Treaties of the European Union
The Treaties of the European Union are a set of international treaties between the European Union member states which sets out the EU's constitutional basis. They establish the various EU institutions together with their remit and objectives; the EU can only act within the competences granted to it through these treaties and amendment to the treaties requires the agreement and ratification of every single signatory. Two core functional treaties, the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, lay out how the EU operates, there are a number of satellite treaties which are interconnected with them; the treaties have been amended by other treaties over the 65 years since they were first signed. The consolidated version of the two core treaties is published by the European Commission; the two principal treaties on which the EU is based are the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. These main treaties have been altered by amending treaties at least once a decade since they each came into force, the latest being the Treaty of Lisbon which came into force in 2009.
The Lisbon Treaty made the Charter of Fundamental Rights binding, though it remains a separate document. Following the preamble the treaty text is divided into six parts. Title 1, Common ProvisionsThe first deals with common provisions. Article 1 establishes the European Union on the basis of the European Community and lays out the legal value of the treaties; the second article states that the EU is "founded on the values of respect for human dignity, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities". The member states share a "society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, justice and equality between women and men prevail". Article 3 states the aims of the EU in six points; the first is to promote peace, European values and its citizens' well-being. The second relates to free movement with external border controls are in place. Point 3 deals with the internal market. Point 4 establishes the euro. Point 5 states the EU shall promote its values, contribute to eradicating poverty, observe human rights and respect the charter of the United Nations.
The final sixth point states that the EU shall pursue these objectives by "appropriate means" according with its competences given in the treaties. Article 4 relates to member states' sovereignty and obligations. Article 5 sets out the principles of conferral and proportionality with respect to the limits of its powers. Article 6 binds the EU to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the European Convention on Human Rights. Article 7 deals with the suspension of a member state and article 8 deals with establishing close relations with neighbouring states. Title 2, Provisions on democratic principlesArticle 9 establishes the equality of national citizens and citizenship of the European Union. Article 10 declares that the EU is founded in representative democracy and that decisions must be taken as as possible to citizens, it makes reference to European political parties and how citizens are represented: directly in the Parliament and by their governments in the Council and European Council – accountable to national parliaments.
Article 11 establishes government transparency, declares that broad consultations must be made and introduces provision for a petition where at least 1 million citizens may petition the Commission to legislate on a matter. Article 12 gives national parliaments limited involvement in the legislative process. Title 3, Provisions on the institutionsArticle 13 establishes the institutions in the following order and under the following names: the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Central Bank and the Court of Auditors, it obliges co-operation between these and limits their competencies to the powers within the treaties. Article 14 deals with the workings of Parliament and its election, article 15 with the European Council and its president, article 16 with the Council and its configurations and article 17 with the Commission and its appointment. Article 18 establishes the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and article 19 establishes the Court of Justice.
Title 4, Provisions on enhanced cooperationsTitle 4 has only one article which allows a limited number of member states to co-operate within the EU if others are blocking integration in that field. Title 5, General provisions on the Union's external action and specific provisions on the Common Foreign and Security PolicyChapter 1 of this title includes articles 21 and 22. Article 21 deals with the principles. Article 22 gives the European Council, acting unanimously, control over defining the EU's foreign policy. Chapter 2 is further divided into sections; the first, common provisions, details the guidelines and functioning of the EU's foreign policy, including establishment of the European External Action Service and member state's responsibilities. Section 2, articles 42 to 46, deal with military cooperation. Title 6, Final p
2009 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament election was the United Kingdom's component of the 2009 European Parliament election, the voting for, held on Thursday 4 June 2009. The election was held concurrently with the 2009 local elections in England. In total, 72 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation. Notable outcomes were the significant drop in support for the Labour Party, who came third, the UK Independence Party finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been outpolled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The BNP won two seats, its first in a nationwide election, it marked the first time the Scottish National Party won the largest share of the European election vote in Scotland, it was the first time since 1918 Labour had failed to come first in a Welsh election.
