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Progressive Governance 2004: Budapest

  • Date(s)
    13 October 2004
  • Location

Policy Network has organised the latest Progressive Governance Conference on the 13th and 14th of October in Budapest, hosted by the new Hungarian Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsány.
The Conference brought together over 150 leading strategists, policy makers, intellectuals and politicians from the progressive centre-left in Europe, America and the wider world, as well as leading figures from the Hungarian centre-left.

Progressive Governance 2004 has built on the successes of previous meetings in New York, Florence, Berlin, Stockholm and London. Since the Progressive Governance Conference in 2003, Policy Network, the secretariat of this movement, has organised five working group meetings that have identified and begun to address the major challenges that the centre-left face at the turn of the twenty-first century.

A special conference edition of Policy Network’s journal Progressive Politics (Vol. 3.3) has also been launched, including original contributions from Tony Blair, Ferenc Gyurcsány, Ricardo Lagos, Göran Persson and Stanislav Gross.

The conference opened with a plenary session: Protect, Empower, Prepare: Progressive Governance in the 21st century, with speeches from Peter Mandelson (Honorary Chair of Policy Network and EU Commissioner designate) and Peter Medgyessy (Former Hungarian Prime Minister).

It was followed by a dinner with interventions from Joaquín Almunia (EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs), Economic growth and prosperity. An Agenda already agreed. So what?, Danuta Hübner (European Commissioner for External Trade), Solidarity and Social cohesion: Our Progressive marker,  Giuliano Amato (Senior Vice-President of the Party of European Socialists), The EU political perspectives: What are the best strategies for the referendums?, László Kovacs (EU Commissioner designate), A newly unified and peaceful European continent. Next step?,  and Antonio Guterres (President of the Socialist International), Globalisation and Progressive challenges: Could we be innovative?.

On Thursday, the debate continued in two panel discussions: the first, chaired by Juan Fernando López Aguilar (Spanish Minister of Justice), addressed Progressive State Strategies for the 21st century, and the challenges of combining opportunity, mobility and solidarity. Main contributors to this session were Anthony Giddens, Wolfgang Merkel and Tibor Dessewffy.

The second, How Can We Re-Invigorate Economic Dynamism? focused on the issue of growth and prosperity and was chaired by Francesco Rutelli (Leader of the Italian Margherita Party), with contributions from Jean Pisani-Ferry, Maria João Rodrigues and László Andor.

The conference closed with a roundtable of international leaders – Tony Blair, Helen Clark, Ferenc Gyurcsány, Ricardo Lagos, Pascal Lamy, Thabo Mbeki, Adrian Nastase, Poul Nyrup Rasmussen – chaired by Peter Mandelson.

After the Progressive Governance Conference 2004, an international leaders' summit was held, and a joint communiqué issued setting out a commitment to a progressive agenda.

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