[3] to 1958[4])
French abbr.

S&D[6] (23 June 2009 to present)
PSE[7] (21 April 1993 to 22 June 2009)
SOC[2] (1958 to 21 April 1993)

S[5] (23 June 1953 to 1958)
Formal name

Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament[1] (23 June 2009 to present)
Socialist Group in the European Parliament[7][8] (20 July 2004[3] to 23 June 2009)
Group of the Party of European Socialists[5][9] (21 April 1993[3] to 20 July 2004[3])
Socialist Group[4][10] (1958[4] to 21 April 1993[3])

Group of the Socialists[5] (23 June 1953[3] to 1958[4])
Ideology Social democracy[11][12]
European parties Party of European Socialists
Associated organisations Progressive Alliance
From 23 June 1953[3]
To Present
Chaired by Gianni Pittella
187 / 751

The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D[1]) is the political group in the European Parliament of the Party of European Socialists (PES).[13] The Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats was officially founded as a Socialist Group on 29 June 1953 which makes it the second oldest political groups in the European Parliament after ALDE. It adopted its present-day name on 23 June 2009.[14] Centre-left in orientation,[15] the group mostly comprises social-democratic parties, and is affiliated to the Progressive Alliance.

Until the 1999 European Parliament elections it was the largest group in the Parliament, but since those elections it has constantly been the second-largest group. During the 8th EU Parliament Assembly, the S&D is the only Parliament group with representation from all 28 EU member states.

In the European Council, 8 out of 28 Heads of State and Government belong to the S&D Group and in the European Commission, 8 out of 28 Commissioners come from PES parties.

European Union

This article is part of a series on the
politics and government
of the European Union


The Socialist Group was one of the first three groups to be created when it was founded on 23 June 1953[3][16] in the Common Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community. The Common Assembly was the predecessor of the European Parliament. A group bureau and secretariat was established in Luxembourg. The group continued through the creation of the appointed Parliament in 1958 and, when the Parliament became an elected body in 1979 following the first European election, the group became the largest in terms of returned MEPs.

In 1987, the Single European Act came into force and the group began co-operation with the European People's Party (EPP) to secure the majorities needed under the cooperation procedure.[17] The left–right coalition between the Socialists and EPP has dominated the Parliament since then[18] and (with some exceptions[19]) the post of President of the Parliament has been split between the two groups ever since.

Meanwhile, the national parties making up the group were also organising themselves on a European level outside the Parliament, creating the Confederation of Socialist Parties of the European Community in 1974.[4][5][20] The Confederation was succeeded by the Party of European Socialists (PES), in 1992.[4][20] As a result, the parliamentary group was renamed the Group of the Party of European Socialists on 21 April 1993.[3]

In 1999, the Parliament refused to approve the Santer Commission's handling of the EU budget. Allegations of corruption centred on two PES Commissioners, Édith Cresson and Manuel Marín. The group initially supported the Commission but later withdrew their support, forcing the Commission to resign.[21]

The group was renamed again to the Socialist Group in the European Parliament[7] on 20 July 2004[3] and was given a different logo, to further distinguish the PES group organisation from the PES European political party.

In 2007, the Socialist Group was the second largest group in Parliament, with MEPs from all but two member states, Latvia and Cyprus.[22] However, the 2009 European election saw a reduction in the number of PES MEPs returned from 2004. The group sought additional members in the Democratic Party of Italy, which was not affiliated to the PES in 2009.[23][24] By the conclusion of the 2004-2009 parliamentary term, the Democratic Party had 8 MEPs in the Socialist Group (coming from Democrats of the Left), but also had 8 MEPs in ALDE Group (coming from The Daisy). The Democratic Party is a big tent centre-left party, strongly influenced by social democracy and the Christian left, and had MEPs who were former Christian Democrats or had other political views.[25] So a new and more inclusive group name had to be found.