It was the Democratic Unionist Party's worst European election result, the first time an Irish Republican party, Sinn Féin, topped the poll in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom elected 72 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation; the United Kingdom was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the Single Transferable Vote; the experimental use of all-postal ballots in four regions in 2004 was not repeated, resulting in a sharp reduction in turnout in those regions. As has been the case since 1999, the electoral constituencies were based on the government's nine English regions, Northern Ireland and Wales, creating a total of 12 constituencies; the Treaty of Nice fixed the number of MEPs for the whole European Parliament at 736. If the Lisbon Treaty had entered into force by June 2009 this figure would have been 73.
On 31 July 2007, in line with the required reduction in representation from the United Kingdom the number of members elected from each region was modified by the Boundary Commission and Electoral Commission, based on the size of the electorate in each region. The recommended changes were approved by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in 2008. Changes in regional seat allocations 1Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory, part of the EU. Conservative Christopher Beazley John Bowis Philip Bushill-Matthews Jonathan Evans – Became MP for Cardiff North in 2010 Chris Heaton-Harris – Became MP for Daventry in 2010 Caroline Jackson Neil Parish – Became MP for Tiverton and Honiton in 2010 John Purvis David Sumberg Labour Robert Evans Glenys Kinnock Eluned Morgan Gary Titley UKIP Jeffrey Titford John Whittaker Roger Knapman Liberal Democrat Elspeth Attwooll Emma Nicholson Independents Den Dover – Former Conservative MEP, expelled over his expenses. Robert Kilroy-Silk – Former UKIP MEP, created new party Veritas.
Ashley Mote – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. Tom Wise – Former UKIP MEP, expelled for expenses fraud for which he was jailed. In the run up to the election, several polling organisations carried out public opinion polling in regards to voting intentions in Great Britain. Results of such polls are displayed below. ComRes, ICM, Populus and YouGov are members of the British Polling Council, abide by its disclosure rules. BPIX is not a member of the BPC, does not publish detailed methodology and findings. † Includes Unionists. ‡ As the number of seats was reduced, these are notional changes estimated by the BBC. 1Joint ticket, ran in England as: The Christian Party - Christian Peoples Alliance. Turnout In Great Britain was 34.3%, with 15,137,202 votes out of a total electorate of 44,171,778. Most of the results of the election were announced on Sunday 7 June, after similar elections were held in the other 26 member states of the European Union. Scotland declared its result on Monday 8 June, as counting in the Western Isles was delayed due to observance of the Sabbath.
Great Britain kept to the European wide trend towards the right. The Labour Party, in its twelfth year as government of the United Kingdom, suffered a significant drop in support polling third, UKIP finishing second in a major election for the first time in its history, coming level with Labour in terms of seats but ahead of them in terms of votes; this was the first time in British electoral history that a party in government had been out polled in a national election by a party with no representation in the House of Commons. The Conservatives won in every region in Great Britain except the North East, where Labour won, Scotland, where the SNP won. Labour suffered most notably in Cornwall, where it came sixth behind Mebyon Kernow, in the wider South West region and South East where it polled fifth behind the Green Party; the BNP won two seats, their first in a national election. The share of the vote achieved by the English Democrats doubled; the turnout in Scotland was the lowest in the United Kingdom at 28.8%, with 1,104,512 vote
Conservative Party (UK)
The Conservative Party the Conservative and Unionist Party, is a centre-right political party in the United Kingdom. The governing party since 2010, it is the largest in the House of Commons, with 313 Members of Parliament, has 249 members of the House of Lords, 18 members of the European Parliament, 31 Members of the Scottish Parliament, 12 members of the Welsh Assembly, eight members of the London Assembly and 8,916 local councillors; the Conservative Party was founded in 1834 from the Tory Party—the Conservatives' colloquial name is "Tories"—and was one of two dominant political parties in the nineteenth century, along with the Liberal Party. Under Benjamin Disraeli it played a preeminent role in politics at the height of the British Empire. In 1912, the Liberal Unionist Party merged with the party to form the Conservative and Unionist Party. In the 1920s, the Labour Party surpassed the Liberals as the Conservatives' main rivals. Conservative Prime Ministers — notably Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher — led governments for 57 years of the twentieth century.
