Progressive parties meet in Oslo to discuss elections and fighting fake news

Progressive parties meet in Oslo to discuss elections and fighting fake news

The meeting of the PES Secretaries General Network – the tenth such annual gathering – was hosted by the Norwegian Arbeiderpartiet (Labour Party) in Oslo and chaired by Achim Post, Secretary General of the Party of European Socialists.

The meeting was hosted by Kjersti Stenseng, Secretary General of the Arbeiderpartiet, whose party is preparing to fight national elections in September.

Alongside reports on recent election results across Europe and discussions on upcoming campaigns, delegates also exchanged views on fighting populism, countering voter abstention and dealing with ‘fake news’.

Special guest speakers included Amy Dacey, CEO of the Democratic National Committee in the USA during Hillary Clinton’s election campaign, and Deborah Mattinson from the polling organisation Britain Thinks – both of whom shared their expertise on current challenges facing progressive parties.

The meeting took place only a few hours after the news of the terrorist bombing in Manchester, UK. Delegates began their meeting by reflecting on the news and Mr Post expressed solidarity on behalf of all member parties with the British people.

Mr Post said:

“Our parties are facing electoral and political challenges across Europe – many of which are similar, but with many unique aspects distinctive to each country.

“One of the great strengths of socialist and social democrat parties is our mutual solidarity and support. One of the most important roles for the Party of European Socialists is to act as an umbrella network so that member parties can communicate with each other, support and help each other.

“In a year when many of our parties face crucial electoral challenges, opportunities to exchange best practices are invaluable.”


In attendance at the meeting were:


  • Achim Post, Secretary General
  • Marije Laffeber, Deputy Secretary General
  • Giacomo Filibeck, Deputy Secretary General

DNA Norway

  • Kjersti Stenseng, Secretary General
  • Odd-Inge Kvalheim, International Secretary
  • Kristine Nordenson Kalset, Assistant Secretary General
  • Halvard Ingebriktsen, Campaign Leader
  • Amund Vik, Head of Policy Department

BSP Bulgaria

  • Kiril Dobrev, Secretary General
  • Deniza Slateva, Deputy Chairwoman

SD Denmark

  • Jan Juul Christensen, Secretary General
  • Simon Redder Thomsen, International Secretary

SDE Estonia

  • Kristen Kanarik, Secretary General

SDP Finland

  • Antton Rönnholm, Secretary General
  • Tero Shemeikka, International Secretary

UK Labour party (by video conference)

  • Iain McNicol, Secretary General

Concord Latvia

  • Guntars Jirgensons, Secretary General
  • Iveta Sers, International Secretary

LSDP Lithuania

  • Linas Jonauskas, Secretary General

SLD Poland

  • Marcin Kulasek, Secretary General
  • Andrzej Szejna, Vice-President, Acting Leader

PSD Romania

  • Marian Neacsu, Secretary General

SD Slovenia

  • Dejan Levanič, Secretary General
  • Mojca Kleva Kekuš, Adviser to Secretary General

SAP Sweden

  • Lena Baastad, Secretary General
  • Andrine Winther, International Secretary
  • Vidar Aronsson, Strategist

PES Women

  • Lesia Radelicki, Coordinator

Young European Socialists

  • Tuulia Pitkänen, Secretary General

Socialists & Democrats Group in the EP

  • Javier Moreno Sánchez, Secretary General

Foundation for European Progressive Studies

  • Elena Gil, New Media Adviser


  • Conny Reuter, Secretary General

Rainbow Rose

  • Jose Santoro, Secretary General

City of Oslo

  • Raymond Johansen, Governing Mayor
  • Marte Ingul, Head of Communications