The group was going to be named Alliance of Socialists and Democrats for Europe (ASDE) but this was seemed too similar to Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).[26] The name Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats was suggested on 18 June by group president Martin Schulz[27] and it was renamed on 23 June 2009.[14] The English abbreviation was initially unclear, being variously reported as PASD[28] or S&D Group[29] or PASDE.[30][31] Dissatisfaction by Socialist MEPs towards the new name led Martin Schulz to admit that the name was still under consideration and that the group was to be referred to as the 'Socialists and Democrats' until a final title was chosen.[32] On 14 July 2009, the first day of the constitutive session of the 2009-2014 term, the full formal group name was Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament[1] and the abbreviation was S&D.[1]

The S&D Group joined the Progressive Alliance upon its official foundation on 22 May 2013[33] and is a member of the organisation's board.[34] The group was formerly an Associated Organisation of the Socialist International.[35]

Presidents of the European Parliament

For Presidents of the European Parliament from the group, see President of the European Parliament.


The group is led by a President and a Bureau of Vice-Presidents. There is also a Treasurer and a Secretary General.[36]

Presidents of the Group

Presidents of the Group include:[37]

Number President State National party From To
1. Guy Mollet  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1953 1956
2. Hendrik Fayat  Belgium Socialist Party (PS) 1956 1958
3. Pierre Lapie  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1958 1959
4. Willi Birkelbach  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1959 1964
5. Käte Strobel  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1964 1967
6. Francis Vals  France French Section of the Workers' International (SFIO) 1967 1974
7. Georges Spénale  France Socialist Party (PS) 1974 1975
8. Ludwig Fellermaier[38]  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1975 1979
9. Ernest Glinne  Belgium Socialist Party (PS) 1979 1984
10. Rudi Arndt  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 1984 1989
11. Jean-Pierre Cot  France Socialist Party (PS) 1989 1994
12. Pauline Green  United Kingdom Labour Party 1994 1999
13. Enrique Barón Crespo  Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) 1999 2004
14. Martin Schulz  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 2004 2012
15. Hannes Swoboda  Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria (SPÖ) 2012 2014
16. Martin Schulz  Germany Social Democratic Party (SPD) 2014 2014
17. Gianni Pittella  Italy Democratic Party (PD) 2014 -


Current Vice-Presidents of the group appointed at the start of the current legislature in 2014 [39]

Previous Vice-Presidents of the group appoited at the start of the 2009 legislature:[40]

Previous Vice-Presidents of the group for the 2004-2009 term were as follows:


Current/previous Treasurers of the group are as follows:

Secretaries General

Current/previous Secretaries General of the group are as follows:


MEPs from the following parties sit in the group:[41]

The S&D has MEPs from all 28 EU states, including 25 with more than one MEP (in red) and three with exactly one MEP each (pink).
State National party European party MEPs 2004-2009 MEPs 2009-2014 MEPs 2014–2019
 Austria Social Democratic Party of Austria PES 7 4 5
 Belgium Socialist Party PES 4 3 3
Socialist Party Different PES 3 2 1
 Bulgaria Bulgarian Socialist Party PES 5 4 4
 Croatia Social Democratic Party of Croatia PES 5 2
 Cyprus Movement for Social Democracy PES 1 1
Democratic Party None 1 1 1
 Czech Republic Czech Social Democratic Party PES 2 7 4
 Denmark Social Democrats PES 5 4 3
 Estonia Social Democratic Party PES 3 1 1
 Finland Social Democratic Party PES 3 2 2
 France Socialist Party PES 31 14 12
Radical Party of the Left None 1
 Germany Social Democratic Party of Germany PES 24 23 26
 Greece Panhellenic Socialist Movement PES 8 6 2
Democratic Left None 1
The River None 2
 Hungary Hungarian Socialist Party PES 9 4 2
Democratic Coalition None 2
 Ireland Labour Party PES 1 3
Nessa Childers (Independent) None 1
 Italy Democrats of the Left[42] PES 12
Democratic Party PES 21 29
Italian Democratic Socialists[43] PES 2
Possible None 1
United in the Olive Tree None 2
 Latvia Social Democratic Party "Harmony" PES 1 1
 Lithuania Social Democratic Party of Lithuania PES 2 3 2
 Luxembourg Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party PES 1 1 1
 Malta Labour Party PES 3 4 3
 Netherlands Labour Party PES 7 3 3
 Poland Democratic Left Alliance-Labor Union PES 5 7 5
Social Democratic Party of Poland None 3
 Portugal Socialist Party PES 12 7 8
 Romania Social Democratic Party PES 10 11 15
 Slovakia Direction – Social Democracy PES 3 5 4
 Slovenia Social Democrats PES 1 2 1
 Spain Spanish Socialist Workers' Party PES 24 21 14
 Sweden Swedish Social Democratic Party PES 5 5 5
Feminist Initiative None 1
 United Kingdom Labour Party PES 19 13 19
Total 215 184 187