Positioned on the centre-right of British politics, the Conservative Party is ideologically conservative. Different factions have dominated the party at different times, including One Nation Conservatives and liberal conservatives, while its views and policies have changed throughout its history; the party has adopted liberal economic policies—favouring free market economics, limiting state regulation, pursuing privatisation—although in the past has supported protectionism. The party is British unionist, opposing both Irish reunification and Welsh and Scottish independence, supported the maintenance of the British Empire; the party includes those with differing views on the European Union, with Eurosceptic and pro-European wings. In foreign policy, it is for a strong national defence; the Conservatives are a member of the International Democrat Union and the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe and sit with the European Conservatives and Reformists parliamentary group. The Scottish, Northern Irish and Gibraltan branches of the party are semi-autonomous.
Its support base consists of middle-class voters in rural areas of England, its domination of British politics throughout the twentieth century has led to it being referred to as one of the most successful political parties in the Western world. The Conservative Party was founded in the 1830s. However, some writers trace its origins to the reign of Charles II in the 1670s Exclusion Crisis. Other historians point to a faction, rooted in the 18th century Whig Party, that coalesced around William Pitt the Younger in the 1780s, they were known as "Independent Whigs", "Friends of Mr Pitt", or "Pittites" and never used terms such as "Tory" or "Conservative". Pitt died in 1806. From about 1812 on the name "Tory" was used for a new party that, according to historian Robert Blake, "are the ancestors of Conservatism". Blake adds that Pitt's successors after 1812 "were not in any sense standard-bearer's of true Toryism"; the term "Conservative" was suggested as a title for the party by a magazine article by J. Wilson Croker in the Quarterly Review in 1830.
The name caught on and was adopted under the aegis of Sir Robert Peel around 1834. Peel is acknowledged as the founder of the Conservative Party, which he created with the announcement of the Tamworth Manifesto; the term "Conservative Party" rather than Tory was the dominant usage by 1845. The widening of the electoral franchise in the nineteenth century forced the Conservative Party to popularise its approach under Edward Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby and Benjamin Disraeli, who carried through their own expansion of the franchise with the Reform Act of 1867. In 1886, the party formed an alliance with Spencer Compton Cavendish, Lord Hartington and Joseph Chamberlain's new Liberal Unionist Party and, under the statesmen Robert Gascoyne-Cecil, Lord Salisbury and Arthur Balfour, held power for all but three of the following twenty years before suffering a heavy defeat in 1906 when it split over the issue of free trade. Young Winston Churchill denounced Chamberlain's attack on free trade, helped organize the opposition inside the Unionist/Conservative Party.
Balfour, as party leader, followed Chamberlain's policy introduced protectionist legislation. The high tariff element called itself "Tariff Reformers" and in a major speech in Manchester on May 13, 1904, Churchill warned their takeover of the Unionist/Conservative party would permanently brand it as: A party of great vested interests, banded together in a formidable confederation. Two weeks Churchill crossed the floor and formally joined the Liberal Party. )He rejoined the Conservatives in 1925.) In December, Balfour lost control of his party, as the defections multiplied. He was replaced by Liberal Prime Minister Henry Campbell-Bannerman who called an election in January 1906, which produced a massive Liberal victory with a gain of 214 seats. Liberal Prime Minister H. H. Asquith enacted a great deal of reform legislation, but the Unionists worked hard at grassroots organizing. Two general elections were held in one in January and one in December; the two main parties were now dead equal in seats.
The Unionists had more popular votes but the Liberals kept control with a coalition with the Irish Parliamentary Party. In 1912, the Liberal Unionis
2004 European Parliament election in the United Kingdom
The European Parliament election, 2004 was the United Kingdom's part of the wider European Parliament election, 2004, held between 10 and 13 June 2004 in the 25 member states of the European Union. The United Kingdom's part of this election was held on Thursday 10 June 2004; the election coincided with the 2004 local elections and the London Assembly and mayoral elections. In total, 78 Members of the European Parliament were elected from the United Kingdom using proportional representation; the Conservative Party and the Labour Party both polled poorly. The Conservatives experienced their second-lowest recorded vote share in a national election, Labour their lowest since 1918; the UK Independence Party saw a large increase in support, increasing its number of MEPs from 3 to 12 and on popular vote pushed the Liberal Democrats, who themselves had increased their representation from 10 to 12 seats into fourth place. In Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin took its first Northern Ireland seat; the United Kingdom elected 78 Members of the European Parliament using proportional representation.
The United Kingdom was divided into twelve multi-member constituencies. The eleven of these regions which form Great Britain used a closed-list party list system method of proportional representation, calculated using the D'Hondt method. Northern Ireland used the Single Transferable Vote; as a consequence of the 2004 enlargement of the European Union, the number of seats allocated to the United Kingdom was fewer than in 1999. It was the first European election to be held in the United Kingdom using postal-only voting in four areas: the North East, North West and the Humber, East Midlands regions. A combination of the effects of the Treaty of Nice and the 2004 enlargement of the European Union meant that the number of seats allocated to the United Kingdom for the 2004 election was reduced from the 87 MEPs allocated for the 1999 election to 78 MEPs; as a result of the successful challenge of Matthews v United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights in 1999 residents of Gibraltar, voted in the European Parliament election for the first time, as part of the South West England region.
Changes in regional seat allocations 1 Includes Gibraltar, the only British overseas territory, part of the EU. Turnout for all the regions was 37.6% on an electorate of 45,309,760. The Conservatives and Labour both polled poorly; the Conservatives, although getting a vote share 4.1% greater than Labour, experienced their lowest vote share in a national election since 1832. Labour's vote share was its lowest since 1918. Labour's decline in votes was regarded as being due to widespread public dissatisfaction about the Iraq War and, as with the Conservatives, the increased popularity of UKIP. UKIP saw a large increase in support, increasing its number of MEPs from 3 to 12, drawing level with the Liberal Democrats, who themselves had increased their representation from 10 to 12 seats. UKIP pushing them into fourth place. Turnout was lowest in Scotland. In Scotland, Labour topped the poll, followed by the SNP; the Conservative Party's share of the vote declined by 2 percent, making it the region with the smallest swing against them.
Wales was the only region were Labour increased its share of the vote compared to 1999. The Conservatives managed to make gains pushing Plaid Cymru into third and whose share of the vote fell by 12 percentage points relative to 1999. UKIP narrowly beat the Liberal Democrats into fourth place. Wales was the region. All parties listed.†Loss/gain figures for seats are losses/gains versus the 1999 notional result, as the number of MEPs overall fell. Summary of the election results for Great Britain All parties listed.†Loss/gain figures for seats are losses/gains versus the 1999 notional result, as the number of MEPs overall fell. Gibraltar participated in the United Kingdom's election for the first time in 2004 as part of the South West England constituency. Gibraltar is a British overseas territory and therefore is under the jurisdiction and sovereignty of the United Kingdom but does not form part of it. Gibraltar is however part of the only BOT to be so. Following however, the result of the successful challenge of Matthews v United Kingdom before the European Court of Human Rights in 1999 residents of Gibraltar were given the right to vote in the European Parliament elections.
The British government decided not to give Gibraltar its own seat due to its small electorate of just over 20,000 which would have meant with just one seat Gibraltar would have been over-represented by about 30 times the average. None of the main Gibraltar political parties contested the election, so voters chose from United Kingdom party lists. However, Lyana Armstrong-Emery of Gibraltar's Reform Party had a place on a joint list with the Green Party. In addition both the leader of the Conservative Party, Michael Howard, his deputy, Michael Ancram, campaigned in Gibraltar. Turnout in Gibraltar was 57.5%, higher than the 37.6% for the South West England electoral region as a whole. The Conservative Party polled over two-thirds of the Gibraltar vote, with no other party exceeding 10% support. Turnout in Northern Ireland was 51.2%. Sinn Féin took its first Northern Ireland seat. Sinn Féin won a seat in the corresponding elections in the Republic of Ireland. Sinn Féin and the DUP increased their shares of the vote relative to the 1999 European Parliament elections, while the shares for both the SDLP and the UUP fell.