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Seats by political group in each Member State: definitive results at 14 July 2009 at 09:00 CEST", 14 July 2009, from
  2. 1 2 3 "Democracy in the European Parliament" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 "PES on Europe Politique". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Confederation of the Socialist Parties of the European Community Collection". 2005-12-07. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 "Political Groups of the European Parliament". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  6. "Sièges par groupe politique dans chaque État membre 14 juillet 2009 à 09:00 CEST", 14 July 2009, from
  7. 1 2 3 "Political Groups Annual Accounts 2001-2006". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  8. "European Parliament profile of Martin Schulz". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  9. "European Parliament profile of Pauline Green". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  10. "European Parliament profile of Ernest Glinne". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  11. Parties and Elections in Europe: The database about parliamentary elections and political parties in Europe, by Wolfram Nordsieck
  12. Marie-Claire Considère-Charondu (2010). "Irish MEPS in an Enlarged Europe". In Christophe Gillissen. Ireland: Looking East. Peter Lang. p. 157. ISBN 978-90-5201-652-8. Retrieved 27 August 2012.
  13. Tapio Raunio (2012). "Political Interests: The European Parliament's Party Groups". In John Peterson; Michael Shackleton. The Institutions of the European Union. Oxford University Press. p. 340. ISBN 978-0-19-957498-8. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  14. 1 2 "European socialists change name to accommodate Italian lawmakers" from
  15. Andreas Staab (2011). The European Union Explained, Second Edition: Institutions, Actors, Global Impact. Indiana University Press. p. 67. ISBN 978-0-253-00164-1. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  16. "Organisation - History - The Socialist Group in The European Parliament". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  17. "EPP-ED Chronology - 1981-1990". EPP-ED Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  18. Settembri, Pierpaolo (2007-02-02). "Is the European Parliament competitive or consensual ... "and why bother"?" (PDF). Federal Trust. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  19. "Interview: Graham Watson, leader of group of Liberal Democrat MEPs". Euractiv. 2004-06-15. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  20. 1 2 How does the PES work? Archived January 30, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  21. Ringer, Nils F. (February 2003). "The Santer Commission Resignation Crisis" (PDF). University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 2007-10-07.
  22. "MEPs by Member State and political group – sixth parliamentary term". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  23. Taylor, Simon. "New alliance emerges in European Parliament | Policies | EU governance | Parliament". European Voice. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  24. Archived from the original on June 18, 2009. Retrieved February 4, 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  25. "Italiani All'Estero - Parlamento Europeo - Il Pd Nell'Asde (Alleanza Dei Socialisti E Dei Democratici). Il Cammino E' Cominciato Anche In Europa" / News / Italian Network". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  26. Julien Frisch (2009-06-17). "Julien Frisch: PES not to become ASDE?". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  27. "Schulz: «Sì dei socialisti europei al gruppo parlamentare Pse-Pd". Il Sole 24 ORE. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  28. "". Retrieved 2010-06-18. External link in |title= (help)
  29. "News - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament". 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  30. "Euro MPs build new alliances". BBC News. 2009-07-02. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  31. "". Retrieved 2010-06-18. External link in |title= (help)
  32. "Socialists bid to grab key Commission portfolios | EU - European Information on EU Treaty & Institutions". Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  33. Retrieved May 22, 2013. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. "Progressive Alliance Board" (PDF).
  35. Progressive Politics For A Fairer World. Socialist International. Retrieved on 2013-08-24.
  36. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 "Presentation". Socialist Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  37. "History". Socialist Group website. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
  39. "News - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament". 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-07-02.
  40. "News - Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament". 2009-06-24. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
  41. "PES Members". PES website. Archived from the original on 2007-10-20. Retrieved 2007-11-07.
  42. On 14 October 2007 the Democrats of the Left merged with Democracy is Freedom – The Daisy to form the Democratic Party. A minority of Democrats of the Left MEPs did not join the Democratic Party and sat in the PES group affiliated with Democratic Left.
  43. The party became the Italian Socialist Party in October 2007. The Italian Socialist Party had 4 MEPs for the remainder of the 2004-2009, the additional two from Socialists United for Europe, formerly Non-Inscrits.

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