This was the
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left political party in the United Kingdom, described as an alliance of social democrats, democratic socialists and trade unionists. The party's platform emphasises greater state intervention, social justice and strengthening workers' rights; the Labour Party was founded in 1900, having grown out of the trade union movement and socialist parties of the nineteenth century. It overtook the Liberal Party to become the main opposition to the Conservative Party in the early 1920s, forming two minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in the 1920s and early 1930s. Labour served in the wartime coalition of 1940-1945, after which Clement Attlee's Labour government established the National Health Service and expanded the welfare state from 1945 to 1951. Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, Labour again governed from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979. In the 1990s Tony Blair took Labour closer to the centre as part of his "New Labour" project, which governed the UK under Blair and Gordon Brown from 1997 to 2010.
After Corbyn took over in 2015, the party has moved leftward. Labour is the Official Opposition in the Parliament of the United Kingdom, having won the second-largest number of seats in the 2017 general election; the Labour Party is the largest party in the Welsh Assembly, forming the main party in the current Welsh government. The party is the third largest in the Scottish Parliament. Labour is a member of the Party of European Socialists and Progressive Alliance, holds observer status in the Socialist International, sits with the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament; the party includes semi-autonomous Scottish and Welsh branches and supports the Social Democratic and Labour Party in Northern Ireland. As of 2017, Labour had the largest membership of any party in Western Europe; the Labour Party originated in the late 19th century, meeting the demand for a new political party to represent the interests and needs of the urban working class, a demographic which had increased in number, many of whom only gained suffrage with the passage of the Representation of the People Act 1884.
Some members of the trades union movement became interested in moving into the political field, after further extensions of the voting franchise in 1867 and 1885, the Liberal Party endorsed some trade-union sponsored candidates. The first Lib–Lab candidate to stand was George Odger in the Southwark by-election of 1870. In addition, several small socialist groups had formed around this time, with the intention of linking the movement to political policies. Among these were the Independent Labour Party, the intellectual and middle-class Fabian Society, the Marxist Social Democratic Federation and the Scottish Labour Party. At the 1895 general election, the Independent Labour Party put up 28 candidates but won only 44,325 votes. Keir Hardie, the leader of the party, believed that to obtain success in parliamentary elections, it would be necessary to join with other left-wing groups. Hardie's roots as a lay preacher contributed to an ethos in the party which led to the comment by 1950s General Secretary Morgan Phillips that "Socialism in Britain owed more to Methodism than Marx".
In 1899, a Doncaster member of the Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants, Thomas R. Steels, proposed in his union branch that the Trade Union Congress call a special conference to bring together all left-wing organisations and form them into a single body that would sponsor Parliamentary candidates; the motion was passed at all stages by the TUC, the proposed conference was held at the Memorial Hall on Farringdon Street on 26 and 27 February 1900. The meeting was attended by a broad spectrum of working-class and left-wing organisations—trades unions represented about one third of the membership of the TUC delegates. After a debate, the 129 delegates passed Hardie's motion to establish "a distinct Labour group in Parliament, who shall have their own whips, agree upon their policy, which must embrace a readiness to cooperate with any party which for the time being may be engaged in promoting legislation in the direct interests of labour." This created an association called the Labour Representation Committee, meant to co-ordinate attempts to support MPs sponsored by trade unions and represent the working-class population.
It had no single leader, in the absence of one, the Independent Labour Party nominee Ramsay MacDonald was elected as Secretary. He had the difficult task of keeping the various strands of opinions in the LRC united; the October 1900 "Khaki election" came too soon for the new party to campaign effectively. Only 15 candidatures were sponsored. Support for the LRC was boosted by the 1901 Taff Vale Case, a dispute between strikers and a railway company that ended with the union being ordered to pay £23,000 damages for a strike; the judgement made strikes illegal since employers could recoup the cost of lost business from the unions. The apparent acquiescence of the Conservative Government of Arthur Balfour to industrial and business interests intensified support for the LRC against a government that appeared to have little concern for the industrial proletariat and its problems. In the 1906 election, the LRC won 29 seats—helped by a secret 1903 pact between Ramsay MacDonald and Liberal Chief Whip Herbert Gladstone that aimed to avoid splitting the opposition vote between Labour and Liberal candidates in the interest of removing the Conservatives from office.
In their first meeting after the election the group's Members of Parliament decided to adop
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
Party of European Socialists
The Party of European Socialists is a social-democratic European political party. The PES comprises national-level political parties from all member states of the European Union plus Norway; this includes major parties such as the Italian Democratic Party, the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party, Social Democratic Party of Germany and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party. Parties from a number of other European countries are admitted to the PES as associate or observer parties. Most member and observer parties are members of the wider Progressive Alliance or Socialist International; the PES is led by its president Sergei Stanishev, a former Prime Minister of Bulgaria. Its political group in the European Parliament is the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats; the PES operates in the Committee of the Regions and the European Council. The party's English name is "Party of European Socialists". In addition, the following names are used in other languages: In March 2014 following the congress in Rome, the PES added the tagline "Socialists and Democrats" to its name following the admission of Italy's Democratic Party into the organisation.
In 1961, the Socialists in the European Parliament attempted to produce a common'European Socialist Programme' but this was neglected due to the applications of Britain, Denmark and Norway to join the European Community. The Socialists' 1962 congress pushed for greater democratisation and powers for Parliament, though it was only in 1969 that this possibility was examined by the member states. In 1973, Denmark and the United Kingdom joined the European Community, bringing in new parties from these countries; the enlarged Socialist Congress met in Bonn and inaugurated the Confederation of the Socialist Parties of the European Community. The Congress passed a resolution on social policy, including the right to decent work, social security and equality in the European economy. In 1978, the Confederation of Socialist Parties approved the first common European election Manifesto, it focused on several goals among which the most important were to ensure a right to decent work, fight pollution, end discrimination, protect the consumer and promote peace, human rights and civil liberties.
At its Luxembourg Congress in 1980, the Confederation of Socialist Parties approved its first Statute. The accession of Greece to the EU in 1981, followed by Spain and Portugal in 1986, brought in more parties. In 1984, a common Socialist election manifesto proposed a socialist remedy for the economic crisis of the time by establishing a link between industrial production, protection of fundamental social benefits, the fight for an improved quality of life. In 1992, with the European Community becoming the European Union and with the Treaty of Maastricht establishing the framework for political parties at a European level, the Confederation of Socialist Parties voted to transform itself into the Party of European Socialists; the party's first programme concentrated on job creation, gender equality and consumer protection and security, regulation of immigration, discouragement of racism and fighting organised crime. Along with the Socialist Group in the European Parliament, the founding members of the PES were: Social Democratic Party of Austria Socialist Party and the Socialist Party of Belgium Social Democrats of Denmark Socialist Party of France Social Democratic Party of Germany Panhellenic Socialist Movement of Greece Labour Party of Ireland Italian Democratic Socialist Party, Italian Socialist Party and Democratic Party of the Left of Italy Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party Labour Party of the Netherlands Socialist Party of Portugal Spanish Socialist Workers' Party Swedish Social Democratic Party Labour Party and Social Democratic and Labour Party of the UK In 2004 Poul Nyrup Rasmussen defeated Giuliano Amato to be elected President of the PES, succeeding Robin Cook in the post.
He was re-elected for a further 2.5 years at the PES Congress in Porto on 8 December 2006 and again at the Prague Congress in 2009. In 2010, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies was founded as the political foundation of the PES. Mr Rasmussen stood down at the PES Progressive Convention in Brussels on 24 November 2011, he was replaced as interim president by Sergei Stanishev, chairman of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and former prime minister of Bulgaria. On 28-29 September 2012, the PES Congress in Brussels Congress elected interim president Sergei Stanishev as full President, as well as four deputies: Jean-Christophe Cambadélis, Elena Valenciano, Jan Royall and Katarína Neveďalová; the same Congress elected Achim Post as its new secretary general, adopted a process which it described as "democratic and transparent" for electing its next candidate for Commission President in 2014. The PES had agreed in 2011 to use a PES presidential primary for the election; the PES has thirty-four full member parties from each of the twenty-eight EU member states and Norway.
There are twelve observer parties from other European countries. The youth organisation of the PES is the Young European Socialists. PES Women is the party's women's organisation, led by Zita Gurmai; the LGBTI campaign organisation is Rainbow Rose. PES is an associated organisation of the Progressive Alliance; the President represents the party on a daily basis and chairs the Presidency, which consists of the Secretary General, President of the S&D group in Parliament and one representative per full/associat